The series has been slated by critics for being “degrading”, and it’s hard to deny that when you’re watching someone choose between potential dates based solely on their genitals.
But there’s a strange kind of satisfaction in watching the objectification we’re all subjected to every day taken to the extreme.
In each episode, three single men and three single women move into a house together.
They’re totally sequestered from the opposite sex but are all looking for love.
Looks are taken out of the equation as the men and women get to know each other and form bonds in total darkness. And, to complete the picture, they also get a clue about each other outside the darkroom: photos of their homes, or being able to check out their luggage — anything that conveys information about the single.In true reality television style, I’ll be giving each show a score based on two metrics: the amount of queer content, and to what degree that content will leave you silently begging it to end.‘s host, Paddy Mc Guinness, has said he’d like to see a gay edition of the show, but that was over two years now and we’re yet to see any sign it might actually happen.Hell, a few years ago, ITV2 aired a dating show literally called that was somehow entirely heterosexual.Even when we are included, queer contestants are often covered up in episode descriptions and the dates themselves can be unbearably cringeworthy.Meanwhile, despite featuring bisexual contestants in the past, ITV2 recently announced they wouldn’t be allowing same-sex couples on Love Island, claiming it would “take something away from the format”. I don’t pay my television license to watch heterosexuals touch each other. Between them, they featured a grand total of one queer contestant – Alice, whose defining personality trait was being a big fan of Celine Dion.Despite Channel 5 promising there would be LGBTQ representation “throughout the series”, at two dates per episode, that’s a rate of one queer date for every eleven straight dates. But there’s something about old-fashioned charm that let me see past the numbers.Just like thirty years ago, contestants on the show are sent on a date with their pick from three potential, unseen partners.The entire thing is run like a game show, and even when the rejected lonely hearts are given the boot or the date goes horribly wrong, it feels like everyone’s in on the fun.Unfortunately, once you look past all the genitals, things start to take a turn for the worst.Why is it that the dating show with the most commitment to queer representation is the one designed to garner outraged headlines?