On the sofa with TV therapist Sally Baker
I love my work – I get to combine my enjoyment of reality TV with everything I’ve learnt professionally in over almost twenty years in private practice as a therapist. And then I say what I think as podcasts.
Welcome to my ‘On the Sofa’ podcasts.
You can listen to the latest of my podcasts here:
For two months of summer 2019 these podcasts will mainly focus on the human behaviour and body language of the contestants on ITVs Love Island Series 5.
Everyone who loves people watching can understand how Love Island offers insights in to how people think and feel about themselves. They may look like gods with their perfect faces and bodies but the TV series lets us see that they have the same human frailties as the rest of us mere mortals.
With the Love Island contestants their vulnerability is hidden in plain sight. The clues are in their pauses in conversation and the physical micro-indicators they make like touching their face, fiddling with their hair or if their body language is open or closed.
All these unconscious signals are expressions of their true feelings and are also tell-tale indicators of when they are lying.
All human nature is here in high-resolution. We get to watch in close-up as relationships form and develop right in front of our eyes. We also get to see the fall-out when people feel betrayed or let down too.
What we see nightly from the comfort of our sofas is usually played out in real life in private and almost always in less exotic settings!
You might think of Love Island as just trash TV, but it offers us the spark for many of the important conversations of our time especially with our young people who watch the series in their millions. That’s what I aim to prove in these podcasts.
5. Love Island: The one when the new girls arrived
Two new girls arriving in the villa created an ‘us’ and ‘them’ division between the resident girls and the newcomers. Maura and Elma were enthusiastic about choosing the boys they wanted to get to know better over dinner, and certainly made an impression on the boys.
Romances that looked as if they were going well could be shaky or even history in the very near future, and even though its the new girls who get to choose who to couple up with, the power seems to have shifted firmly to the boys.
Let’s just everyone hope everyone protects themselves at all times; that there’s no comments below the belt and that they have a clean contest.
Until then it’s time to touch gloves and go back to their corners until the bell goes!
4. Love Island: The one where there’s a lot going on
Just over a week in and Sherif has been ‘disappeared’ with no-one so far commenting on him leaving the villa. The producers are defiantly keeping the pressure on the contestants with two new girls arriving in the next episode just as boys and girls were beginning to settle down into coupledom.
This podcast also looks at why the producers may have chosen contestants who are already social media influencers or related to famous people and how that could affect their performance on Love Island.
3. Love Island: The one where we get to meet everyone
Love Island 2019 Episode 1: The first programme of a long hot summer. Great to finally hear the contestants talk for themselves and share some personal details. Knowing a little more about them immediately changes how we think and feel about them. They’re no longer just pretty or handsome but people with personalities, hopes and dreams.
Already some are more likeable than others and a lot of how we relate to the contestants will depend on if they align with our own values or not so as we find out more about them it will be interesting to see who triggers the audience to love them or loath them.
2. Love Island: Why it makes sense there are no plus-sized contestants
Richard Cowles, Love Island’s creative director has been getting flack in the press due to the lack of body diversity in the LI Series 5 contestants but I think it makes sense. Find out why in this short podcast.
1. Love Island: What do the latest rumours tell us?
Rumours about who will be taking part in Love Island Series 5 are breaking in the press every day. As are what ITV plans to do with Casa Amor, the lie detector episode and the one where the contestants get to hear what the trolls have been saying about them.
This season is going to be a tough one for ITV to get right with the challenge of making 8 weeks of exciting reality TV while the mental health of none of the contestants suffer. OFCOM will be watching their every move while we viewers will be eagerly making our own judgments about this year’s cohort.
One thing for sure though is that the rumoured contestants are going to be the most media savvy ever selected. It will be interesting to see if a more knowing bunch of contestants behave differently on the Island than previous contestants. Will they be hyper aware of how they behave knowing their every move will be judged from the comfort of our sofas?