I watched the original Love Island season from 2005 and let me tell you, we have come so far


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I watched the original Love Island season from 2005 and let me tell you, we have come so far

It was like watching that Nazi from Indiana Jones drink from the Ark of the Covenant — you know the bit I mean

Look, everyone knows Love Island is not good. It’s a very bad show. It’s a terrible, reductive, dumb show that we all love more than some of the members of our own families. I know that Love Island is shit, and yet now that I understand the majesty of this TV gold I would defend it until my dying day. It is the hill I will die on.

The infighting over Love Island will never end but perhaps the only way to see how far we’ve come, how good and pure it really is, is to go back to the start. Yes, I watched the original, 2005 Love Island – series one. It was face meltingly awful and made me want to snuggle all those 2018 Essex rejects with too-white teeth and unlucky in love A&E doctors close to my heart forever. This is why.

They were actual celebrities and somehow today’s contestants are more polished???

Nowadays, most contestants on Love Island go there to find fame (sorry to break your heart but they’re not really looking for love). But originally, back in the halcyon days of the mid noughties, Love Island was conceived as Celebrity Love Island. The term celebrity was applied…loosely though, and you get the impression that the mish-mash of stars was down to their PRs really fucking up their planned appearances. Or just a big summer work gap for Dennis Rodman and Steve-O, who somehow managed to appear on the second series in 2006, despite the winners of 2005’s first season being Callum Best and Bianca Gascoigne (who are literally both just children of famous footballers).

  • Season one also features Michael Greco, who in my pre-pubescent noughties state I simply remember as being the fittest one off Eastenders. His character was called Beppe DiMarco and saying he was the fittest one is a bit like saying “Alex is the smartest one on this series of Love Island”. I mean yeah he’s a doctor, fair enough, but he did take eight weeks off work in the middle of an NHS staff shortage. Not gonna be very smart when you have to face your colleagues looking tanned, carrying that water bottle with your name on it and facing the shame of being parred off by every girl in the villa all summer, is it Alex?

    Anyway despite the fact that the original lot were all supposedly famous, they don’t look half as good as what 2018 has to offer. In 2005 adults were wearing three quarter length jean cut offs, sarongs and nobody had eyebrows? ABSOLUTELY WILD.


    I’m being serious, it’s absolutely wild. I have a lot to say about the swimwear choices on this year’s show (none it’s good) but just look at these promo shots from the first season. This wasn’t even what they wore when they got to the island! This was their Sunday/promotional shot best!

    It was a liiiittle bit more body-positive…maybe

    While the fashion was admittedly awful, the body types on Love Island 13 years ago – for celebrities –  were undoubtedly less aspirational than the chiseled Adonises and not-so-subtle plastic surgery we see in 2018. I mean, everyone looks like handsome Squidward now, you know?

    And while one might be more aesthetically pleasing than the other, it could be that our modern standards of manliness are getting the gym bois of today’s Love Island down. Niall has already lamented how much buffer Geordie Shore reject Adam is compared to him, while on Season 1 and 2 of the remixed series, Lauren and Zara (Miss GB, as you may remember her mentioning) were often left in floods of tears as they were passed over for other girls. With frightening regularity a boy who has been rejected will tell the other men of the villa: “This just doesn’t happen to me in the outside world!”

    Could it be that out Love Island stars are actually getting too good looking for us? We’re so greedy.

    They got to go to fucking Fiji

    Allegedly, the 2005 original series was filmed on an island off Fiji, which is much more glam than Mallorca, where they put the flat pack villa nowadays. Although it has done wonders for the tourism.

  • The prize fund was the same

    Season one’s winners, Bianca and Callum, walked away with £50k, the exact same amount last year’s winners Kem and Amber got. Surely this is unfair. £50,000 in 2005 and £50,000 in 2018 do not the same amount of money make. They were able to buy houses back then, for fuck’s sake.

    It’s insanely hard to find online

    Can Netflix just give it to us please? We need this as a nation.

    And everyone really hated it

    In a review for The Guardian all the way back in 2005, Charlie Brooker called the show “just a rehash of I’m A Celebrity, minus the elements that made the show successful.” Calling it the “island of lost hope,” he also criticized how Love Island “openly sneered at Abi Titmuss’ weight” — which actually is fair enough as a criticism.

    So before you complain about Love Island, just take a moment, and look at how far we’ve come.