Hip, hip

Say goodbye to summer with a look at some famous (and less-famous) ‘islands’

Published September 15, 2023

Apple didn’t startle much of anyone this week by revealing that the iPhone 15 family – including the familiar Pro, Max, and Max Pro variants – will move from the familiar, proprietary Lightning cable format to the friendlier (and more Europe-legal) USB-C connection. But all of the not-exactly-hubbub did remind us of last year’s big “innovation,” when the Pro models switched from The Notch to The Dynamic Island… which is sort of a notch that isn’t attached to the bezel, and also gets wider sometimes? (Forgive your writer, who’s still on the very-legit iPhone 13) 

Being trivia folk, what “Dynamic Island” did more than anything else was to remind us how many things were named by just taking the word “island,” slapping an adjective in front of it, and then calling it a day. So before we call it a day and go back to scrolling on our perfectly awesome, notchy OLED screen from 2021, here are a few of our favorites.

Lonely Island

It might startle all of our millennial/xennial friends to know that this comedy trio has been active for twenty-two years. Of course, you likely didn’t hear of Akiva Schaffer, Andy Samberg, and Jorma Taccone until 2005, when they were group-hired by Saturday Night Live as writers, and eventual masters of their own Digital Shorts division – which they often used to make extremely viral music videos like “Lazy Sunday,” “I’m on a Boat,” and “I Just Had Sex.” The Lonely Island hasn’t been quite as group-famous since they left SNL in 2012 – though in 2016, they did make and star in the criminally underrated Popstar (plus, you know, Samberg had that whole eight-season sitcom.)

Small Island

Inspired by her own parents’ story, novelist Andrea Levy’s 2004 masterwork explores the plight of Jamaican immigrants – even decorated war heroes – in post-WW2 London (the title refers to both Jamaica and England). “The men had been overseas, and they’d seen another life, they’d seen more opportunities than there were outside their islands,” Levy once told BBC’s World Book Club. But when they got to England, she said, “The signs were, ‘No Irish, no coloreds, no dogs.’” Small Island sold millions of copies, won a passel of international awards, and even became a BBC miniseries with Naomie Harris, David Oyelowo, and a pre-Sherlock Benedict Cumberbatch. 

Enchanted Island

This 1958 film is not on our list because it’s any kind of classic – even its lead, Jane Powell, once said, “The best thing about it was that it gave the family a great vacation in Acapulco.” No, this adaptation of a semi-autobiographical Melville novel sucks us in with its many accidentally hilarious assets: There’s the poster logline, “He dared to love a cannibal princess!” (Powell, riding out the gradual decline of her career after 1954’s Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.) There’s the fact that it was produced by someone named Benedict Bogeaus. And then there’s its soporific title song, which is definitely not the best work by The Four Lads: