Taking a Chance on TVLand’s ‘First Love, Second Chance’

Do you believe in unicorn and fairy dust?  Me neither.  Do you believe in elves and wood nymphs? Same here. Nope.

So how about love?  Do you believe in love?

I don’t believe in the fantastic and I tend to be a cynic about most things, love included, but after watching the new TVLand series, First Love, Second Chance (premieres, Wednesday, March 10, 10 p.m. Eastern/Pacific), I still may not believe that unicorns exist but I know that true love does.

I see you smirking.  You’re thinking that this is some sappy show about long lost loves where people, who look like they’ve just walked off the cover of a romance novel, discover one another after years of being apart. Their eyes meet across a lush, green field. They run into each other’s arms. And then it’s off into the sunset to live happily ever after.

First Love, Second Chance ain’t that kind of show.

It is a show about six couples, who after relatively brief courtships fell in love, and who for various reasons, separated. As they went on about the business of living their lives, they never forget the relationships’ special impact on their hearts.

I know, I’m getting a little too mushy…

Here’s the deal.  These couples, many of whom have been separated for more than 20 years, have a unique opportunity to reunite for one week to see if they can rekindle the spark, or, at the very least, determine if the spark even exists after all of these years.

Our first couple Garry and Star Lynn met when he was a 17-year-old Australian exchange student living in California with the then 16-year-old’s family. It was made very clear by Star Lynn’s very strict parents that there was to be no hanky panky between the two teens.  At first they thought of one another as brother and sister, but as time progressed, sweet teen love blossomed. Star Lynn’s parents found out and banished Garry from their home.  Both teens were devastated.  All communication ceased…until, thanks to First Love, Second Chance, the two met again some 30 years later.

Garry and Star Lynn of TVLand's 'First Love, Second Chance' (photo: Courtesy of TVLand)

In the premiere episode, Star Lynn travels to Australia to meet with Garry, who is a photographer and the father of a young daughter. And he, in turn, travels to Yakima, WA, where Star Lynn resides with her 5 children and a “roommate”.  Both Star Lynn and Garry meet with their respective friends — Star with Garry’s and Garry with Star Lynn’s — who size up the “first loves”. By the way, these friends are real friends — the kind that say things you might want not want to hear but know you should.

Nightly, Star Lynn and Garry record video diaries expressing their innermost feelings about the process.  At the end of the week, they send one another a video which, in essence, is an assessment of their feelings about the relationship and where they would like for it to go if it is to go at all.

As I mentioned earlier, I’m not one for sappy sentimentality. I like the show show because it’s clear that we are dealing with adults, who, although they may long for things to work out, for that fairytale to come true, they are quite practical about the obstacles they may face and about others in their lives who might be effected by their decisions. Their approach is one of cautious abandon.

I also like this show because just when I think I have it all figured out, I am thrown a loop.  As someone who watches far too much reality TV, a surprise is rare and always welcome.

And something else, that is equally rare: I find myself smiling…and believing…

I guarantee if you give First Love, Second Chance, a chance, you will find yourself doing the same.

To check out a clip from the show, click here.

And for The Ride’s Q&A with Star Lynn, click here.


6 thoughts on “Taking a Chance on TVLand’s ‘First Love, Second Chance’

  1. I have to say I really enjoyed this show! It was so neat to see 2 people Gary and Star have such a beautiful connection after all these years. You 2 are just adorable together! There is not doubt they are sapposed to be together! You 2 really do compliment each other! I wish them the best!

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