NBC’s Reality Dating Series ‘First Dates’ Promises to Capture ‘Every Romantic and Excruciating Moment’

First Dates
Elizabeth Sisson/NBC

Home alone on a Friday night? Well, you may still be having a better time than the singletons on NBC’s entertainingly uncomfortable First Dates. The docuseries—narrated by Drew Barrymore and executive produced by Ellen DeGeneres and John Hesling (of Dragon’s Den, the British inspiration for Shark Tank)—sends two strangers to dinner at a Chicago eatery, where bad pickup lines, confessional conversations and snap judgments are on the menu…and under surveillance.

“It captures all the awkwardness, vulnerability, hilarity and hope of the first time two people meet,” says Hesling, who adds that the restaurant has “more than 50 cameras to catch every intimate, romantic and excruciating moment.” The eight-episode experiment features potential pairings of diverse ages, races and sexualities, but as we all know, common ground doesn’t always mean compatibility. Still, Hesling hopes to produce a few off-camera love connections. “At the end of each date,” he says, “they are asked the simple question: Will there be a second?”

First Dates, Series Premiere, Friday, April 7, 8/7c, NBC