The Radio Times logo

The Cabins is nothing like Love Island, but that's no bad thing

Apart from also being a dating show on ITV2, new series The Cabins is nothing like Love Island but that's OK, says Grace Henry.

The Cabins
Published: Wednesday, 6th January 2021 at 3:57 pm

The moment ITV announced their new dating show The Cabins would be coming to screens on January 4th, a lot of people rejoiced.


It's the 'Lockdown Love Island' or it's 'Winter Love Island' was the general response on Twitter.

Indeed I thought the same. While we might not get to see a group of sexy singletons sunning it up in Majorca or South Africa just yet, I thought this would be a nice replacement to get rid of the Love Island blues.

However, as I sat down to watch the first episode of The Cabins, I realised this couldn't be further from the truth.

Apart from it also being a dating show produced by ITV, The Cabins isn't really anything like Love Island.

Yes, you have single people looking for love, but that's just simply the recipe for any dating show.

In fact, these shows couldn't be more different when it comes to dating series.

Where Love Island gives us lavish dates on a yacht or in a safari , The Cabins really brings it back home – literally, with the show being set in the UK.

Instead of youngsters parading around in bikinis while they play bizarre games, you have The Cabins cast cosying up on the sofa and playing a board game, which, when compared to Love Island, might seem pretty basic, but in our current times is probably a lot closer to what many date nights actually look like.

Love Island Rebecca ©ITV
Love Island

If you ask me, The Cabins is more like an extended episode of Dinner Date, where you meet the person at home, however, don't get rated on a meal you cook, and get to spend the night in a posh hut for the night instead of going for a meal. (OK, so not really like it at all!)

With only one couple allowed to stay in each cabin, this series removes the drama of recoupling or mugging another Islander off, which we can't deny is usually what keeps me tuning in to Love Island each night. However, it's quite comforting to get used to watching each cabin doing their own thing.

The Cabins
The Cabins ITV

Within just 24 hours, you've already warmed to each paring, and the thought of, say, Sofia stealing Tom from Olivia and then deciding to move into their own cabin together doesn't really sit well with you, so you're not even mad at the simplistic premise, which only requires contestants to either stay another day at the cabin if they want to get to know their partner more or walk away if they don't.

To compare The Cabins to Love Island wouldn't really be fair, considering Love Island's success both in the UK and internationally.

The Cabins
The Cabins ITV

Given the current circumstances, there would be no way The Cabins could do what Love Island does. And let's face it, it'd probably not be the most enjoyable thing to watch a batch of young people jetting off to a hot country at this moment in time, so in that sense, The Cabins serves its purpose here!

It's no Love Island, but it'll do perfectly for now.


The Cabins is on ITV2 at 9pm. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide.


Sponsored content