rita brassington


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By r brassington, Aug 12 2019 12:00PM

I just love a happy ending. Doesn’t everybody?

This year I decided to get off my moral high horse and indulge in the national treasure that has grown to be Love Island. The show has been on for five series, and I’ve managed to avoid watching up until now, dismissing it as trash TV even I wouldn’t watch. Then I found out my manager, the last person on earth I thought would ever watch it was engrossed, I had to give it a try. And I haven’t looked back.

For those who haven’t watched, it’s like Big Brother in the sunshine and infinitely less annoying and repetitive. Moreover, it feels like it’s for something, it’s got a purpose. The bronzed bodies entering might be in it for fame in the long term, but in my idealised head they’re in it for LOVE. They want to meet somebody, and doesn’t everyone? The fact they’re in there 24/7 and attached to a microphone must mean that even the most fame-hungry part-time model can’t fake their feelings all the time - their personality and feelings must show through eventually.

I think that’s where the charm comes from. These people are like the viewers watching, they can fall in love, and get hurt, they are human after all. They have emotions, feelings, likes and dislikes and ultimately they want to be loved - either by one of their fellow villa-mates, or by the public. Or both.

Which is what brings me on to Love Island 2019. It was a new experience for me. All the contestants must’ve watched previous years. Whether it was the challenges or the brutal ‘re-couplings’ they must’ve had an inkling of what was waiting for them. I viewed with fresh eyes, amazed and horrified when Islanders had to turn on each other to vote each other out. Like Big Brother, it’s one big psychological game on the part of the producers, to persuade them to couple up or ship out. And this year, it fuelled drama you couldn’t write (but maybe the producers did).

Cue the winners of Love Island - not the safe bet of Tommy and Molly-Mae, the longest standing couple who could’ve been picked to be together from a line up, but Amber and Greg. Respect to the British public for giving a relationship of only two weeks the green light. It could’ve been due to Amber being the victim of some horrendous gaslighting on the part of Michael, who chose another girl over her and then tried to persuade Amber it was somehow her fault. It could’ve been viewers felt sorry for her, and when she coupled up with new arrival Greg, a rugby player from Limerick who entered the villa only two weeks before the final, they wanted it to work for her. Overall they won due to a combination of respect for their characters and that good ‘ol happy ending we all want.

Amber didn’t go back to Michael, even when he confessed he still liked her after Joanna was dumped from the Island. She chose Greg at the re-coupling, much to everyone’s delight. Why was everyone so happy she chose Greg instead of going back to a toxic relationship? So much so they rewarded Amber and Greg the win? Because she had respect for herself, she had self-worth. Amber wasn’t going to let someone who treated her badly decide her fate. She made her own decision and went with the guy who treated her well, the nice guy who definitely didn’t finish last. Greg was being himself - not fake and playing games to get her to couple up with him, but being assured of himself while letting Amber know he liked her.

The most important thing about Love Island 2019 is the lessons younger girls (and guys) are going to take away from watching it. There’ll be impressionable fourteen year-old girls watching this year in their bedrooms, seeing how important it is to be true to yourself, and to not put up with being treated badly by their ‘Michael’. Give that nice guy a go. That’s what you deserve. Similarly, boys now know you don’t have to treat a girl like trash to keep her interested. Be yourself and she will respect you for it.

So thank you Amber and Greg, for being yourselves, and being rewarded for it. Forget the 50k prize money, millions of new Instagram followers and lucrative TV and sponsorship deals. You’ve got each other.

Now, when’s the wedding?

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