The hit reality show Love Island has returned for another season – but does the show send the right message?
The show focuses on single men and women finding relationships for a £50,000 prize. Newstalk Breakfast host Ciara Kelly thinks there’s more underneath the surface.
“Love Island reminds me of politics,” she said.
“I’m not saying the people on the show are super educated or intelligent – but it is allegiance, it is betrayal, it is people forming alliances and backstabbing.”
Ciara agreed the show simply features “good-looking people who don’t wear a lot of clothes”. Despite that, she said the reality show is like the best “psychologist’s experiment”.
“It's a better-looking Dáil,” she said.
Shane Coleman argued the show is simply “vacuous vanity”.
“The loudest message it sends out is, if you have the perfect body, that’s all that really matters,” he said.
Ciara disagreed, suggesting the show also shows that you can be “stunningly beautiful” but still face insecurities and miss the chance to find “true love”.
Host of podcast Flop Culture Fionnula Jay said viewers can enjoy Love Island if they just consume for what it is - “chewing gum and frivolous fun”.
“You have to be coming into this show with a grain of salt in your mouth and a critical eye on it,” she said.
“It's in no way reflective of real life – if you look at these people, they don’t reflect the general population of any country, town, city.”
Ms Jay said the introduction of a “winter season” of the show has “diluted” its entertainment value.
"Even the hardcore fans only want one season per year,” she said. “They won’t do it again – the ratings aren’t great.”
“The format is getting a bit stale in some ways.”
So far, the most recent season features one Irish contestant: Catherine Agbaje, a real estate agent from Dublin.
According to Ms Jay, Ms Agbaje has come across as "very genuine and funny".
"She'll go far," she said.