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"Love Island is the crazy dating show you need to be watching, there's nothing else like it."

If you need a bit of a break from high-brow drama and can’t wait for The Bachelor to start, I’ve found just the show to tide you over.

It’s called Love Island and it has pretty much the entire British nation glued to their TV screens – despite the fact that it’s the height of summer and they should really be enjoying the sun as much as they can while it lasts.

Ex on The Beach meets Big Brother with a hint of The Voice (in terms of votes, not singing, don’t worry!), it’s a reality dating show unlike any other. It’s now available to watch in Australia on Nine Now.

Image: ITV2

The idea of the show is to really put love to the test. A mixed group of singles are put on an "island" for the summer(read: mansion in an exotic location) and encouraged to couple up for the chance to win $85,000 (or 50,000 pounds). Each week, more housemates are dropped in to stir things up and those not in a couple or the couple with the least amount of votes from the public will be "dumped" from the island.


Listen: Why Love Island is must-watch reality TV, according to The Binge.  Post continues after audio.

The aim is to fall in love - or at least convince the public you're in love so you can take home the dosh. But there is a twist: the winning couple are asked to either split the cash, or take the entire prize pot home for themselves.

It has all the dating elements of The Bachelor with the voyeuristic day-today antics of Big Brother.

There's drama, there's scheming, romance and raunchy moments (Last season, contestant Zara Holland had her Miss Great Britain title taken away from her after having sex on the show).

No, it's not a educational documentary but it's strangely, almost annoyingly addictive and compelling viewing. This season is clocking up almost two UK million viewers a night - big numbers considering summer is usually considered 'dead' for TV.

Former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher even revealed he chose to watch an episode of Love Island rather than see other bands perform when he was at Glastonbury this week. It's contagious.

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Image: ITV
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While it's questionable whether some of the cast's main priority is love or fame (as with most reality TV shows) most come off as authentic and loveable. And not all are your average reality TV contestants.

Participant Camilla Thurlow has quickly become a viewer's favourite. A little more reserved and "posh" than the other contestants, the 27 year old works in explosive ordnance disposal, meaning she travels to countries ravaged by war and detonates bombs and landmines that remain, with her last posting being Afghanistan.

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Image: ITV

She's also rumoured to have briefly dated Prince Harry at some stage.

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Another 'hero' of the season is Marcel, former member of early 00s boyband Blazin' Squad who's gone from dried up celeb to everyone's favourite male.

There's no denying that like many reality TV dating shows, there are elements of the show that are highly problematic.

Take for example, the fact that in the premiere episode, the boys get to choose which girl they like the look of to pair up. Or the challenges, which include feeling the men's bodies and rating the best or blindfolding the men and having them rate the kiss of every girl on the island. Or the fact that most of the time both sexes are in very little but the bare minimum of swimwear.

It's sexist and hard to condone.

But ultimately for an easy, escapist and generally amusing watch, there's not much better around right now than Love Island. And watching Camilla serve up feminism to the men, educate some of the other women and just genuinely seeing women supporting and caring for each other rather than staged cat fights feels very fresh for a reality TV show.

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Image: ITV

You'll be cheering, screaming and fist pumping at your screen in no time.

Even better, given it's on five nights a week and into week three of seven, you've got plenty of episodes to binge and catch up on.

Have you watched Love Island? What did you think?

For the biggest TV and entertainment news of the week listen to The Binge podcast.

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