The Drama, The Villains and The Hope of the Happy Ever After – Why Love Island All Stars Had Us Hooked

After five glorious weeks, I’m sad to see Love Island All-Stars come to an end. There are no spoilers about last night’s final for those who haven’t seen it yet. I, for one, couldn’t possibly wait. As a die-hard Love Island fan, and in the words of Josh, I say that with my chest. I’ve tuned in from series one with Hannah & Jon all the way through until Love Island All-Stars.

I was beginning to think that Love Island might have just had its day, but All Stars came back with a vengeance. The producers were really producing in this series! Thankfully, I had very few evening plans while it was on, so I could plonk myself in front of the TV at 9 pm every night.

The husband “begrudgingly” joined me most nights. Listen, if the man can watch 22 men chase a ball up and down a field for 90 minutes, how can Love Island not be enjoyable to him?

It’s no secret that I am a reality TV fan. A friend once said it feels like an escape from our own reality. We can sit down at the end of a long day and forget about work or our never-ending to-do list and switch off to watch the lives of others.

I guess reality TV is today’s version of Neighbours. It’s a soap opera with a twist, the twist being that it’s based on “real” people. Although I don’t know many real people with their own agents, not personally anyway.

Just like a soap opera, it has all the elements we all love—drama, a villain and, of course, romance. We often form attachments and opinions to people on our screens based on their behaviour and whether we agree with it.

The Drama

Love Island All-Stars brought the tea, coffee and hot chocolate. Although I would love to see more everyday people, what I enjoyed about the series was that we felt like we already knew these people, and even better, they knew each other.

After months of avoiding each other, ex-couples were shockingly reunited to join friends and frenemies, while surprise bombshells came in. There were unexpected departures, breakups, makeups, tears, laughter, and everything in between, which kept the drama going.

I didn’t miss Casa Amour or the challenges that usually took place because the snog, marry, avoid, and the heart rate challenge gave us plenty of entertainment. It’s mad how we can get so attached to people we don’t even know just from watching them on TV for a few hours a week.

The Villains

When someone acts against what we think is right or pisses off someone we do like, we tend to put them in the villain category.

Every good story has to have a bad guy, whether we like it or not. You know, like the evil step mum from Snow White (don’t even get me started on the evil step mum crap! Who’s obsessed with being the fairest of them all, or the Wicked Witch of the West who wants revenge on Dorothy for offing her sister. And who could forget Daniel Cleaver from Bridget Jones’s Diary? What a dick – he lies to Bridget, cheats on her, and then breaks her heart.

For me, this season, it was Georgia Steele. At first, I was pleasantly surprised. I wasn’t particularly a fan, but I had recently watched her documentary and sympathised with her. But then she went and did what she did to Callum, and her weird vendetta against Molly put me off her.

Toby is another “villain” in my eyes, mainly for how he went about choosing Georgia and not speaking to Callum about it first. What happened to bro code? If I’m honest, if they’d done the same things to other people, I’m not sure I would have batted an eyelid. 

The Fairytale

Calum, our prince of the series, was so right when he said we all want the fairytale. Of course, we do. With a childhood fed on a diet of Disney, why wouldn’t we fully expect and need a happy ever after?

I tweeted recently that Callum & Molly were the Ross and Rachel of Love Island. I spent the entire series wishing for them to reunite. They both came across so well throughout the whole series: genuine, balanced, and just so normal. Apart from both being ridiculously good-looking, of course!

I mean, not many people could handle being in the same room as their ex, let alone being stuck in a villa together for over a month! But they did it with dignity and grace. I think this is part of the reason why I, like many others, wanted to see them back together and why I have spent the last week telling the husband, “Someone needs to tell her that the dog was Callum’s idea!!”

I wanted that “I got off the plane” and “it’s always been you” moment. Why? Well, I can’t speak for anyone else, but for me personally, I thought there was still chemistry. Was this just down to good editing? Maybe. Do I care? Not one bit.

Most of us have been brainwashed into thinking that true love conquers all. We all want to see a happy ending because if we see it work out for other people, we can believe it can happen for us too, just like Ross and Rachel from Friends, Big and Carrie from Sex and the City, and of course, Noah and Allie from The Notebook.

Creating Connection through Chaos

Love em or hate em, programs like Love Island bring people together. In the kitchen at work, on the group WhatsApp chats and even online – My nights of furiously checking Twitter to see if other viewers agree that Georgia H does like Anton but she has just been hurt and if anyone else wishes they had put Jon from series one back in are sadly over.

It would be great if they bring back the “real” reality TV shows where normal people with ordinary lives take part. Remember ‘My Mum, Your Dad’? That’s what I’m talking about. The new cast from the last few series are all over Instagram and TikTok, but we’re looking for unknowns, underdogs, and the real deal to fill the Love Island-shaped hole in our lives.

Thank god MAFS is coming back soon!

Who were your Love Island All-Stars villains? Were you rooting for a romantic “Cally” reunion? Let me know in the comments!

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