A CHRISTMAS REUNION NO ONE WANTS
‘Tis resolutely not the season for more Love Island
No one needs a Love Island Christmas Reunion. Can’t we just live with our hazy, happy memories of another summer of cracking on and coupling up? Those balmy evenings spent observing the new batch of reality stars waiting to hatch seems like a lifetime ago. Now, just like the summertime tan, our obsession with these workaday “celebrities” has faded. They have taken on the dull pallor of the discarded Christmas toy or the people you get chummy with on holiday swearing you’ll meet up back at home but then instantly ignore their friend requests.
Taking place in a country mansion, the reunion is an attempt to create a dramatic Christmas dinner party similar to the Made in
Chelsea round-table bitching sessions – minus the poached swan. As most of the summer flings have ended, the show is engineered to rehash the series’ “best bits” while addressing tabloid tales, forcing the former couples to confront each other. Having been shot in mid-November, it already feels like old news, with viewers aware that weeks after the filming, winners Jack and Dani would announce their break up via Instagram and then subsequently reconcile via another Instagram video – a conscious recoupling?
There is nothing natural or candid about this special. Any previous highlights from the series are repeated ad nauseam until all humour has been completely drained.
In the midst of all this, presenter Caroline Flack appears like the Ghost of Christmas Sadness, her tumultuous love life beginning with flashing her engagement ring to the islanders at the start of the summer to ending the year with unpleasant stories about her mental health appearing in the press, acting as a stark reminder of how crazy coupling up in the spotlight can be.
For the rest of the cast, the reunion takes on the form of a dull teen party, with the boys in the kitchen laughing about their sexual prowess and the girls in the sitting room sharing embarrassing stories. It’s up to singletons Kendall and Eyal to try to create some hope as they are coerced into kissing for the camera. With this shonky, unnecessary reunion ITV managed to turn an enjoyable, summer fling into a cold Christmas turkey.
Conscious recoupling? Jack and Dani