Opinion | ‘Love Island’ Is a Lesson in Surveillance

“Love Island” is a reality show that can be roughly described as a cross between “The Bachelor” and the Stanford Prison Experiment.

Now in its fifth season in Britain, it is one of the highest-rated prime-time television programs in the country. Millions of viewers tune in six days a week for an unrelenting barrage of relationship drama recorded from every possible angle, using as many as 73 cameras and countless hidden microphones to capture it all.

It was only a matter of time before this sensation would be exported to the United States, and an American version will premiere Tuesday night on CBS.

Here’s the premise: Women and men are paired off and corralled inside a luxury villa on a beautiful island (the British version takes place in Mallorca, the American version in Fiji). As the days pass, they are eliminated in a variety of ways — sometimes by audience vote, sometimes by introducing a gender imbalance that forces the contestants into a game of musical chairs, but for heterosexuality.

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