Adrian Monk
Created by Andy Breckmann

"Do you smell gas?"
(Adrian Monk)

Love it or hate it, this was the face of private eye TV in the first decade of the new millenium, a tongue wedged firmly in his cheek and all the grit of a sitcom.

In this USA Network show, which made its debut in 2002, Tony Shalhoub (TV's Wings and Stark Raving Mad) stars as ADRIAN MONK, a once brilliant, quirky homicide detective, a true master of forensic observation, battling severe psychological disorders and obsessive-compulsive tendencies in the wake of his wife's murder. Now's he's trying to make a new life, and get reinstated into the police force. And it ain't easy. Adrian's afraid of virtually everything: germs, heights, crowds, the dark... even milk (though Sharona, his reluctant full-time nurse/keeper thinks they may have turned the corner on that last one).

So Monk's in a strange limbo, not quite well, but too sharp to let go to waste. So the San Francisco Police Department keeps him on a string, calling him in on a freelance basis to consult on particularly difficult cases.

Just another damaged, haunted cop trying to jump on the bandwagon, or will this one be worth watching? It's hard to tell. The mix of comedy and violence is a little uneven. It's certainly lighter in tone than I expected, and the juxtaposition between mirth and murder is a rough blend at times. Still, because Shalhoub is such an intriguing actor, and his turn in the Coen Brothers' The Man Who Wasn't There was nothing short of riveting (which is saying something, since there were so many good performances in that flick), this is one show I'll keep watching, hoping for the best. And I have to admit I love Adrian's compulsion to "Sherlock Holmes" everyone, revealing secrets most people would rather he didn't feel obliged to blurt out. And the physical humour is very well done -- it's just not what I was expecting from the early promos.

The only thing that really bugs me about the show is the supporting cast. I do enjoy the slow burn of the long-suffering Captain Leland Stottlemeyer (Ted Levine), who have a begrudging respect for Monk's often infuriating ways, and his scenes with Monk are great fun to watch, displaying the impeccable comedic timing that has nabbed Shalboub a well-deservedl Emmy. But the rest of the cast is superfluous – Lt. Randall Disher, Stottlemeyer's second-in-command, is just a weenie with a badge (Judge Reinhold for a new millennium!) and Monk's court-appointed (or more likely, network executive-appointed) nurse/keeper/straight man Sharona is possibly the most annoying woman character on crime television since Moonlighting's Agnes DiPesto.

And those warm, cloying domestic scenes with Sharona and her kid fail to make the prickly Monk more lovable. Maybe it's me, but I don't want Monk to be quite so cute and huggable – I want to see him to drive the stuffed-shirt Captain (and the murder suspect of the week) up the friggin' wall. Hey, I like children as much as the next guy, but mother/brat combo here serves no real purpose, except to pad out occasionally underwritten episodes , and to induce cringing. And isn't it Monk who's supposed to be the annoying one?

But Sharona or not, the series has been racking up awards and nominations lately. Besides the Emmy, Shalboub recently copped a Golden Globe and a SAG award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series, and the show's writers have been nominated for a several Edgars.

Hmmm...

  • I wonder if Adrian is related to Gus Monk, another San Francisco TV eye...

UNDER OATH

  • "If you don't like MONK there's something wrong with you...the best detective show to come along in decades."
    --
    New York Post
    .
  • "Fresh, exciting and utterly original."
    --
    Chicago Tribune
    .
  • "Compulsively watchable...the most captivating character to hit the genre in years."
    --
    New York Daily News
    .
  • "An enticingly screwy and potentially addictive new crime series."
    --
    The Washington Post

THE EVIDENCE

  • "Is that the famous Adrian Monk, the living legend?"
    "If you call that living..."
    -- two cops discussing Monk

  • "Someone tried to kill my husband... and you send me the Rain Man!"
    -- another satisfied customer

TELEVISION

The pilot....The first season...The second season....

  • MONK
    (2002-06, USA Network)
    Premiere: July 12, 2002
    Created by Andrew Breckman
    Writers: Andrew Breckman, Lee Goldberg, Michael Angeli, Daniel Dratch, David Breckman, Tom Scharpling, Hy Conrad, William Rabkin, Siobhan Byrne O'Connor, James Krieg, Rick Kronberg, Timothy J. Lea, Mitch Markowitz, John Romano, Karl Schaefer, David M. Stern, Joe Toplyn
    Directed by Milan Cheylov, Adam Arkin, Stephen Cragg, Adam Davidson, Tom DiCillo, Michael Fresco, Kevin Inch, Jerry Levine, Nick Marck, Michael Nankin, Dean Parisot , Adam Shankman, Michael Spiller, Robert C. Thompson, Lawrence Trilling, Ron Underwood, Craig Zisk, Randall Zisk,
    Andrei Belgrader
    Executive producers: Andy Breckman, David Hoberman
    Original music by Jeff Beal
    A Mandeville Films Production
    1st season filmed in Toronto; subsequent seasons filmed in Santa Clarita, California. Only occasional location scenes are shot in San Francisco.
    Starring Tony Shalhoub as MONK
    With
    Bitty Schram as Sharona Fleming
    Ted Levine as Captain Stottlemeyer
    Jason Gray-Stanford as Lt. Randall Disher
    and Stellina Rusich as Trudy Monk
    Guest stars:
    Gail O'Grady, Adam Arkin, Nicholas Campbell, Sarah Silverman, John Tuturro, Tim Curry
  • "Mr. Monk and the Candidate" (July 12, 2002; 2 hour pilot).. Buy the pilot

  • Season One.. Buy the first season on DVD
  • "Mr. Monk And The Psychic" (July 19, 2002)
  • "Mr. Monk Meets Dale The Whale" (July 26, 2002)
  • "Mr. Monk Goes to the Carnival" (August 2, 2002)
  • "Mr. Monk Goes To The Asylum" (August 9, 2002)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Billionaire Mugger" (August 16, 2002)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Other Woman" (August 23, 2002)
  • "Mr. Monk And The Marathon Man" (September 13, 2002)
  • "Mr. Monk Takes a Vacation" (September 20, 2002)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Earthquake" (October 4, 2002)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Red-Headed Stranger" (October 11, 2002)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Airplane" (October 18, 2002)
    .
  • Season Two.. Buy the second season on DVD
  • "Mr. Monk Goes to School" (June 20, 2003)
  • "Mr. Monk Goes to Mexico," (June 27, 2003)
  • "Mr. Monk Goes to the Ballgame" (July 11, 2003)
  • "Mr. Monk Goes to the Circus" (July 18, 2003)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Very, Very Old Man" (July 25, 2003)
  • "Mr. Monk Goes to the Theatre" (August 1, 2003)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Sleeping Suspect" (August 8, 2003)
  • "Mr. Monk Meets the Playboy" (August 15, 2003)
  • "Mr. Monk and the 12th Man" (August 22, 2003)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Paperboy" (January 16, 2004)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Three Pies" (January 23, 2004)
  • "Mr. Monk and the TV Star" (January 30, 2004)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Missing Granny" (February 6, 2004)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Wife" (February 13, 2004)
  • "Mr. Monk Gets Married" (February 27, 2004)
  • "Mr. Monk Goes To Jail" (March 5, 2004)
    .
  • Season Three.. Buy the third season on DVD
  • "Mr. Monk Takes Manhattan" (June 18, 2004)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Panic Room25 Jun, 2004)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Blackout" (July 9, 2004)
  • "Mr. Monk Gets Fired" (July 16, 2004)
  • "Mr. Monk Meets the Godfather" (July 23, 2004)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Girl Who Cried Wolf" (July 30, 2004)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Employee of the Month" (August 6, 2004)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Game Show" (August 13, 2004)
  • "Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine" (August 20, 2004)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Red Herring" (January 21, 2005)
  • "Mr. Monk vs. the Cobra" (January 28, 2005) 3-12
  • "Mr. Monk Gets Cabin Fever" (February 4, 2005)
  • "Mr. Monk Gets Stuck in Traffic" (February 11, 2005)
  • "Mr. Monk Goes to Vegas" (February 18, 2005)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Election" (February 25, 2005)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Kid" (March 4, 2005)

  • Season Four.. Buy the fourth season on DVD
  • "Mr. Monk and the Other Detective" (July 8, 2005)
  • "Mr. Monk Goes Home Again" (July 15, 2005)
  • "Mr. Monk Stays in Bed" (July 22, 2005)"
  • "Mr. Monk and Mrs. Monk" (July 29, 2005)
  • "Mr. Monk Gets Drunk" (August 5, 2005)
  • "Mr. Monk Goes to a Wedding" (August 12, 2005)
  • "Mr. Monk Goes to the Office" (August 19, 2005)
  • "Mr. Monk and Little Monk" (August 26, 2005)
  • "Mr. Monk and Little Monk" (August 26, 2005)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Secret Santa" (December 2, 2005)"
  • "Mr. Monk Goes to a Fashion Show" (January ,2006)
  • "Mr. Monk Bumps His Head" (January 20, 2006)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Marriage" (January 27, 2006)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Big Reward" (February 3, 2006)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Astronaut" (March 3, 2006)
  • "Mr. Monk Goes to the Dentist" (March 10, 2006)
  • "Mr. Monk Gets Jury Duty" (March 17, 2006)

  • Season Five.. Buy the fifth season on DVD
  • "Mr. Monk and the Actor" (July , 2006)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Garbage Strike" (July 14, 2006)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Big Game" (July 21, 2006)
  • "Mr. Monk Can't See a Thing" (July 28, 2006)
  • "Mr. Monk, Private Eye" (August 4, 2006)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Class Reunion" (August 11, 2006)
  • "Mr. Monk Gets a New Shrink" (August 18, 2006)
  • "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert" (August 25 , 2006)
  • "Mr. Monk Meets His Dad" (November 17, 2006)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Leper" (December 22, 2006)
  • "Mr. Monk Makes A Friend" (January 19, 2007)
  • "Mr. Monk Is At Your Service" (January 26, 2007)
  • "Mr. Monk Is On The Air" (February 2, 2007)
  • "Mr. Monk Visits a Farm" (February 9, 2007)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Really, Really Dead Guy" (February 23,2007)
  • "Mr. Monk Goes to the Hospital" (March 2, 2007)

  • Season Six.. Buy the sixth season on DVD
  • "Mr. Monk and His Biggest Fan" (July 13,2007)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Rapper" (July 20, 2007)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Naked Man" (July 27, 2007)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Bad Girlfriend" (August 3, 2007
  • "Mr. Monk and the Birds and the Bees" (August 10, 2007)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Buried Treasure" (August 17, 2007)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Daredevil" (August 24, 2007)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Wrong Man" (September 7, 2007)
  • "Mr. Monk Is Up All Night" (September 14, 2007)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Man Who Shot Santa" (December 7, 2007)
  • "Mr. Monk Joins a Cult" (January 11, 2008)
  • "Mr. Monk Goes to the Bank" (January 18, 2008)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Three Julies" (January 25, 2008)
  • "Mr. Monk Paints His Masterpiece" (February 1, 2008)
  • "Mr. Monk Is on the Run (Part One)" (February 15, 2008)
  • "Mr. Monk Is on the Run (Part Two)" (February 22, 2008

  • Season Seven. Buy the seventh season on DVD
  • "Mr. Monk Buys a House" (July 18, 2008)
  • "Mr. Monk Gets Lotto Fever" (August 1, 2008)
  • "Mr. Monk Takes A Punch" (August 8, 2008)
  • "Mr. Monk Is Underwater"" (August 15, 2008)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Genius" (July 25, 2008)
  • "Mr. Monk Falls In Love"" (August 22, 2008)
  • "Mr. Monk's 100th Case" (September 5, 2008)
  • "Mr. Monk Gets Hypnotized" (September 12, 2008)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Miracle" (November 28, 2008)
  • "Mr. Monk's Other Brother" (January 9, 2009)
  • "Mr. Monk on Wheel" (January 16, 2009)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Lady Next Door" (January 23, 2009)
  • "Mr. Monk Makes the Playoffs" (January 30, 2009)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Bully"" (February 6, 2009)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Magician" (February 13, 2009)
  • "Mr. Monk Fights City Hall" (February 20, 2009)

  • Season Eight. ..Buy the seventh season on DVD
  • "Mr. Monk's Favorite Show" (August 7, 2009)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Foreign Man" (August 14, 2009)
  • "Mr. Monk and the UFO" (August 21, 2009)
  • "Mr. Monk is Someone Else" (August 28, 2009)
  • "Mr. Monk Takes the Stand"" (September 11, 2009)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Critic" (September 18, 2009)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Voodoo Curse" (September 25, 2009)
  • "Mr. Monk Goes to Group Therapy" (October 9, 2009)
  • "Happy Birthday, Mr. Monk" (October 16, 2009)
  • "Mr. Monk and Sharona" (October 23, 2009)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Dog" (October 30, 2009)
  • "Mr. Monk Goes Camping" (November 6, 2009)
  • "Mr. Monk Is the Best Man"" (November 13, 2009)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Badge" (November 20, 2009)
  • "Mr. Monk and the End (Part One)" (November 27, 2009)
  • "Mr. Monk and the End (Part Two)" (December 4, 2009)

.........

NOVELS

............

SHORT STORIES

  • "Mr. Monk and the Seventeen Steps" (December 2010, EQMM) by Lee Goldberg)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Sunday Paper" (July 2011, EQMM) by Lee Goldberg)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Open House" (January 2012, EQMM) by Lee Goldberg)
  • "Mr. Monk and the Talking Car" (June 2012, EQMM) by Lee Goldberg)
  • "Mr. Monk Sees the Light" (January 2013, EQMM) by Lee Goldberg)

DVDS

  • MR MONK AND THE CANDIDATE.. Buy on DVD
    The 2 hour pilot, originally broadcast July 12, 2002.
    .
  • MONK: SEASON ONE.. Buy on DVD
    .
  • MONK: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON.. Buy on DVD

  • MONK: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON.. Buy on DVD

  • MONK: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON.. Buy on DVD

  • MONK: THE COMPULSIVE OBSESSIVE COLLECTION.. Buy on DVD
    Comprises the first four seasons.

  • MONK: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON.. Buy on DVD

ETC.

  • Monk: The Official Episode Guide (2006; by Terry J. Erdmann and Paula M. Block) .. Buy this book

RELATED LINKS

  • The Official Monk Web Site
    Regular site updates, online Monk Mysteries to solve every week, including "One-Minute Mysteries," "See-n-Solves" and "Follow the Clues," complete episode guides, the broadcast schedule, character profiles, cast bios and video previews of upcoming episodes, a chat room, a bulletin board, plus screensavers, wallpaper, online postcards and just about anything else you can think of.

  • Monk Games
    The USA Network offers several on-line games for Monk fans
    .

  • TV Tome: Monk
    CarolT's site, part of the much larger TV Tome site.
    .
  • Mr. Monk Goes Digital
    A fansite dedicated to T. Thomas' favorite flatfoot, organized by character, with a collection of his own Monk inspired images.
    .
  • The Monk Theme Song Debate Website!
    Liz and Steve Carpenter's web site gets to the bottom of this vital issue...

  • It's All in the Game: P.I. TV Tie-Ins
    This site's page dedicated to TV tie-in eyes.

Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Thanks to CarolT for keeping me (relatively) honest.


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