Monday, August 12, 2013

In case you missed it - my thoughts on 'Monk'


I realize that I am a little late to this party but I just discovered the show Monk. Looking to my imaginary spiritual advisor for guidance, I was told that if I create a blog post, it would help to atone for my sins.

I’ve spent the past two years diving into the great TV detectives – Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie’s Poirot, Columbo - when I found Monk sitting there in my Netflix streaming queue. No matter what category I looked at, there he was taunting me – in the “Top 10 for Marco” category, “Because you watched Poirot” category, “Crime Shows”, “Popular on Facebook” and just about every other category that Reed Hastings has come up with. Seriously, how did he know I couldn’t afford to miss this show?

Netflix made me do it – and I’m glad they did. Monk is funny and smart with incredibly well-written characters that defy typical detective show stereotypes. Top it off with clever plot lines and strongly written stories and Monk is the finest cop series in many a year.

The show follows the antics (and unstoppable sleuthing) of Adrian Monk, an obsessive compulsive whose conditions worsens after the death of his wife. Having left the San Francisco police department, Monk is undergoing therapy in the hopes of being reinstated. While it is painfully obvious that the obsessive detective is not ready to carry a gun, his gift for solving crimes finds him being called upon by the police as a consultant on difficult cases.

While the material is first-rate, it would not mean much without a strong cast. Tony Shaloub is both hilarious and sadly vulnerable as a man who can’t shake another person’s hand without immediately wiping his hands “clean”. His “eccentricities” are endless but if you think of someone like the aforementioned Poirot; that is par for the course in quirky detective stories. Helping out Monk is Sharona (Bitty Schram), his tough, wise-cracking nurse/assistant who happens to be the one stabilizing force in his life. We also have the excellent Ted Levine – yes, Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs – as the stoic, Captain Stottlemeyer.

If there happens to be another who has not tuned into this show over the past 11 years, please do – you will not be disappointed.  I’m in the throes of season 2 at the moment and look forward to how the show develops.

Just login into Netflix -- Reed will be happy to show you the way.