Best-selling author, commentator and humor columnist Hollis Gillespie can now add “reality show participant” to her resume.
For TV Land’s new show “First Love, Second Chance” airing tomorrow night at 10 p.m., Gillespie goes back to the future, spending two weeks with a former boyfriend of hers from the mid-1980s, Chris Chaput. Each immerses themselves briefly in the other person’s world.
Chris was a world champion skateboarder in the 1980s and his free-wheeling lifestyle broke them apart. Hollis eventually settled in Atlanta with her quirky friends. He runs a skateboard company in California.
According to the promo:
Though they discover some of the old chemistry, Hollis struggles to trust Chris, whose memory has some telling lapses. For his part, Chris has concerns about Hollis’s very different lifestyle and friends. And when Hollis meets Chris’s ex-wife in California, tension between the couple escalates.
A note she posted on her Facebook page yesterday: “Hollis Gillespie is counting down to mortification.”
Her buddy Grant Henry noted that TV Land shot at The Local bar, Sister Louisa’s Church Of The Living Room art gallery and Gillespie’s home.
Henry, a local artist, has known Hollis for 15 years but has rarely heard about Chris before this. He is on the program, too, as the skeptic.
“I spent the whole time protecting her,” he said. “Hollis is a lot smarter than he is. There’s no way he could keep up with her. He felt like he was offering her something but I wasn’t so sure.”
Henry is surprised the show is even airing because it was taped at least 18 months ago. The production company taped the pilot episode and used it to sell the show to TV Land.
Gillespie agreed that her closest friends worked hard to “wreck everything,” which to her, was “fabulous!”
“My whole motto is, ‘Sure, count me in, I show up for anything!,’ ” Gillespie said. “If it works out, it works out. I’m along for the ride. I was certain nobody would see it.”
She actually said she had a great fun shooting the program, though she has no clue how excited she’ll be when she sees it on the actual TV screen. “It was more emotional than I expected,” she said. “You’re not just reconnecting with an old friend but your old self.”
Gillespie said she dated Chris when she was 17, 18 years old. He cheated on her while he was in Venezuela so she broke up with him. They stayed friends for five years, she noted. “He kept trying to get in my pants but I wasn’t going to have any of that,” she said. Once she left to study in Oxford in London, they lost touch. She moved to Atlanta 21 years ago as a flight attendant at Delta and her life has been very much here.
“I left that California life behind and never really thought about it again,” she said. “I moved on and didn’t look back. I felt like I had become a completely different person from that blond surfer girl.”
But Gillespie enjoyed her time reuniting with Chris, though she wouldn’t say if they truly got back together. (I somehow doubt it but you never know.) The minute she met him at the Local for the taping, “it was like a day hadn’t passed. We fell back into the banter we used to have… We bicker a lot on the show. It’s good natured. He’s a prototype of the weird friends I have now. He’s the original weird friend.”
Gillespie now teaches writing classes, according to her Web site www.hollisgillespie.com. Her column appears in Atlanta magazine.
“First Love, Second Chance,” TV Land, 10 p.m. Wednesday, March 31