Very important announcement: When the Love Island Australia producers sat down at the casting table, they forgot a crucial ingredient.
Before I start analysing a show that actively makes people brain dead, I should acknowledge that I might be jumping the gun here. But when the topic of conversation is Love Island, moving at the speed of light is hardly frowned upon so, excuse me, thank you, I shall proceed with my insights.
I am a woman who has watched all existing seasons of Love Island UK, so write this as someone with their PhD in separating the “melts” from the “mugs” and “messing around” from the “full on penetration”. I also write this as someone who has felt lukewarm about the series’ Australian debut.
After hungrily devouring the UK’s season three last year – and giggling at every polar bear meme I could find on Twitter – I had high hopes going into our own take on the reality dating show. “How will we create Big Brother meets Geordie Shore?” I wondered. “What would the Australian Chris Hughes even LOOK like?”
And, most importantly for the wallets of the white dudes who run Channel Nine, “How they we mimic the massive ratings that saw Love Island become the biggest reality TV franchise overseas?”
Two episodes in, it has quickly become clear exactly what the Australian producers missed when they selected which genetically blessed super freaks get to wear glorified g-strings and bonk on national telly.
And to illustrate what the ingredient is, I’ll call on the wisdom of Her Holiness Tina Brown, the ex-editor of Vanity Fair: The rule to engaging content is “high-low”; a mixture of high brow and low brow content, that will leave its consumer with a hit of sugar, and a dose of smarts simultaneously.
The beauty – and the eye-watering success – of Love Island UK 2017 was in its perfect marriage of the “high-low”.