In case reality TV isn’t one of your guilty pleasures, season two of Love Island Australia has just kicked off. It’s exciting to see the franchise return hot off the back of Amber and Greg’s win on Love Island UK, but we’re two episodes in and I’m already getting whiffs of toxic masculinity.
The format of the show hasn’t changed: five genetically-blessed women meet five genetically-blessed men in the hopes of pairing up and becoming the fan faves who head home $50K richer.
However, it feels like the Aussie version of Love Island could have the tendency to magnify a bunch of pretty unhealthy dating habits.
Less than 20 seconds into the first episode, we’re met with the introduction of contestant Jessie who (after receiving a ‘text’ notifying her she’s going to Love Island) leaves her job at the pub, rips open her blouse and is met with a charming wolf whistle. Already off to a great start.
Later, we meet contestant Cartier, a devout Christian looking for a “family man.” Speaking to Sophie Monk prior to meeting the male contestants, she agrees that she’s the “perfect girlfriend” in a relationship. “I’ll cook, I’ll clean, I’ll look after them, I’ll put them first,” she says.
Fellow contestant Cynthia says she’s never had a boyfriend before because she finds it difficult to meet people at her age because “it’s not so much I want to tie someone down, but I want some sort of commitment.”
The rest of the female contestants somewhat echo Cynthia’s feelings and tell Monk they want to avoid “bad boys” and “cheaters,” which is apparently a tall order in 2019.
Eventually everyone gets paired up but after just a few days in, there’s already trouble in paradise.
In episode two, things quickly deteriorate between Jessie and male model Maurice after he essentially admits he’s using the show for publicity and continues to speak for her while they try and have a heart-to-heart. He tells her she’s “overthinking,” that “communication isn’t her strength,” and that she’s not “comfortable with the truth.”
Adding insult to injury, it came out in the news today that Maurice dumped his girlfriend back home to go on Love Island and didn’t even tell her he was planning on going on the show to begin with.
Sadly, it’s a similar story for Adam and Cassie who have a heated conversation that ends in tears. “You’re not the normal chick that I would go for,” Adam tells Cassie. While he admits she’s got a “sick personality,” and she’s “not a bad looking girl,” it’s clear Cassie has no time for Adam’s poor choice of words. He then tells her she’s only reacting that way because “girls blow sh*t up.”
Then there was the arrival of Irishman Eoghan, who is quickly labelled a “beast” by the boys. The intruder wastes no time kissing multiple contestants and getting his kit off during a game of Truth or Dare. In the diary room he repeatedly mentions that he’s a “man” going into a house full of “boys.”
Ahh, we’re off to a cracking start. Perhaps the contestants of Love Island Australia will eventually leave the bravado and dodgy dating habits at the door, or maybe we’re in for another one hundred episodes of just this. We’ll just have to wait and see.