I will make no bones about the fact that I watch and enjoy Love Island every evening (maybe not Fridays because I am living out – read: being unceremoniously dumped from – my own version of the show in the nearest Wetherspoon’s). I feel no shame about this – I like what I like, and that’s that.
It is a supremely trashy show, and this is the reason I like it – I enjoy bad things. I also like programmes like Naked Attraction (where people are judged on how many moles they have on their penises), Geordie Shore (where people aggressively kick in telephone boxes and regularly lose strips of kebab down their cleavage), Sex Pod (because it’s just the most ridiculous concept ever), old re-runs of Gladiators (because it makes me shout louder than any other TV show in history, and also Jet) and while I’m on a roll here, yes I sometimes even watch Teletubbies as a grown man because I find the fart noises that the Tubby Custard machine makes extremely hilarious.
What an idiot, you may justifiably think, this man is a fully-fledged dunce, a howling tank of idiocy, a square-eyed pig, a thick-headed ogre of no worth.
But ha! You’re wrong! I am extremely intelligent, it turns out – and if you too are a fan of Love Island, then so are you. And we have the science to prove it. A study in the journal Poetics found that it’s actually the smartest people that enjoy the “dumbest” movies and television shows.
Keyvan Sarkhosh, a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, says:
“At first glance, it seems paradoxical that someone should deliberately watch badly made, embarrassing, and sometimes even disturbing films and take pleasure in them.”
Of course, I wholeheartedly disagree with this, as it is all I do with my spare time – don’t even get me started on the kind of movies I enjoy. I still watch every single Van Damme film that is released, for example. We’ll leave it there.
The researchers found that a show or film “can be identified as cheap and worthless ‘trash’ and still be embraced and re-evaluated as providing positive enjoyment [...]
“At the same time, viewers attribute to trash films not just amusing/entertaining qualities, but also a positive, transgressive deviance from the cinematic mainstream, and their appreciation of these films is coupled with marked preferences for art cinema [...]
“The majority of trash film fans appear to be well-educated cultural ‘omnivores’, and they conceive of their preference for trash films in terms of an ironic viewing stance.”
Ah, this is where it all falls down I guess. There is not a single trace of an iota of irony involved in me enjoying terrible shit. I genuinely love it – there’s no contempt or mockery here. Maybe you were right about me, but you, at least you can now officially call yourself smart.
Oh well, while I’ve got you, they’re supposedly going to dump FOUR more islanders on Love Island tonight. Basically (obviously stop reading here if you’re not interested – the actual article has finished, you can go home), the two least popular housemates will go home, then the most popular boy will choose another girl to go home, and the most popular girl will chose a bloke to leave. I’m so excited I could dip my elbows in a deep fat fryer.