The American edition of popular British dating show Love Island, referred to as Love Island USA,kicked off last night. The CBS series was met with mixed reviews, which was to be expected—the original Love Island has been on air for five years, and its current season has been one of the most controversial and highly watched since its premiere. To say that the stakes were high for the U.S. version would be an understatement, but when you have a group of seriously good-looking people (hi, Yamen!) stranded together on an island in a mansion, the drama kinda just...manifests itself. Pass the popcorn, please!
Having been with the original Love Island since its 2015 premiere, fans of the show across the pond were particularly skeptical of the American take because they weren't sure that the series, which is quintessentially UK in every way, would translate. Still, they tuned in anyway and had a lot to say.
Their expectations were low from the jump.
They had a hard time dealing with the way we talk.
And they couldn't help but to make some (spot on) comparisons.
Someone get Iain Sterling on the line...please.
Minor complaints aside, the American version of the show appears to have definitely made some surprising improvements to the OG formula, notably with its diverse cast. In the past, Love Island has been widely criticized for its lack of diversity as well as for limiting the airtime of its Islanders of color. Even as recently as its current season, viewers berated the series for discriminating against now-eliminated Irish-Nigerian fan favorite Yewande Biala by not giving her proper airtime and ultimately hindering her opportunity to find love.
The CBS iteration of the show, however, seems to have addressed its predecessor's anti-blackness; there are currently four (!!) Black cast members on the series, including one self-identifying bisexual woman. And fans are pleased, to say the least.
It may be a wee bit early to call it—we're only on day one in the villa, and there are 22 drama-filled episodes left—but I think it might be safe to say that Love Island will be a success. Go 'Merica!
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