COMMENT:

At the risk of sounding like the out-of-touch nana I clearly am, I have never seen a single episode of Love Island.

Nor did I ever watch Married At First Sight, or any of those other shows that seemingly serve to just humiliate people for cheap thrills or ratings.

But do they rate? Or do they just get a lot of noise and chat around them?

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They seem big on social media, but to truly be a success that has to equate to real numbers in the real world.

I raise this because despite it's popularity overseas, MediaWorks have canned the local version of Love Island for this year, and the British version they're running at 5pm before the news is rating dismally.

A grand total of 11,000 viewers in the coveted 25-54 age group tune into that. In terms of total viewing audience, 25 thousand people are sitting down to it.

That's a shocker. If you want to understand how bad, compare it to the other channel: TVNZ's The Chase has a total of more than 400,000 people tuning in at the same time.

So you can't argue an audience isn't there, it's just they're not choosing Love Island.

MediaWorks says they might make a local version of it in 2020. I'm not sure why they'd bother. Aren't these the anxiety-producing types of shows that prey on people's insecurities? Do we really want to reduce ourselves to this level of mindless and often cruel, reality television?

MediaWorks will argue the British version gets huge numbers online - from people streaming.

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But streaming is tricky to measure: how long did people click for; how do you profitably monetise that?

It might get the hype, but the hype has to equal dollars.

I also wonder how hypocritical we are as a society when we bang on about mental health, anxiety, body image, self worth, and yet we want to push the likes of Love Island into people's faces?

Body-beautiful, image-obsessed young people parading around seeking value in the superficial, and basing the merits of romance on how someone looks. Is that really what we want to role model?

The UK version has been accused of racial bias in the match-ups, gaslighting (emotional abuse) and portraying your classic example of Mean Girls.

The entire premise of Love Island is you either couple up, or get dumped from the show.

Way to promote self-esteem for single people!

I'd rather watch young people from all walks of life learning how to love themselves, than watch people having to parade around in a bikini and pick a set of abs to shack up with, to stay on the show.

But as I said, I'm clearly a Nana.