weather icon Partly Cloudy

What the heck is ‘Love Island’ and why should I care?

The commercials aren’t exactly subtle.

“Get ready, America, for your new summer obsession!”

That’s the sort of hyperbole usually reserved for TV shows about hunky serial killers or trendy new places to spread avocados.

Alas, it’s neither of those.

It’s the dating series “Love Island,” and you probably have questions.

What’s “Love Island”?

Eleven singles are sent to a villa in Fiji to find love — or at least the TV equivalent of it. Every few days, newbies arrive looking to “couple up” and find a partner with whom to share a bed, the show’s mandatory sleeping arrangement. From there, it’s a game of musical mattresses. Whoever doesn’t have one leaves.

This sounds familiar.

It’s the U.S. version of the wildly popular British series that’s already spawned remakes in Australia, Belgium/the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, New Zealand, Norway, Poland and Sweden.

Wasn’t this just on?

That was the similar “Paradise Hotel,” which crashed and burned in the ratings in May after Fox rebooted it for the second time.

No, really. I swear I’ve seen this.

Perhaps you’re thinking of “Temptation Island,” which also was rebooted this year. Or possibly “Bachelor in Paradise.”

When can I watch “Love Island”?

It debuts at 8 p.m. Tuesday on CBS and will air at 8 p.m. every weekday through Aug. 7.

That seems like a lot.

It is. But the British version runs six nights a week for a couple of months.

Do Americans have the patience to watch something five nights a week?

Probably not. NBC tried that strategy with “The Jay Leno Show” in 2009, but it only lasted five months. ABC ran “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” into an early grave by airing it five nights a week at its peak. MyNetworkTV, which rose from the ashes of the WB-UPN merger, debuted in 2006 with two English-language adaptations of telenovelas, each airing five nights a week. It went so poorly that within three years, MyNetworkTV was no longer a network, having shifted to a programming service that packages reruns of shows such as “Law &Order” and “Dateline” for other stations.

It’s summer. Will anyone care about a remake of a foreign reality show?

Probably. “American Idol,” “Survivor,” “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” “Dancing with the Stars,” “Big Brother,” “American Ninja Warrior” and “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” all started as summertime air fillers based on international formats.

How big of a deal is the original?

It’s a national preoccupation capable of turning contestants into minor celebrities. Last month’s fifth season premiere was seen on 18.5 percent of all televisions in use in the U.K. The only shows to average more than that in America over the past year were “Game of Thrones,” “Sunday Night Football” and “Thursday Night Football.”

So this will be a massive hit, right?

Not necessarily. In 2014, Fox spent $50 million on a remake of “Utopia,” the latest hot new reality show from John de Mol, who created the original Dutch versions of “Big Brother” and “The Voice.” No one cared.

How’s this different from any other dating show?

The American version probably isn’t. The original, though, is kind of adorable. The accents and colloquialisms are all over the place. Scottish comedian Iain Stirling provides some cheeky narration. And there’s still something charmingly naive about many of the contestants — maybe because, unlike the U.S., Great Britain doesn’t have one reality show for approximately every 13 residents.

What kind of people are on “Love Island”?

Well, this season, the British version has a biologist, a pharmacist, a biomedical scientist turned firefighter and boxer Tommy Fury, the brother of heavyweight fighter Tyson Fury.

Do they all have fancy jobs?

There’s also sandwich maker Joe, who declared, “If I was to describe my ideal girl as a sandwich, it’d be pulled pork (and) chunky coleslaw in a nice baguette.”

Which means what exactly?

There’s honestly no telling.

So he’s the weird one?

Actually, no. That would be Anton from Scotland who, shortly after meeting the other contestants, admitted he shaves his legs, then dropped this bombshell: “Me mum usually shaves me bum for me.”



What kind of people does the CBS version have?

There are two male models, a photographer/cowboy, a self-proclaimed diva and a publicist whose celebrity crush is Liam Hemsworth.

Can I watch the British version instead?

Absolutely. The first four seasons are available on Hulu, with new episodes from the current fifth season uploaded on a roughly three-week delay.

Contact Christopher Lawrence at clawrence@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4567. Follow @life_onthecouch on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Entertainment Videos
Carl’s Donuts in Las Vegas celebrates National Cream-Filled Doughnut Day
Carl’s Donuts, a Las Vegas-based company that’s been serving the city since 1966, celebrates National Cream-Filled Doughnut Day with specialties themed to fall. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Rick Harrison of "Pawn Stars" has a new store - VIDEO
Rick Harrison, the Pawn Stars co-star and owner of Gold & Silver Pawn, talks to the Review-Journal’s John Katsilometes about his soon-to-open Rick’s Collection retail outlet of mostly mid-century masterworks at the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pok Pok Wing at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas serves Pad Thai Thamadaa - VIDEO
Because of popular request, the 1-year-old Pok Pok Wing at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas serves Pad Thai Thamadaa, with shrimp, ground pork, neither or both. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trial by Fire cocktail at the Golden Tiki in Las Vegas - VIDEO
Adam Rains, head bartender (also Grand Poobah and a few other things) at The Golden Tiki in Las Vegas, makes one of the bar’s tiki drinks, (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gordon Ramsay renovating Las Vegas steakhouse - VIDEO
Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay is preparing to re-launch his Paris Las Vegas restaurant, Gordon Ramsay Steak. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cats owners compete for top show awards
The annual Jazzy Cats event is taking place at the Rio Convention Center this weekend attracting cats owners from around the country and the world to compete for the top show awards. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Brooklyn Bowl in Las Vegas serves blackened Cajun catfish - VIDEO
Troy Remer, sous chef at Brooklyn Bowl at The Linq Promenade in Las Vegas, blackens Cajun catfish on the grill before serving it with mashed potatoes and collard greens. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Gold Encrusted Filet Mignon at Mr. Chow - VIDEO
This just may be the gold standard for the filet mignon. Mr. Chow at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas has introduced The Gold Encrusted Filet Mignon, which is coated with real 24-karat gold. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Working as a mermaid in Las Vegas - VIDEO
McKenzie Kawano works as a mermaid at the aquarium at the Silverton in Las Vegas. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pinkbox Doughnuts opens third store in Las Vegas area
Las Vegas-based Pinkbox Doughnuts, which opened its third store at 9435 W. Tropicana Ave., specializes in doughnuts such as the new Station Wagon, with Butterfinger; pink-velvet Pretty in Pink; and hybrid Glazed DoughCro Bites. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal, with image courtesy of Pinkbox Doughnuts
Starbucks brings back Pumpkin Spice early
Starbucks declares Aug. 27 the first day of fall as they make their pumpkin spice items available a full month early. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bachelor Party Fra Diavolo at Carmine’s in Las Vegas
Roberto Leon, a line cook at Carmine’s at The Forum Shops at Caesars in Las Vegas, makes Bachelor Party Fra Diavolo with eight pounds of lobster, a pound each of mussels, clams and shrimp, two pounds of pasta and two gallons of sauce. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
'American Idol' auditions in Las Vegas
“American Idol” was in Las Vegas Monday looking for singers to compete in its upcoming 2020 season. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegan part of the Harlem Globetrotters
Scooter Christensen, who grew up in Las Vegas, will play with the Harlem Globetrotters at The Orleans in Las Vegas Sunday, Aug. 25. (Mat Luschek / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MSG Sphere at The Venetian to cost $1.2B plus
Scheduled to open in 2021, it is expected to be busier than Madison Square Garden in New York. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Terra Rossa Returns To Red Rock. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Terra Rossa at Red Rock Resort is set to open on Aug. 26.
Hubert Keller’s Backyard Kitchen
Chef Hubert Keller of Fleur and Burger Bar shows off his backyard kitchen in Las Vegas. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Watermelon Mojitos and Chicken ‘N’ Watermelon ‘N’ Waffles at Yardbird Southern Table & Bar
Bartender Cassy Leedom and Chef Norberto Ortega make a Watermelon Mojito and Chicken ‘N’ Watermelon ‘N’ Waffles at Yardbird Southern Table & Bar at The Venetian in Las Vegas. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Juan’s Flaming Fajitas in Las Vegas celebrates National Fajita Day
Cook Ruben Fuentes and general manager Taylor Pulliam of Juan’s Flaming Fajitas in Las Vegas prepare steak and shrimp fajitas with the restaurant’s signature fiery treatment. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pasta Shop Ristorante serves a watermelon-shrimp salad
Pasta Shop Ristorante & Art Gallery in Henderson serves a summer salad that combines watermelon with greens, feta and shrimp. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Factory Kitchen in Las Vegas makes classic affogato
Jorge Luque, pastry chef at The Factory Kitchen at The Venetian in Las Vegas, makes affogato with two simple ingredients - house-made gelato and fresh espresso. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review Journal with image from The Factory Kitchen)
The Cereal Killerz Kitchen serves over 100 cereals
Christopher Burns, owner of The Cereal Killerz Kitchen at Galleria at Sunset mall in Henderson, makes a Milk & Cookies Shake from his more than 100 varieties of cereal. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer in Las Vegas makes a State Fair CrazyShake
Bianca Zepeva, a shaker at Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer at The Venetian in Las Vegas, makes a State Fair CrazyShake with a kettle corn rim, caramel, corn-based ice cream, popcorn brittle, crushed kettle corn, sprinkles and a cherry. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal)
Balboa Pizza Company makes Thai peanut chicken wings
Irma Perez, kitchen manager at Balboa Pizza Company at The District at Green Valley Ranch in Henderson, near Las Vegas, brines chicken wings for 24 hours before roasting and frying them and finishing them in various styles such as Thai peanut. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal)
New Venetian pool deck
Final touches are currently being added to the hotel’s main tower pool deck, which consists of five pools. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Who is Vegas Vic? (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada State Museum Director Dennis McBride explains the origins of the Vegas icon.
Slater’s 50/50 in Las Vegas serves a 4-pound Big Island Feast Burger
Cindy Sun, general manager of Slater’s 50/50 in Las Vegas, makes the Big Island Feast Burger with 2 1/2 pounds of the house bacon/beef blend, Napa-cilantro slaw, six slices of American cheese, a can of grilled Spam, six slices of chargrilled pineapple, four fried eggs and a drizzle of teriyaki and serves it with macaroni salad. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Get a first look of MSG Sphere construction in Las Vegas
Representatives of The Madison Square Garden Company give the first glimpse of progress Tuesday of the under-construction MSG Sphere — a first-of-its-kind performance venue with high-tech audio and visual capabilities.
Shark Week cupcakes at Freed’s Bakery in Las Vegas
Brittnee Klinger, a cake decorator at Freed’s Bakery in Las Vegas, makes Shark Week cupcakes with ocean-blue buttercream, fondant fins and a blood-red strawberry filling. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Fans and friends recall Elvis opening in Las Vegas
Fifty years ago on July 31st 1969, Elvis Presley opened at the International hotel in Las Vegas. He went on to do 837 consecutive sold-out shows at the property.