Friday was the first of two episodes of the highly anticipated GH Live! The ABC soap opera was going live performing today’s episode twice, back-to-back for the East Coast time zones, while the West Coast saw the episode replay.
And speaking of how anything can happen … while viewers were anxiously awaiting to see how the cast and the crew would handle performing the script and material live, (when they are so used to taping the daytime drama series weeks in advance) what no one expected was that the live feed at 3PMEST would be interrupted by ABC breaking news of the Boston Marathon bomber being handed down the verdict of the death penalty! Apparently, this national news affected those ABC Owned television station markets airing GH in that time slot including WABC New York.
Now on today’s General Hospital Live, it certainly harkened back to the golden days of the soaps when everyone was performing without a net and gave that raw feel to it. There were a few things we took note of: a few camera miscues, the tags at the end of the scenes looked like they were going to long, but that is only because they weren’t edited as usual in a taped episode. We loved William deVry (Julian) who looked like he was about to laugh after Maurice Benard (Sonny) sat him on the bar and the props went “crunch” during their confrontation scene. We also noticed that when Sam (Kelly Monaco) slapped Jake (Billy Miller) it was a stage slap, not enhanced by sound effects, as usual on a taped episode.
As for the performances, we loved Rebecca Budig as Hayden, who looked like she was having fun and so comfortable during the live show, and with tormenting Nikolas (Tyler Christopher) and Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst). It certainly looked like Michelle Stafford (Nina Clay) and Roger Howarth ( Franco) were having a good time, but can anyone guess who is at the door that is going to marry Nina? What did you think about Nina walking around with the water bottles as a faux-bouquet in her wedding dress?
Then on to the drama! Billy Miller and Kelly Monaco had a major confrontation scene as Jake and Sam that set-up the dynamic between these two characters, and then Hayden comes in with some information! Will she reveal that Jake is Jason?
And then we come to Finola Hughes (Anna), Teresa Castillo (Sabrina) and Jeffrey Vincent Parise (Carlos), who carried the emotional content of the live show. Anna gets Sabrina to call Carlos and find out his whereabouts to which Sabrina is regretful she helped Anna, but knows she did no choice.
Carlos is waiting to leave Port Charles on the pier and has a run in with Julian! But then after Julian leaves, Anna shows up with gun in hand. After a heated exchange, as Anna realizes Carlos will never pay properly for killing her beloved Duke (Ian Buchanan), Anna shoots him with bullets to the chest!
And then we came to the closing credits! And just as Frank and Ron had experience with and executed on OLTL’s live week, a former character who had been killed-off was in charge of the credit cue cards!
That honor went to Lilly Melgar (Ex-Lily Rivera), who once she got a prompt to start, began revealing the cue cards starting with GH EP Frank Valentini, which had a sketch of him on the card. That was followed by head writer Ron Carlivati, which also had a sketch of him on his cue card, and then the writing team, and then a cue card of director Larry Carpenter with a sketch of him also. Maurice Benard joined Lilly in the final seconds of the broadcast, as did Billy Miller, before the show was cut off.
Kudos to the cast and crew of General Hospital, and executive producer Frank Valentini for pulling off the first live show. It was fun to watch how it would all play out, especially given there were some built-in challenges like props to break and throw, gun shots to go off, and more! And if you did get the opportunity to watch the behind-the-scenes on the Twitter app Periscope during the commercial breaks, that was a very cool way for GH to take fans even one step further, and up close and personal to the action!
So what did you think of GH Live day one? What was your favorite part of it? What mishaps did you noticed? Watch GH Live below if you missed it, or just want to watch it again! Then weigh-in!