LOVE ISLAND USA (2023)
Season 5 [Premiere]
Aired On: Peacock
Release Date: 07/18/23
Game-Show. Reality-TV. Romance.
"U.S. version of the British show 'Love Island' where a group of singles come to stay in a villa for a few weeks and have to couple up with one another."
Love Island is only as good as its islanders and more importantly their first impressions, with that being said, season 5 is off to a less than stellar offering this summer. Starting with 10 islanders (5 men and 5 women): Anna, Destiny, “Kay Kay”, Kassy, Jasmine, Leonardo, Marco, Keensan, Victor and “Bergie”. We are introduced to each and every one of them with a cringe-inducing profile introduction that generally points to the individual being either possibly insane or just not capable of anything beyond lust. I understand this isn’t Too Hot to Handle so these people can in fact mess about, but ultimately we’re supposed to root for these couples to leave together by the end and hope for the impossible “happily ever after” scenario.
The only two I could find an incentive to hope for in their unlikely success are the two non-conventionally attractive duo: “Bergie” and Victor. The rest read as if they weren’t going to try and the more we go on this journey in the villa the more it reads that these islanders, more so than ever, are extremely emotional. As the show is an always in motion series, the islanders appear to never get to take a break from the spotlight with only two days out of the week with no new episodes (Saturday features a behind the scenes, additional footage and recap) - so things can change in an instant, people come in, new couples form and others make their exit known.
The question is after a rough beginning with an initial coupling that involved “twisting” to the next person and never looking back, awkward unwanted pairings and equally awkward bonding. The singular attribute to this premiere that caused the tiniest bit of intrigue to return, was the closing moments. In these moments, an islander is eliminated on the first night (night one of all nights), who ends up being one of my people - “Bergie”, however luck so happens to have his back as he gets to reenter the villa as a “throuple”.
As far back as memory can serve, season 5 of Love Island USA is one of the weakest openings yet and that has a major factor to do with all the competition out there that just manages to cast more entertaining and less awkward people to mingle in front of the camera. If you’ve seen all the other seasons, nothing is going to stop you from watching this, but if these islanders can’t generate some interest through their actions or better yet their personalities in the next couple episodes then I’d advise parting ways.