by Katie Wheatley
It’s been around a week since the Love Island reunion hit our screens and, unfortunately, it seems we all share the opinion that it completely missed the mark. Year after year, viewers are left disappointed with the anticipated episode – and many have labelled this year’s as a waste of an hour and a half.
So, where is the episode going wrong?
To start with, none of the islanders are given an apt amount of time to talk about their villa experience. Some of the finalists spent the full eight weeks there, yet we heard little from them. And when they did get air time, the questions asked were arguably pointless. The reunion episode was filmed the Thursday following the Monday the show finished – just three full days back to freedom. So why were they being asked what life in the real world has been like? Of course it’s going to be hectic and they are going to be surprised by the number of people who stop them in the street and ask for photos. Laura Whitmore needed to unpack the details, not the plain obvious.
In my opinion, the reunion should be split over a number of episodes and take place a considerable amount of time after they’ve settled into their new lifestyles. Only then would we be able to find out how their relationships and friendships are fairing, and we’d even get to hear about the brand deals and jobs they have taken on since.
After the backlash Laura Whitmore faced last year, ITV2 attempted to spice things up with a new co-host, Darren Harriott, a super fan of the show. However, when we finally got to the juice between Coco and Summer, which had been leaked on social media ahead of the reunion being aired on TV, Darren was quick to interject and shut it down – and allegedly, we never got to see all that happened either.
Summer was using the opportunity to confront Coco about a comment she had made about her new beau, Josh, on Grace Keeling’s podcast Saving Grace – which is surely what the reunion episode should be all about?
Something’s got to change next year and, as harsh as it may be to say, Laura’s interviewing style is included in that. When she’s not asking questions which don’t add anything to the conversation, she asks things that make the islanders, and viewers, uncomfortable. Take when she asked Andrew and Tasha if they had ‘opened the salon’ yet – there was no need to ask that and I think we could all make that assumption for ourselves.
Though it’s important to give the finalists the most air time – as we wouldn’t have voted them through to the end if we didn’t enjoy watching them – we want the smaller, unanswered plot lines to be answered too. How did Jasmine and Coco make up after they fought over Andrew in the villa? Were Paige and Dami surprised at the way their friendship was presented? And how did it really make Danica feel to be friendzoned that many times?
One individual who I think would be a great addition to the Love Island team is Sarel Madzebra, known on social media as cocosarel. I anticipated her reviews each evening as much as I looked forward to the episodes themselves. I, like a lot of viewers, shared her opinions and with her newfound background in interviewing, I think she would ask the all important questions we actually want the answers to.
Like the series itself, there is much to ponder on ahead of the next reunion and listening to viewers will be key if they are to ever hit the nail on the head.