We've already had two instalments, but the drama that is Mayo’s annual summer soap opera really cranks into life this weekend.

A bit like Love Island, the men in Green and Red land on our screens every year about this time for another will-they, won’t-they saga. So far, in every series Sam Maguire has managed to resist their advances.

Mayo winning Connacht titles became routine during James Horan’s first spell in charge - he eclipsed four straight between 2011 and 2014 and the following year his replacements Noel Connelly and Pat Holmes added another.

Across that time they featured in two All-Ireland finals and three semi-finals, losing two of the latter after replays. There was serious flirtations, but the deal was never sealed.

Love Island is a summer staple on Irish television, a bit like Mayo

That was just the warmer-upper though - the drama really ramped up during Stephen Rochford’s rollercoaster three seasons in charge. Each year they lost in Connacht to Galway and each season they had to trudge through the qualifiers looking for their perfect match.

It was these epic summer journeys, the road-trips and the script which slipped into psychological drama and then veered into thriller that captured the nation’s attention. For some Mayo were the villain, for others the hero.

That first year through the backdoor under Rochford, their progress - after a controversial start - was relatively serene, even though it still ended up with them being stood up at the altar.

They squeaked past Fermanagh thanks in part to a controversial penalty won by Aidan O'Shea, eased past Kildare and Westmeath through the backdoor before beating Tyrone and Tipperary in the All-Ireland quarter-final and semi-final respectively.

Heartache ultimately awaited after an All-Ireland final replay with Dublin, preceded by two Mayo own goals in the drawn game.

Kevin McLoughlin scores an own goal in the 2016 final

Then there was 2017, the most Mayo season there has ever been. Cruised past Sligo, beaten by Galway and diving through the backdoor again, no one quite sure where they were or what way they were headed.

Derry were eventually beaten by 11 points, but only after extra-time was required following a heart-stopping conclusion to the 70 minutes at Celtic Park.

A stuttering win over Clare ensued and then more extra-time, this time with only a point to spare over a Cork team that had showed little in the preceding games to suggest they could trouble Mayo. But that’s just where the Green Above the Red were at the time - they were sinking to everyone else’s level.

There was more could-you-believe-it action as replays were needed to get past Roscommon and Kerry before Dublin, again, awaited on the big day.

Donal Vaughan sees red

This is probably the closest Mayo have ever come to getting it over the line since they actually won the All-Ireland in 1951.

They had the game by the scruff of the neck, but they let it go - not helped by Donie Vaughan’s needless red card after Johnny Small had done enough to get himself sent off for the Dubs.

There were three games in the 2018 qualifiers too, the first two routine against Limerick and Tipp.

It was the third that was the game of the year though, losing by two points to Kildare on a sweltering summer’s night after the Lilywhites made their Newbridge or Nowhere stance.

So, to 2019. Two episodes in, as we said - an expectedly routine hammering of New York and a far less expected loss to Roscommon. The manner of defeat could have been predicted though; dominate the middle of the field, own the ball and kick wide after wide after wide.

And now James Horan takes his first steps through the backdoor of the All-Ireland qualifiers as a manager having suffered his first ever provincial loss in 13 outings. A late date on Saturday evening with Down in Newry awaits.

It’s not likely to be straightforward, but it will be interesting. Will it end happily ever after?

Follow all the football action this weekend via our live blogs on RTÉ.ie/sport and the News Now app, listen to live national commentary on RTÉ Radio 1 and watch live TV coverage of Donegal v Cavan on RTÉ2 and the RTÉ Player this Sunday from 1pm.