NYTimes: ‘Love Island’ and the Sexual Anxieties of Modern Britain

I don’t watch this kind of shows any more because I’m way past the dating stage but I used to back when I did. There’s absolutely nothing new about them. I have a feeling they’ve had their heyday in the US about 15-20 years ago, and now it’s the UK’s turn. People are taking this stuff way too seriously. These fads come and they go, and there’s absolutely nothing profound or eerie to them. It’s simply entertainment.

By the way, I’ve noticed that very smart people often have extremely plebeian tastes in entertainment. I recently stunned my analyst with the disclosure that I love rap music. He said he didn’t expect this from a literature professor who speaks a ton of languages and is interested in Basque literature. And I didn’t even mention my obsession with Dr Phil and serial killer novels.

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9 thoughts on “NYTimes: ‘Love Island’ and the Sexual Anxieties of Modern Britain”

  1. I recently stunned my analyst with the disclosure that I love rap music. He said he didn’t expect this from a literature professor who speaks a ton of languages and is interested in Basque literature. And I didn’t even mention my obsession with Dr Phil and serial killer novels

    One doesn’t preclude the other. You don’t use your tastes to signal “intelligence” or “class” for social acceptance so why not use a different part of your brain? If he’s not surprised you need a constant stream of information, he can hardly be surprised you have disparate interests. Even I like and have interests I wouldn’t have had five years ago.

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  2. On serial killer novels: Wire in the Blood, the TV series based on the novels by Val McDermid, was absolutely awesome.

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  3. Your love of rap doesn’t surprise me at all. Good rap music is all about wordplay, metaphor, and imagery. Rap is poetry stripped of pretention in a form that is accessible to the masses. Anyone who truly loves language ought to be interested in rap, because rap at its best is a celebration of language and linguistic creativity.

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  4. “By the way, I’ve noticed that very smart people often have extremely plebeian tastes in entertainment.”

    Hey, smart lady, you got something against watching TV reruns of “Wanted: Dead or Alive” and “Kolchak: The Night Stalker”?

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  5. Love Island is a brilliant show. I am about thirteen years beyond the part of my life that involved dating, but I still love it and we watch it religiously in my household (six nights a week!). None of the people on it are the kind of people I would ever have any reason to encounter in my normal life, and watching them is just extremely entertaining and fascinating.

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    1. That’s exactly why I watch Shark Tank and Dr Phil. It’s the world I don’t inhabit and it’s very relaxing to explore it on TV. People take this kind of entertainment way too seriously. It’s just fun, that’s all.

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      1. ‘It’s just fun, that’s all.’

        Exactly. With programmes like Love Island, I think people like to intellectualise it so they feel less guilty about engaging in brainless fun. But I spend my whole life engaged in intellectual pursuits, so it doesn’t bother me to say I have a few hours of pure entertainment in my week.

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