As the latest reality TV show comes to an end, Gemma Lakin looks beyond the hugs, tears, bikinis and bust-ups.
With Love Island coming to a close tonight, like many I have been gripped by the no holds barred view of 12, very glamorous, single people all encouraged to couple up and get up to all sorts while being filmed 24/7 in a luxury villa in Mallorca.
We have certainly seen lots to keep us on the edge of our seats and the gossip in my office the next morning has been something I look forward to!
Does Gabby really love Marcel? Will Chris and Olivia actually stay together on the outside? How does Camilla keep her eyelashes in such perfect condition?
Whether or not you’ve been as hooked on this show as my colleagues and I, it’s obvious that ITV have found a perfect formula with Love Island that will continue to sustain the media buzz and excitement. I for one am already looking forward to seeing what will come of the next series!
But that got me thinking about the word ‘sustain’ because whilst Love Island is a classic, modern example of the latest voyeuristic TV show that keeps us coming back for more, just how sustainable is the series in terms of energy use?
Yes, they can sustain the buzz by all the outrageous behaviour of the contestants, but do shows like Love Island actually have a duty to think about more than just viewing figures?
It’s true that each contestant has been given their own personalised water bottles, which certainly cuts down on the use of plastics – and you can even buy your own personalised bottle if you so desire.
But putting up 12 contestants, the hosts and the film crew in apartments with heated pools, showers, etc. for weeks on end as well as flying then backwards and forwards from the UK, will undoubtedly consume quite a bit of energy.
I have seen solar panels on the show, but I’m not sure if these are background shots of other parts of the island or actually connected to the villa where the programme is filmed.
Which brings me back to my point about sustainability? Yes, they can sustain the buzz by all the outrageous behaviour of the contestants but do shows like Love Island, Big Brother, I’m a Celebrity, etc. actually have a duty to think about more than just viewing figures?
A rubbish idea
Does anyone remember the Channel 4 programme called Dumped from 2007?
This was a reality TV Show that attempted to get 11 contestants to live off a rubbish tip near Croydon. The ones who managed to survive the 21 days of the show, using only what they found on the dump shared a £20,000 prize.
The show was a worthy attempt at using reality TV to raise awareness about the amount of waste modern society creates. However, you can just imagine the faces of the contestants when they got to the dump and realised they were not off to some exotic location!
A background of bin bags, rubbish and recycling will never be as sexy a setting as a sunny poolside in Mallorca but at its height, it did achieve viewing figures of 2.4 million, although one of the contestants left after only three days.
And earlier this year in America, Ed Begley Jnr has been the star of a show called ‘Living with Ed’, where the Emmy-nominated star of St. Elsewhere and other series, tries to convert his wife to a greener way of living that is acceptable in modern consumer terms.
As a committed environmentalist in the Hollywood community, Begley's been driving an electric car since 1970, so one can see this almost as a personal mission for him.
But singles, emotions, swimming costumes, sex and scandal it is not!
Is it as gripping as the emotional roller coaster and scantily-clad couples of Love Island – probably not.
So, do we need a ‘Green’ Love Island – Green is certainly the colour of jealousy isn’t it – I’m just saying!
Gemma Lakin is a Marketing Specialist at Mitsubishi Electric
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