Everyone remembers their first time. Whether it’s a first date, first kiss or first night in the sack, those “firsts” are just as memorable as the one that all young lovers aspire to once they’ve consummated a relationship: the first day of married life.

Before that, however, the many speed bumps along the way to the altar are the biggest test for any young couple, and in the hilarious new comedy web series FIRSTS, one pair of lovebirds finds for themselves just how awkward and funny their “firsts” can be.

FIRSTS, which premiered the first 3 episodes of its 20 episode first season on Friday, August 1st (get the picture?) on its official web site and Youtube pages, stars series creator Courtney Rackley as Sally, a “type A” personality whose nerves and apprehension about all that could possibly go wrong as she embarks on her romantic pursuits outweighs any attempts she makes to keep cool under pressure.

In stark contrast to Sally is the relaxed, easy going hipster/geek Chuck (Troy Ruptash, IFC’s MARON), who, despite her overly cautious attitude, instantly falls in love with her and does everything he can to make their relationship a successful one.

FIRSTS also features guest appearances by acclaimed actors Joanna Going (currently First Lady Tricia Walker on Netflix’s HOUSE OF CARDS, and soon appearing in the upcoming DIRECTV mixed martial arts drama KINGDOM), James Shanklin (AMC’s HELL ON WHEELS), French Stewart (3RD ROCK FROM THE SUN, and the hit CBS comedy MOM), and Paul Cassell (Lifetime’s THE LOTTERY). The series’ first episode can be viewed at the embedded link located at the end of this article.

However, unlike many web series, FIRSTS is unique because each episode is helmed by different writers and directors. It’s a situation that provides ample opportunity for fresh perspectives, though it’s also one that presents many challenges on-set (more on that later).

For Rackley, her own “firsts” and the memories that came with them provided her with the perfect basis for what would become a romantic comedy all about a couple whose budding romance is filled with such milestones.

“(I) was recently out of a relationship and needed to be inspired about the process of dating, and also be reminded that no matter how quirky and crazy you are, there is always a match for you!”

Just as importantly, FIRSTS was the perfect way for her to create a professional opportunity for her to display her acting talents without waiting for the next casting call. “I wanted to work. I wanted to work “UP”! (I) wanted to work with people I respect and could learn from. I love putting stuff together, I had produced plays, short films, etc. and love being in production/rehearsal. I know a lot of talented writers/directors and it made me so happy to see it all come together. I’m sure it’s the control freak in me,” she adds.

In fact, the new perspectives that each writer and director provide, plus the varied production aesthetics found throughout the series, add incredible depth to each episode of FIRSTS. Over 200 people worked on the show’s 20 episodes. As a result of their combined talents, viewers will see that no one episode is ever quite the same as another.

Rackley feels that it’s one of the biggest things that sets FIRSTS apart from most other web series. “…Every episode has a different feel to it due to how we shot and put it together. Different writer, crew, director, camera, etc.” Despite the changes in front of and behind the camera, Rackley, Ruptash, series composer Craig Richey, film editor Kristine McPherson and line producer Matt Crabtree contributed to all 20 episodes of FIRSTS’ inaugural season.

Having worked with Ruptash in an acting class, Rackley cast her talented ensemble from her friends (as did Ruptash), and from several actors whom the series’ directors were already familiar with.

While the casting process was relatively easy, FIRSTS’ production was anything but. For Rackley, as beneficial as it was having new writers, directors and production crews working on each episode, there were just as many difficulties because of that situation.

“We shot mostly on Sundays because that’s when people were off, 12-15 hours shoots, sometimes the shoots took 2 days. And because we did not have a set crew/director, every shoot was like starting over. (Ha! I don’t recommend it!) Each week I had a new episode and spent the week tweaking the script/casting/and prepping stuff,” Rackley remembers.

Rackley did her own share of heavy lifting as production ensued on the show’s 20 episodes. “I literally just spent my days on the phone/email/Facebook until we got what we needed, whether it was a location, prop, sound guy. And Troy was helpful in bringing in some great people. I was at Target/Costco 2 times a week. I did all the meal prep/cooking, craft services, wardrobe, props, locations. Matt Crabtree did all the union paperwork, but in a lot of ways it was just me running around.”

Nevertheless, the experience of being on set and being a large part of the show’s production process was a rewarding one for Rackley. Most of all, it was a learning experience. “…Being involved in every aspect made me really appreciate all the art of film making. Starts with the writers and the script, then casting, directing, cinematography, editing and music. Every single aspect is so important so when it comes together you realize it’s because of all those parts,” she says.

It also taught Rackley that no matter how large the crew or how ambitious the scope of production, it’s important to get cast and crew on the same page when it comes to executing your creative vision.

“When you have 200 people working on something, not everyone is going to be happy with your vision, so I do think it’s important to have one person who has a clear idea of what they are trying to convey.”

Described by Rackley as “a raunchier SEX IN THE CITY, with a hint of GIRLS and reaching for LOUIE,” FIRSTS has something for every couple – or couple to be – who’s ever had their first of what they hope will be many “first times”.

For the show’s co-star and creator, her first time in charge of a major comedy web series was just as memorable, and it results in a show that’s filled with great characters in hilarious, and especially heartfelt, situations that anyone who’s ever been in love can definitely relate to.

Rackley sums up the show’s concept, and its production, this way: “This show was like the little engine that could, (and) the right people always showed up. My job was to keep asking until someone said yes. And how important attitude really is. Of course there are problems and hiccups every step of the way, and you can either get stuck on them or ask, how do we move forward from here? How do we make this unexpected change work to our benefit as best we can?”

(Note: Rackley says that the series is not currently closed-captioned, but that she’s looking into adding that feature soon.)

ON THE WEB: www.FirstsTheSeries.com

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/user/FirststheSeries

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/firststheseries

TWITTER: @FirstsTheSeries and @Crackley (Courtney Rackley)

GOOGLE PLUS: https://plus.google.com/u/0/114318379416603805489/posts

PINTEREST: http://www.pinterest.com/crackley2000/firsts-the-series/

The series’ first (enough with the puns already!) episode can be viewed here: