Love Island is a brilliant window into a world my generation doesn't know
PUBLISHED: 16:25 11 July 2019 | UPDATED: 16:30 11 July 2019
Never watched Love Island? You could be missing out on working out how teenagers operate in 2019
Role models for girls is the focus of so much clap-trap.
To bring up sassy, confident, capable, ambitious and independent young women who steer their own course and take no truck from any one apparently demands exposure to examples of those striding through life with those qualities.
Greta Thunberg and Coco Gauff will, quite rightly, be on the dinner time chat menu around many a home dinner table as parents are guiding their daughters to aim high, think big and be heard.
But bringing up rounded human beings is about more than role models.
That's where Love Island comes in.
"What, that low-life pap?" The gush of sneers and groans from intellectual snobs about rubbish TV, full of pumped up vacuous fame-hungry wannabees whose concept of ambition stretches to the right shade of fake tan and dimensions of a trout pout, is ever-flowing on social media.
A parade of stupidity of what not to aspire to more like, they pontificate in that hoity-toity "I only watch TV for documentaries and we love David Attenborough" type of way. In many ways, yes.
But our young daughters and sons can learn a lot from this "dross TV"; about relationships, friendship, self-respect, sisterhood, brotherhood, support, what to put up with and what to call time on, dignity, genuine feelings...the list goes on.
Social media is full of snitty jibes about people's IQs who watch the programme. It's not intended to be Mastermind. It's a candid window on human behaviour and social and sexual attitudes of the generation of my children.
Without 20 and 22-year-old sons, I probably would never have seen a second. I'm glad I have, even if simply to understand how attitudes have changed.
The concept and desired outcome is vacuous, basic, coarse and horrendous from a parental point of view. I'm still trying to get my head round the shared bedrooms, 'coupled up' strangers sharing beds with all the associated fumblings, which, might, just might, lead to the 'boy', as they always refer to themselves, asking the 'girl' to be his girlfriend.
Our grandparents would be spinning.
I watch it with my younger son. His perspective is enlightening and leads to many discussions about how people treat each other, their reactions/over-reactions, manipulation and behaviour.
If I had daughters over 14, Love Island would be compulsory watching as part of their education, for all types of relationships, friendships, loyalty, right and wrong, how friendships are forged, and broken, people making poor choices, what counts as shoddy treatment, self-interest - the whole scope of human behaviour, a David Attenborough up close and personal for millennials.
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One of the 'girls,' Maura Higgins, a boxing ring girl, has been heralded as a new feminist icon by comedian Katherine Ryan for knowing what she wants, saying it and going for it.
Upfront, predatory, sexually explicit, outspoken and fiercely brimming with confidence and self-belief, she is sassy and entertaining.
If a man behaved in the same way - boxer Tommy had to push her off when she was going in for the kill - he would be condemned as abusive and made to leave the villa. Her behaviour and attitude are fascinating subjects to discuss with daughters.
The scene when cabin crew Amy gave such a mature and articulate speech about why she was walking out of the villa after being heartbroken, because she had found the love she had gone into the villa to find, but had lost it when she was dumped, but now needed to get on with her life, leaving her former coupling "cracking on" with a new girl, should be shown to our girls.
The touching male relationships are solid illustrations of kindness and support.
When dancer Curtis admitted he couldn't spell because he was dyslexic when boxer Tommy asked him to write a billet doux to the young woman he was to ask to be his girlfriend because he hadn't finished school, showed the vulnerability of both, but the trust and loyalty between the two to make it work together..
Condemning Love Island as a parade of stupidity is missing the point. Yes, there was a discussion about Barcelona being in Italy, but being ill-informed is different to being stupid.
This is about instinct, raw human behaviour, emotions and relationships in a generation that many of us parents but have no inkling about.
Those who say "I only watch documentaries" could learn a lot.
All most of us want from the NHS is to get a doctor's appointment when we need one.
What does the NHS do? Enter into a collaboration with Amazon to offer health advice through voice-activated Alexa.
In the "world first" - is it really something to be proud of? Replacing qualified face to face consultation with asking a £24.99 piece of artificial intelligence technology in your living room - the elderly, blind and others will have access health advice through the Alexa speaker.
Its aim is to ease pressure on the NHS, by adding pressure and worry to vulnerable patients who will be given information about their health worried from the NHS website.
The Department of Health call it "empowerment - giving access to "reliable, world-leading NHS advice from the comfort their home," according to Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
I call it a massive cop out and further dismantling of vital cradle to grave NHS services.