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Monk: Season 2

Review by Tuxxer

I like this show. I really like this show. Adrian Monk, played by Tony Shalhoub, is a quirky, obsessive-compulsive, yet determined detective. His attention to clues is microscopic, which justifies the sometimes infinitesimal details he is able to notice without any apparent effort. Unfortunately, his eye for detail extends to every other facet of his life. Both of them. He has no social life outside the memory of his wife; and the goings-on of his personal assistant, Sharona. Bitty Schram ("There's no crying in baseball!!") plays his nurse and confidante that is the Watson to his Holmes.

The role of the skeptical cop (pretty much a requisite for any mystery series) is filled by Captain Stottlemeyer, played by Ted Levine. ("It puts the lotion on its skin, or it gets the hose again!") Stottlemeyer can benefit from Monk's 100% accurate deductions, but easily gets flustered for the exact same reason. Jason Gray-Stanford plays lieutenant Disher, who's more comic-relief. He's no genius.

I'll grant you, the series is a bit formulaic, which is going to be the case for any mystery series. A 'perfect murder' is committed. From there, the episodes fall into one of two categories. Either the identity and the motive of the killer is obvious, and the trick is to figure out how he did it; or the killer, the manner, and the motive of the murder are unsolved. I really prefer the latter. Anyway: Monk delivers. The character, and the show.

For a murder mystery series, there are plenty of comedic moments. Monk is awkward around anyone that isn't Sharona or Captain Stottlemeyer, and it shows. He puts off everyone he meets.

As I mentioned, Monk is an obsessive-compulsive. His quirks are practically a character unto themselves. It's a running gag in the show: Monk has to clean. Monk has to avoid any and all of his phobias. It makes for interesting TV, being funny and a bit sad. Monk doesn't want to be the way he is, but there's very little he can really do about it. He's also very, very sharp, and has good instincts. He goes out on thin branches sometimes, but he promises that "You'll thank me later."

Season Two has some great episodes (Mr. Monk Goes to Mexico and Mr. Monk Goes to the Theater are especially good.), and the guest stars to match. Melissa George, Glenne Headly, Gary Cole (Lumberg!), and John Turturro to name a few. The DVD has some neat special features as well. There are interviews with cast members Levine and Gray-Stanford, and with the producers. There's also a tour of the precinct that plays host to some scenes in show.

I like Monk. He doesn't have that holier-than-thou vibe you get off Jessica Fletcher. He doesn't repetitively say Excuse me, ma'am like Columbo. It's a great show. If you're a fan of Tony Shalhoub or a genuinely good mystery series, pick it up. You'll thank me later.

I give Monk Season 2 on DVD an 8 out of 10. The episodes are great, the special features are okay. It could have used a commentary or two, or perhaps an actor's bio to go with the interviews... and an actual pamphlet on the series as opposed to a catalog for more DVDs on the inside sleeve wouldn't hurt, either. All in all a very nice package.

Monk has a number of phobias. But what is Sharona afraid of?

This contest concluded on Feb 10th, 2005. Thanks for looking.

Review ©2005 MillionairePlayboy.com




 
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