David Lloyd

Frasier (1993) s02e10 – Burying a Grudge

David Lloyd wrote a John Mahoney-centric episode last season so he seems the right fit for this episode, which is about Mahoney having to bury the hatchet with his ex-partner and best friend, Lincoln Kilpatrick, as both men have long retired and experiencing health issues. David Lloyd is father of fellow “Frasier” writer Christopher Lloyd (no relation to the other Christopher Lloyd) and the episodes both have Kelsey Grammer very much in the son role… I wonder whose idea it was to have Lloyd père do the father and son episodes.

Anyway.

The episode opens with a long radio bit—and Peri Gilpin’s sole appearance—and the final punchline is only for folks who know celebrity callers Betty Comden and Adolph Green, who play a bickering couple, were a night club act, a Hollywood screenwriting duo, and Broadway lyricists. It’s a deep cut, especially when the show aired in 1994 and you couldn’t just Google.

The Mahoney plot line starts off with David Hyde Pierce asking for some emotional support; Maris is going in for some plastic surgery and would Grammer and Mahoney come along. When Grammer gets there, he discovers Mahoney’s old pal Kilpatrick, leading to he and Hyde Pierce figuring out how they can interfere; it’s pretty epical from there.

And quite good.

Mahoney’s great. It helps there’s a punchline to the conflict more than a reveal, even though it takes the combine nagging of Grammer, Hyde Pierce, and Jane Leeves to get it out of Mahoney.

Leeves has a great scene, Hyde Pierce has a great scene or two—lots of just letting Hyde Pierce do a bit but it’s such a good bit it’s a win—and Grammer’s very good at being sincere in his concerns while still annoyingly neurotic.

Nice direction from Andy Ackerman, who gives the episode a relaxed pace but never a slow one. It works quite well with the script.

Frasier (1993) s01e15 – You Can’t Tell a Crook by His Cover

Would it be a spoiler to comment on the presence of always a cop character actor Ron Dean being in a “line-up” of three people where two are cops and one’s an ex-con? It’s fun to see Dean in a slightly different context, especially since he gets a punchline (he knows about a fancy serving plate in the apartment).

The episode’s got two big set pieces, first being Frasier (Kelsey Grammer) trying to identify the “bad apple” in dad John Mahoney’s group of poker buddies. The opening has Mahoney visiting Grammer at work and Peri Gilpin just having gotten fleeced by a con artist; Grammer’s sure his Harvard degree would undoubtedly help him identify criminals so he’d never be a victim… Mahoney bets him otherwise.

So poker night is Grammer loitering around and staring at his suspects, making accusations and asking pointed questions (he’s not allowed to ask direct questions but he can do context ones). When he finally gets to his big Agatha Christie reveal, turns out he’s wrong, but also Daphne (Jane Leeves) has set up a date with the actual criminal. Mahoney forbids her to go, Grammer encourages it, Leeves tells them both to butt out.

After a quick scene with David Hyde Pierce in the coffee shop—where we learn their decaf lattes with skim milk are called “Gutless Wonders,” which is mean, yes, but also accurate if you’ve got a ginger stomach, after all—Grammer and Hyde Pierce (who’s terrified for Leeves’s safety once informed of her plans) are off to the dive bar where she’s on her date.

The script, from David Lloyd (frequent writer and co-executive producer Christopher Lloyd’s dad), has a fine sense of balance. Grammer gets a lot in the poker game sequence, ditto Mahoney, then in the bar, Leeves gets to show off her comedic skills—not slapstick or screwball this time, but dramatically—and Hyde Pierce gets this truly marvelous bit where he describes Leeves quite poetically. Lloyd’s script is jazzed, packing in a joke everywhere it can. If the jokes didn’t land, it’d be a problem. They do, so it’s endearing.

The ending, which has the Crane boys getting into trouble in the dive bar, delivers everything the concept promises and more, with a particularly nice last laugh… making the cute but nothing more end credits joke a bit of a disappointment.

But it’s a good episode, with a nice showcase for Leeves. Though it’s unfortunate we—again—don’t get to see natural buddies Gilpin and Mahoney hang out.

Wasteland 9 (August 1988)

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For lack of a better word, this issue is dippy. It’s not particularly bad–nowhere near Wasteland‘s worst–but it’s definitely dippy.

As usual, the fault tends to lie with the writers. The first story is a Close autobiographical, again scripted by Ostrander. In it, Close goes to L. Ron Hubbard for therapy. The beautiful David Lloyd art–until a way too long fencing match–makes it palatable. It’s lame.

The second story (Ostrander writing solo) is about a guy in the ghetto challenging God to a street fight; it seems a tad racist. I’m sure it’s not, but it’s not in that guilty white liberal “not racist” way. The Simpson art, however, is an absolute joy.

The final story, another one starring Close (co-scripting with Ostrander), is another flop. Messner-Loebs, usually great on art, fumbles here. Without good art, it’s inane filler.

Just like the issue itself.

CREDITS

Del & Elron; writer, John Ostrander; artist and colorist, David Lloyd; letterer, Dunina Rush. Raoul; writer, Ostrander; artist and letterer, Don Simpson; colorist, Lovern Kindzierski. Subtext Salad; writers, Del Close and Ostrander; artist and letterer, William Messner-Loebs; colorist, Kindzierski. Editor, Mike Gold; publisher, DC Comics.

Dark Horse Presents 83 (March 1994)

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Lloyd’s got a very well-illustrated story here. It’s a thriller–con artist out to murder his rich wife–told after the fact (guess what, the husband gets busted through a very Hitchcockian twist). The art’s more important than the story. Lloyd gets the tone perfect. If it were a longer piece, with more characterization, it might be more significant. As is, it’s just a fantastic little exercise.

Speaking of good art, Lopez finally improves on this installment of Buoy 77. It’s the same style, but he really gets more fluidity in his action here. It doesn’t hurt Boyd’s writing is stronger too. The writing approach is different from the second installment, more like the first (it’s no longer following one person in close third-person).

And Campbell’s wrapping up Hermes. Not as many awesome developments, just solid storytelling. The battle scene’s got some great panels this issue; very grandiose.

CREDITS

Lasting Impression; story and art by David Lloyd; lettering by Vickie Williams. Buoy 77, Part Three; story by Robert Boyd; art by Francisco Solano López; lettering by Williams. Hermes versus the Eyeball Kid, Part Eight; story by Eddie Campbell and Wes Kublick; art by Campbell, Peter Mullins and April Post; lettering by Campbell. Edited by Randy Stradley.

V for Vendetta (2005, James McTeigue)

V for Vendetta is a film made by Americans about London. I mean, I can see how it’s all right, given it’s a big budget nonsense blockbuster, but there’s something so incredibly lame in the last scene of the film–I’m going to ruin it for you–the dead people, those murdered by the evil British state, are all united with the living people as the events of the film lead them into some glorious new future. Or some nonsense.

It’s obvious and lame. The scene could have been shot so it wouldn’t have been noticeable, possibly even have been subtle… instead, it’s like the end of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang but without the joke.

There’s a lot of okay stuff about the film. Natalie Portman isn’t terrible. She isn’t any good, but she isn’t terrible. Rose Byrne would have done a great job (a rewrite would have helped too). Stephen Rea and Stephen Fry are both fantastic. John Hurt is fine. Rupert Graves is good. I’m not sure why Hugo Weaving got the part of the titular character, since it’d have been a stuntman for most of it and there’s a mask and no performance, but whatever. His voice acting is clearly dubbed in, regardless of whether he had to wear a stifling outfit.

The script’s got some awful moments–as a police procedural starring Rea in the lead, it would have been great. McTeigue’s occasionally okay. The visual style is all flash, no substance.

It’s really quite bad.

0/4ⓏⒺⓇⓄ

CREDITS

Directed by James McTeigue; written by Lilly and Lana Wachowski, based on the comic book by Alan Moore and David Lloyd; director of photography, Adrian Biddle; edited by Martin Walsh; music by Dario Marianelli; production designer, Owen Paterson; produced by Joel Silver, Grant Hill and Lilly and Lana Wachowski; released by Warner Bros.

Starring Natalie Portman (Evey), Hugo Weaving (V), Stephen Rea (Inspector Finch), Stephen Fry (Deitrich), John Hurt (Adam Sutler), Tim Pigott-Smith (Creedy), Rupert Graves (Dominic), Roger Allam (Lewis Prothero), Ben Miles (Dascomb), Sinéad Cusack (Delia Surridge), Natasha Wightman (Valerie), John Standing (Lilliman) and Eddie Marsan (Etheridge).


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