I had very high expectations for the American version of Love Island. I was truly ready to blow off all of my weeknight responsibilities (e.g., washing my hair, shaving my legs) to watch it daily. Unfortch, I hardly lasted a week before I decided that it's totally not worth the commitment, and that the show probably won't become the cultural phenomenon that it is in the UK anytime soon.
In the UK, you either keep up with Love Island, or you become a social outcast for the summer. It's all anyone talks and tweets about; it's the Bachelor franchise times a million. But...the show is also really effing good, so it's worth the hype. British reality shows are just better by design (they can basically do whatever they want, in terms of nudity, swearing, and other stuff you wouldn't pull in front of your grandmother), which is why it's not terribly surprising that the US version isn't on the same level. Here's why it's totally not working.
The schedule is brutal.
An hour-long episode five nights a week is the kind of grueling schedule typically reserved for summer school. Sure, it's one less night than the UK version has, but everyone's willing to watch it there because it's already been a big deal for a few years.
#LoveIsland USA is too much. It's one hour every night from Monday to Friday. It's like watching bachelor in paradise and big brother every night.— Edgar Oliver Penas (@agentpenz0490) July 11, 2019
We're used to Netflix and Hulu blessing us with full seasons upfront, so that we can leisurely rip through about ten episodes when we have time. Even Bachelor in Paradise's two nights a week feels like a force.
TV is just...not the same here.
Love Island USA is on CBS, which means that it's regulated by the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC says that profane, indecent, and obscene material is a no no, which pretty much means that the Love Island contestants can't swear or show their butts. The UK is way more relaxed with programming (seriously, they have shows with full frontal nudity, LOL), so the original Love Island is a million times juicier.
The rules are kinda confusing.
Love Island isn't a regular dating show. It's not like The Bachelor where one lead is trying to choose between a bunch of eligible partners. It's a legit game filled with twists and turns, and if you're not already familiar, it can be difficult to catch on. (Especially if you can't tune in every night!) Coupling ceremonies are way trickier than rose ceremonies, and if that wasn't enough, there's even the whole voting thing. Yes, bombshells make reality television good...but only if they make sense. If viewers miss something big because they aren't watching every episode, it's almost pointless.
LOL, the accents are boring.
This isn't technically a real reason, because the UK viewers who watch Love Island aren't like, "Ooh! Nice! That guy has a cool accent." But anyone American viewer who has watched the UK version first will tell you that the show is way less interesting without hearing the accents.
love island usa is just not gonna do it for me the reason I watch that show is for the accents ..........— st*ffany or... 𝖊𝖓𝖎𝖌𝖒𝖆 (@crushpalace) July 5, 2019
There’s a Love Island USA now and I just know that it’s not going to crank as hard as the English one bc 90% of the fun is in their accents— Carmie (@CarmayB) July 9, 2019
I know that Cormac is Irish...but it's just not the same, okay? (Unrelated, but why is he wearing a leather jacket? Is this villa not located in FIJI?!)
If CBS really wanted to hook us, they should have released a full first season, skipped the whole voting thing (have any of us ever actually voted for a reality show since watching American Idol in third grade?), and made it bingeable as hell. Full disclosure: I have binged full seasons of Love Island UK on Hulu. It's a hefty undertaking, but it's worth it. I would proudly blow off my social life for a weekend to give this thing a chance, but having to pencil time into my schedule to watch a show I'm still iffy about is a big no from me, dawg.
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