'Love Island' comes to the U.S.: 10 things you need to know about the British reality TV sensation

Amy Kaufman, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

The most dramatic nights are ones on which the Islanders have to "re-couple," meaning they must decide whether to dump or continue dating their partner. To complicate matters further, new contestants who are sent into the villa throughout the season have been watching from home, and usually have their eye on a specific person they want to date. (This also means that casting is still open, meaning you could apply to be on the show if anyone on the first episode strikes your fancy.)

How long does it last?

The U.S. version will consist of 22 episodes produced over five weeks. That's shorter than the U.K. iteration, which typically lasts about eight weeks and has 50 episodes. The fifth season of U.K. "Love Island," by the way, began airing abroad on June 3, and it's available to watch on Hulu -- though episodes post on the streaming network roughly three weeks after playing in Europe.

Will the clothes be as skimpy as they are on the U.K. version?

On U.K. "Love Island," the women often wear bathing suits that expose their entire behinds or the underside of their breasts, while the men prance around in skintight jeggings and tighty whities. Will that fly on CBS?

"It's gonna feel like 'Love Island,'" Eilenberg promises. "We're a body-positive show. We have a cast who are proud, often, of their appearances and physical fitness. I expect they'll want to show that off. If you're in it for the visual splendor of the Islanders, there will be plenty of that."


Why do they share beds? Is there a lot of sex?

There's not that much sex on the U.K. version because everyone sleeps in the same room. Night vision cameras reveal couples kissing but don't often show much more. Occasionally, a man and a woman get to spend a night in a private room called "the Hideaway," and the morning after, they're both peppered with questions from the other Islanders about what went down behind closed doors.

While couples are expected to share beds, they aren't required to, Eilenberg notes. "I think the way that 'Love Island' plays it, that feels like a very natural part of the experience. As much as TV dating shows have a heightened element to them, part of what's driven people to like 'Love Island' so much is a question of, how do you build genuine connection?"

How drunk do they get?


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