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FBoy Island poster

FBoy Island

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What it’s about:

This new take on a reality dating series finds three women looking for love among 24 hot, eligible bachelors. The twist is that half of them are self-proclaimed “FBoys,” who are only there for the money … and, you know, the other thing.

Names you might know:

Comedian Nikki Glaser serves as host and comic relief (she says out loud what we’re all thinking).

Why it’s worth your time:

There’s an old saying that love is a game, but it might actually be more like a series of mini games. One of the games women have always played—for as long as courtship has existed—is the classic “Love or Sex?” It’s always better to know up front which one a guy is after, but the wily bastards have learned over time that if they pretend it’s the former, they’re much more likely to get the latter. This is the tactic of the FBoy (you can guess what the “F” stands for, though it’s kind of weird they never say it on this show, as there’s plenty of uncensored swearing), to manipulate women into sleeping with them based on the false premise that they’re interested in more.

FBoy Island cast
Courtesy HBO Max

That’s the basic idea behind FBoy Island, a reality dating show that challenges three women to separate the men from the FBoys. A beautiful tropical-island resort serves as the backdrop—and an opportunity to have the cast wear as few clothes as possible—for the competition, which starts out with 24 potential suitors. All of the men are impressive physical specimens, but only a dozen of them are there to find love. The other 12 are self-proclaimed FBoys, more interested in winning the prize money than the heart of any of the girls (I mean, let’s face it, that’s the case for a lot of the contestants on these kinds of shows, so it’s refreshing that this one flat-out admits it). The women, the host, and the audience don’t know which guys are which, so besides the enjoyment of watching the usual romantic shenanigans play out, it’s also kind of a fun, low-stakes guessing game.

The most satisfying part, though, comes after the elimination ceremony. The guys don’t just disappear, they are transported to another part of the island to wait out the rest of the competition. The nice guys travel by limo to a castle-like mansion where they get to sip piña coladas on the veranda. Meanwhile, the FBoys have to suffer the humiliation of taking the “F Bus” to “limbro,” a rustic, enclosed campsite where they are supposed to “work on themselves.” It’s as funny as it sounds.

The series is built for the female gaze (though the women are also hot and scantily clad) and has a surface-y kind of feminist “taking back our agency” theme, but it occurred to me while watching FBoy Island that society is not ready for a reverse version of this show. While the term “FBoy” is almost a backhanded compliment, I can’t think of a corresponding word for a woman that isn’t derogatory. Certainly not anything you could name a show after. But one step at a time, ladies.

The takeaway:

FBoy Island is a sexy summer treat and a fun take on a reality dating series that says the quiet parts out loud. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, so you don’t have to either.

Watch it with:

This would make for a perfect summer girls’ night watch. Make some tropical drinks, cue up a few episodes, and play along at home.

Worth noting:

HBO Max released the first five episodes all at once (just to get you properly addicted); the remaining five will come out weekly.

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