The American edition of popular British dating show Love Island, referred to as Love Island USA (opens in new tab),kicked off last night. The CBS series was met with mixed reviews (opens in new tab), 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 (opens in new tab)!) 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.
Student A: Did you do the homework?Student B: YesStudent A: Can I see?Student B: You can copy, but don’t make it obvious Student A:#LoveIslandUK #LoveIslandUSA pic.twitter.com/ZpuXs2ciERJuly 4, 2019
i just paused my uk love island binge for this so i hope it’s worth it #loveislandUSA pic.twitter.com/2zp6IwDclfJuly 10, 2019
I have a strong feeling #LoveIslandUSA will be trash🤷🏾♀️ but I’ll give it chance...July 3, 2019
It's gunna be a hot pile of garbage watching #LoveIslandUSA but I'm still gunna do it just see how boring Americans are #LoveIsland pic.twitter.com/98gjwK8c6IJuly 9, 2019
They had a hard time dealing with the way we talk.
me waiting for someone to say “mugged off” or “pied off” or “crack on” on @loveislandusa #LoveIslandUSA pic.twitter.com/eR2rmmOPj0July 10, 2019
UK LOVE ISLAND ONLY NOWJuly 10, 2019
Love island without the English accents #LoveIslandUSA #LoveIsland pic.twitter.com/1rMCu77ha2July 10, 2019
And they couldn't help but to make some (spot on) comparisons.
Omg I just realized how censored #LoveIslandUSA is about to be compared to the UK 😳July 10, 2019
If this isn’t just a knock off version of Sherif, Amber, Tommy, Amy and Anton. American #loveisland you’re not sleek 😂 pic.twitter.com/fAVHIAQu6DJuly 9, 2019
Someone get Iain Sterling on the line...please.
Some next BTEC even more cringe Flack #LoveIsIand #LoveIslandUSA Nah but Fr why is America like this 😩😩 pic.twitter.com/6gw5oCfETQJuly 4, 2019
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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) 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.
Two black girls? Is this real? Am I dreaming? #loveislandusa pic.twitter.com/O10nKO1D1pJuly 10, 2019
BLACK LOVE.. EPISODE ONE?? the simulation is bugging, thank you jesus #loveislandusa pic.twitter.com/4997CaZi1ZJuly 10, 2019
Hi sexyAugust 2, 2019
lmao sameeeeJuly 10, 2019
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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