Love Island SA: insulting, amateur drivel at Desperation Hotel

Written by Tashi from the blog Tashi's TV on 01 Mar 2021
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Out of focus camera blurs islanders on the left.

What a terrible, soul destroying way to spend a Sunday night!! Dejected and fuming. I can't even begin to tell you how crushed I am by our abysmal Love Island South Africa.

I could never have imagined it would be as appalling as it is and as the horror sank in, I deflated into depression and literally had tears in my eyes when I went outside to cool off afterwards.

It's beyond madness that M-Net allowed such amateur rubbish to air but clearly no-one even bothered to watch it beforehand. How could that possibly happen and who's going to pay?! 

The production values are so poor and pathetic, anyone could do a better job on their cell phone! The entire premiere was infested with inexcusable sound issues in each scene. The music kept disappearing into a twilight zone of silence and that smack-worthy, unfunny, staccato voice over was so much louder than the islanders, you had to keep adjusting the volume. 

And then of course there were the jaw dropping noises of people talking in the background and overlays of islanders talking over islanders from other footage.  
And don't get me started on the blur during their group party on the first night outside. WTAF!?? Thimna's face was out of focus throughout the close-ups on her and Durang together, and those on the left hand side of the couch were smudged out.

The bad quality camera shots disrespected us all over the place and looked as if they were filmed on a 15-year-old cell phone.

The format was also severely undermined by the lack of attention to crucial details. There were no names on screen when the islanders were introduced or speaking, as there should be, and there was no story or structure because of the mangled editing.

Things lurched randomly from one scene to the next, jumping from bed-time to a phone message the next day and focusing on long-winded, boring conversations. I have no doubt there were interesting conversations to be heard but clearly no-one behind the scenes was listening.

There was no angle or point of view on anyone or anything that happened and that crazy, sharp-changing editing was an uncreative mess.
We never once got to see the house properly and there were also no subtitles when islander Ian spoke Afrikaans. 

The worst part of it all though is the unimaginative and non-diverse casting of clones. My heart sank more and more as each islander was revealed when I realised that the beautiful diversity of our country isn't going to be represented.

And it's not going to change next episode either because the new islander looks exactly the same as the others from the back.

I truly can't comprehend how it's possible that they've only cast two black people in an otherwise all-white cast. It's such a disgrace and heart-breaking because what we all need more than anything is unity and love.

This show is about love so it's the perfect series to create the ultimate multi-cultural experience for viewers and the islanders and yet they've just kicked sand in our faces instead.

I know the "love" on many reality shows can be fake but it isn't always and there are Love Islanders from international series who've gone on to successful relationships. 

This was it. An ideal opportunity to make a truly representative series that reflects South Africans in all our uniqueness but they've refused to give it to us, which is unforgivable. 

Even overseas people see it and celebrate it, like Gregg Wallace who toured South Africa for a foodie show which started on BBC Lifestyle last week.

In this pre-show interview he was asked what he learned making the series and he said: "I learned that South Africa is the most diverse country I have ever seen."

"The food, the people, the culture, the look and the feel, for that all to be one country... it just kept on surprising me over and over again."

It's such a brilliant, unique - and entertaining - phenomenon that's been completely rejected by producers Rapid Blue and M-Net.

I've been looking so forward to the show since it was first announced because I've loved the British one so it's with a very heavy heart that I have to say that our version is an offensive insult and embarrassment that I definitely WON'T be watching.

Shows in this post: Love Island South Africa

Channels in this post: M-Net


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