Let’s face it: We wanted Love Island All Stars, what we’ve got is Ex on the Beach

The most loveless Love Island villa of all time? This series is a mess


Perhaps I am simply never beating the negative allegations, but I did warn you all that I reckoned Love Island All Stars would be doomed from the start. And by warning you all I mean that I silently thought about it in my head and never said anything, but that’s kind of on you to not somehow use a sixth sense to receive the message. Love Island is simply not really the format for an All Stars edition. In contrast, RuPaul’s Drag Race arguably has the most successful All Stars spin-off in TV history and it works perfectly for that show – queens get to come back and showcase more, prove themselves, change opinion. Love Island is a show built on strangers being stuck together in a villa who then go on to a pseudo-celeb / influencer lifestyle. What more do Islanders have to showcase beyond clearly coming back for a pay check? That aside, I still saw some charm in seeing familiar faves back on my screen – but a week in, ITV has revealed their hand: This isn’t Love Island All Stars, this is Love Island: Ex on the Beach. And it’s a proper mess.

For those uninitiated with Ex on the Beach, the concept is this: A group of semi-Instagram famous young people and a mix of the usual reality TV show cast carousel arrive on a show they pretend to not know is Ex on the Beach. The format is every day or so, some of the cast get confronted with one of their exes who – in a quite camp turn of events – emerges from the sea like the creature from the heterosexual lagoon. They all then act surprised and argue a lot. Most notable arguers are the likes of Megan McKenna, who caused her usual chaos. It’s a trash show, but one I quite relished at uni for all its nonsense.

Via ITV

Love Island and Ex on the Beach operate on fundamentally different levels. Love Island portrays itself as a show that wants to genuinely help people find love and it portrays an “idealistic” approach to love, romance, dating. It’s not high brow, but it wants you to think it’s elevated. Ex on the Beach doesn’t give a fuck if you think it’s elevated or not. But with Love Island All Stars, the villa has become the shoreline from MTV’s show. The producers are clearly interested only in shoving exes in over people the cast could get connections going with. But at least with Ex on the Beach, the cast look up for a scrap and some carnage.

Love Island and Ex on the Beach operate on fundamentally different levels. Love Island portrays itself as a show that wants to genuinely help people find love and it portrays an “idealistic” approach to love, romance, dating. It’s not high brow, but it wants you to think it’s elevated. Ex on the Beach doesn’t give a fuck if you think it’s elevated or not. But with Love Island All Stars, the villa has become the shoreline from MTV’s show. The producers are clearly interested only in shoving exes in over people the cast could get connections going with. But at least with Ex on the Beach, the cast look up for a scrap and some carnage.

And I think in here is where the issue lies. Love Island All Stars was doomed from the start because Love Islanders all know each other. They move in the same circles, they go to the same events. The girls are friends with the other girls and have loyalties about who they’d date because of it, and the lads now have reputations the precede them whether that be good or bad. In short, if anything was going to happen romantically between any of this cast it literally would have already happened. So why are we treading water?

Love Island All Stars is at its best when it is Love Island: Big Brother, not Love Island: Ex on the Beach. Just let me watch these Islanders I quite like chat some nonsense together in a villa and stop with the forced romance and twists. No one fancies each other and no one wants their ex rocking up. Let’s wrap this up

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