"I can't believe you watch Love island" said Ann. And she's not the first. I guess because I'm a Latin teacher people think I'm high brow.
And up to a point I am.
Carenza who also watches Love Island says "It's vacuous and pointless but strangely fascinating "
But I think it's more than that. I think it has a timeless, epic quality.
Imagine "A Midsummer Night's Dream", but with an infinity pool.
ON ITV2, love is confusing and deluding and rewarding but so has it always been through the millennia.
And for me as a Classics teacher, the bronzed and fabulous beings on my screen recall the Greek gods. Never more than when they are duplicitous and steal a kiss behind their partner's back.
But the main way in which they differ is in their morality.
The love islanders display a clear idea of good behaviour and morality. Mainly it is around being open about who you are pursuing and clearing the air if you tread on somebody's toes.
The Greek gods indulged in prolonged deceit ( the affair of Ares and Aphrodite, even though she was married to Hephaestos). They had no interest in whether a woman consented or not ( out of many, many examples, Zeus and Europa, Apollo and Daphne). And women would seek revenge on one another like Athena on Medusa, when it was all clearly the man's fault ( Poseidons).
Nothing I have seen on this year's Love Island has touched this level of immorality.
Jack and Dani particularly, are the undisputed King and Queen (Zeus & Hera ) of the island, but none of the other bikini- clad beauties has turned Jack's head and the gracious Dani has no need to turn vengeful unlike poor Hera.So which is a better example for our times? Love Island or Classics?
I say Love Island.