"Monk" Mr. Monk and the Candidate: Part 1 (TV Episode 2002) Poster

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Probably the best TV show around
Blade_Le_Flambeur30 April 2003
Monk is a very funny and very good Television show. The script and direction really fill up the screen well, combining excellent situations with hysterical moments. Tony Shaloub, who won a Golden Globe for his performance is at his best here as the phobic detective solving a new murder each episode. In good support is his aid, a women who sometimes gets sick of his phobia but is still a help nonetheless. Ted Levine, who's famous for films such as Heat and Silence of the Lambs is also an honorable mention as the head of the police department. He has a nerve to his character that kind of says "I don't want your BS." Even though he's a bit skeptic to Monk's theories, he usually ends up helping out in the end. There is also a human drama side to the series, on Monk's relationship with the people and how he's coming to terms with life since his wife died (not an episode, I don't think). Personally, I don't get around to watching TV all that much, but this is a show I must watch. Very enjoyable television, excellent cast and excellent storyline. Some episodes are a bit tedious though and have had the formula done before. 9.5/10
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10/10
Best detective show ever
LivingDog13 June 2003
Best detective show ever. Tony Shalhoub is impeccable as the compulsive detective. He is able to solve crimes based on the thinest (and believable) threads of evidence. He is also able to draw you into the plot with ease - like an old friend who brings you into his trust you wait on every word.

Mr. Shalhoub is an enormously talented actor. Anything he has a role in is worth watching just to see him in it. You must watch this great program. 10+/10

-Zafoid

PS: ...sorry - I got so involved in Mr. Shalhoub's acting ability that I forgot - major kudos to the writers and supporting cast and the crew. :)

-Z
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10/10
A REFRESHING COMBO OF GOOD WRITING, GOOD ACTING, AND JUST PLAIN GOOD ENTERTAINMENT
Lv2return26 November 2002
In my opinion, Monk is one of the best shows I have seen in a long time. The main characters, detective Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub), and his friend and personal assistant, Sharona Fleming (the very talented yet underrated Bitty Schram) are very likeable and well-drawn. More importantly, the episodes are very well-written and highly amusing. I definitely recommend it.
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10/10
Gotta Watch
katlb977 October 2002
This show is awesome..I love the way it is acted out, and how out of the ordinary Monk is. I don't know if I could put up with him (the detective) irl, but its one of the most interesting shows that has been aired recently. This show has its own quirks, and is worth watching if you enjoy reading Robert Parker books. Please, watch this show so it can stay on the air.
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10/10
Monk is Brilliant
melodyc31 July 2002
Adrian Monk has OCD in the same way Superman has an allergy to Kryptonite. I LOVE Monk, and this new series underscores how what may seem a "disability" can really be a whole new, wider way of looking at the world. Naturally, he'll need a LOT of help with the disabling aspects, however.

Tony Shalhoub is perfect in this -- every nuance, every moment, every choice is 100%. His empathy with the character is profound, and rather than some quirky stereotype, his Monk is a beautiful, poetic character that will live for a longtime after the petty series characters of modern "hit" television fade away.

Bitty Schram's Sharona is a lovely, warm act of faith, and everyone -- literally everyone -- is perfectly cast.

And along with all this warmth, this is the funniest show to come along in many years.

Ignore the naysayers...watch it.
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10/10
great show. I watch every time possible. wish it were on more
jlowery_20012 February 2006
Monk is my favorite TV show. I wait for it all week until it's on Friday pm. Is it on any other network besides USA? I will watch the same shows over and over if they're on. I love the all day marathons. I spent the entire day New Years Day watching the Monk Marathon! Tony Shaloub is wonderful and so are all the other characters on the show. I love Capt. Stottlemeier, Lt. Disher, Natalee, Sherona, Dr. Kroeger---all of them. They are a perfect cast. I think I'm a "MONK" addict. My son's mother-in-law who lives out in Oergon also watches every Monk episode. She and I both try to arrange our lives around Monk, so we will be sure to see every episode. I like Tony Shaloub in any role he plays. He was excellent in "Wings" Every time I see something he's playing in I watch it. Joyce Lowery
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6/10
Over touted
=G=28 December 2003
"Monk" is a comedy-drama, with the emphasis on comedy, which tells of a San Francisco detective-savant with Sherlock Holmesian abilities and obsessive-compulsive disorder. The result is a peculiar sort of super cop who has to have a babe sidekick/babysitter to help him make it through the day. "Monk" is a lukewarm sitcom quality watch which is entertaining but something which probably will not pass the test of time in the dog-eat-dog world of television. Worth a look if the premise sound interesting but not all "that". (B-)
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I've fallen in love with Tony Shaloub
jkdohmen16 February 2003
I for one, will be heart broken if USA quits showing my favorite show. I'm usually drawn to shows like CSI - and A few comedies. MONK is the perfect mix!! The guy that

wrote the "theme" is a genius! Fits Adrian to a TEE!! It's been years since a show on TV has excited me so much. Tony is a multi - talented actor. He makes me laugh & makes me cry, & believe me, thats hard to do. Wish I could personally thank all that have their hand in this wonderfull show. Sincerely J. dohmen
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10/10
Awesome show
alientube11 July 2003
I love this series. I hope that it has a good, long run. Tony Shalhoub is awesome in this role, the writing is great, Bitty Schram is excellent as Monk's nurse. More and more of my friends are getting hip to this series and love it too. This is the only show on TV that I consistently watch and tape every week.
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9/10
Errata
guernsey-13 December 2006
The Weatherby rifle used by the assassin is not British.

Roy Weatherby, the developer of the Weatherby .300 Magnum ammunition and rifle was an American and his rifles were originally made in California, albeit some were contracted to a Japanese company for a while. Trust me in this as I own a couple Weatherbys myself. Monk, as a contemporary Sherlock Holmes, should strive for unimpeachable accuracy in technical matters. If you send me future scripts for review prior to production, I shall be happy to assist in editing such details. Other than the above I enjoy the Monk series, which my wife and I only recently have started watching. His OCD reminds me of my Dad.
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'Mr. MONK and the Hit TV Series...'
athenapolyboulos2 February 2004
Warning: Spoilers
(THE FOLLOWING MAY CONTAIN LITTLE SPOILERS) If you pick up your clothes from the floor and make sure your bed is neatly made before watching Monk, then you, too, fellow viewers, have probably fallen under the spell of this charming, quirky, witty and intelligent show. In style, it seems to be a hybrid of open-ended (both we and the detective don't know who the murderer is) and closed-ended (we and the detective know who did it and we watch the detective trap him.) Usually, Monk is more cheek-by-jowl with "Columbo" than with "Murder, She Wrote".

The subtext in the series is the mysterious, violent death of Monk's wife, Trudy, in a car bomb explosion and Monk's anguished reaction to it in the forms of obsessive-compulsive tidiness (everything in Monk's house is arranged at right angles, he continually tries to 'straighten up' crime scenes, arranges his meal dishes, glasses and salt and pepper shakers symmetrically when eating),in myriad phobias (heights, snakes, milk, germs, being touched), in odd physical rituals (he must touch parking meters in order, even when being pursued by a killer in a car!)and in his continuing need to solve his wife's murder case--something he seems unable to do.

The combination of all these traits may leave the viewer laughing out loud or near tears. We feel sympathy--and sometimes, profound empathy with Monk when he mistakenly goes to his late wife's old house, now inhabited by strangers, and tries to fix her favorite dinner to celebrate the anniversary of their meeting, or when we find out why Monk keeps his coffee table at an odd angle close to the sofa, in violation of his 'right angle principle' of the rest of the house because Trudy pulled it close to prop her feet up so a tired Monk could blissfully stretch out on the sofa with his head in her lap. We feel a connection when Monk explains murder suspect Dale the Whale's cruel taunt to him about 'bread and butter'--which was a little remark Monk and Trudy made to each other when they each walked a divergent path around an object--something that people who are close often do. These, as F. Scott Fitzgerald said, are privileged glimpses into the human heart.

The strength of Monk also lies in its cast. Tony Shaloub, Ted Levine and Bitty Schramm all have had stage experience, and that makes a better actor, in this reviewer's humble opinion. Shaloub keeps a delicate balance of canny astuteness, minute observation, prodigious memory, funny (or aggravating) foibles and a touch of poignancy in his Monk.

Levine, as Captain Stottlemeyer, often rages at Monk for his maddening ways, but also mentally genuflects to Monk for his abilities. His Stottlemeyer wishes to be merciful--he literally squirms when directly asked by a review board if Monk is fit to be reinstated on the police force. Based on Monk's abilities, he would dearly love to to say yes, but cannot. He knows that Monk isn't stable enough yet to carry a gun. Levine always makes Stottlemeyer's respect, albeit grudging, for Monk manifest.

As Monk's nurse/watchdog, Bitty Schramm's Sharona, seems at first glance to be an airhead, but then Schramm demonstrates that her character is nothing of the kind. Sharona's tolerance, understanding and alertness seem sometimes to be all that stand in the way of Monk's being committed to a mental hospital. (He does manage to end up in one in Season One's 'Mr. Monk Goes to the Asylum', but it's only for 48 hours' observation. And, of course, he solves a murder there, too.) Schramm conveys Sharona's intelligence and honesty in such scenes as her conversation with her son, Benjy, about some nude photos she posed for in a more impoverished past and that are now being used to force Monk off a case. Monk often tries her patience beyond endurance (as when he doesn't pay her) and she leaves him, but Schramm compels the belief that it's not forever.

Viewers may find Jason Gray-Stanford's Lt. Disher an annoying character. The most charitable description this reviewer can use is that Disher is inexperienced and has yet little common sense. Disher illustrates Agatha Christie's remark that fictional detectives were once required to have 'an idiot-friend' like Holmes' Dr.Watson--Disher certainly seems clueless enough to be Captain Stottlemeyer's.

Stanley Kamel's Dr.Kroger is Monk's endlessly patient psychiatrist and is quietly humorous. A possibly intriguing addition to the cast is John Turturro as Adrian's agoraphobic brother, Ambrose, who appeared in 'Mr.Monk and the Three Pies'. It will be interesting to see if this character is developed.

No series bats a thousand, and Monk is no exception. But, it is consistently better, wittier and all around more interesting than much of what passes for detective drama today. Monk is close kin to the 'cozy' style mystery and has good acting and generally, good writing.

Closing on a musical note--although this reviewer has nothing against Randy Newman's music, there is a place for everything, but Monk is not the place for this music. The 'Mr. Monk and the TV Star' episode seemed to indicate, in a slyly humorous, self-spoofing way, that they will return to Jeff Beal's gentle and subtle Monk theme in the show's opening and closing. One can certainly hope.
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7/10
Like its title character, the show is good but has problems
bill_garrett15 August 2002
"Monk" is a decent new TV show. The title character is a former police detective who suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). At first I was worried that the show would milk his OCD too much for humor value and make it a mean spirited run-on joke, or that it would become too sappy with fawning sympathy for him. Thankfully, the show's writers and director have found a good middle path combining human dignity with enough humorous situations to keep it fresh and upbeat. The characters are fairly good, with two exceptions: the police chief's assistant and the weekly villains. The assistant is one-dimensional as a dunce. He's the sort of character who's funny once but unbelievable and annoying as a regular role. The weekly villains often engage too much in chewing the scenery. It's like watching Scooby Doo, where at the end the apprehended bad guy always sneers, "And I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for this crazy guy and his sexy nurse!"

The aspect of the show that's weakest in my opinion is its believability as a police procedural. Yes, I know this is character drama and not another spinoff from the Law & Order franchise, but I did see an interview with the show's creator where he said that one of the main goals of this show is to function as a clue-finding whodunnit, much like a Sherlock Holmes story. In that respect I have difficulty believing Monk's abilities. His astute eye for detail, I'll accept as a combination of him being a smart guy, a trained detective, and an OCD sufferer. But his encyclopedic knowledge of seemingly every topic that comes up in the course of evaluating evidence, I can't swallow. In addition, that preternatural genius removes some of the plot buildup. There's no increasing tension as Monk puts in legwork or research time figuring things out; he just has to see all the clues and, Bam!, he's got the answer.

On the whole, Monk is a good show. It's definitely above average for network and cable TV series. But I'm a very picky viewer (I currently watch about 5 hours/week), and after watching several episodes I find the show's shortfalls put it right at the borderline between what I think is worth watching and what is not.
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Pretty good TV movie
douglasp19 July 2002
I really liked this first episode of Monk and hope that its lasts a few years. Adrian Monk is sort of like Columbo taken to such an extreme, he is unable to function alone. Luckily, he is aided by his nurse, Sharona who sees her self as Lois Lane, but reminds me more of Sister Stevie from Father Dowling Mysteries.

Sharona is a single mom with a son who is either a genius, or just appears to be a genius because he is just smarter then all the adults in his life. Which is a pallor trick when you live in San Francisco. I would say he is probably a genius if he is that smart and attends public school.

Fans of Sci-Fi's First Wave will be pleased to find Crazy Eddie working as a mayor's aid who mistakes Oreos for homemade cookies.

Hopefully, the regular TV show will continue to be as much fun as the first movie, but with less commercials. And more Crazy Eddie.
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Great, but....
purakek16 September 2002
Monk could have been a worthy successor to Columbo (a show I liked). Despite the intrusion of Monk's OCD and the plodding investigation, the seeming complexity of the crimes committed would be the best reason many a viewer could fixate upon. Unfortunately, the solutions are a let-down. Even I figured out how the world's fattest man, who happens to be bedridden, could commit a murder some distance away, or how a fake psychic be transported to the scene of a crime when she had no knowledge of the place and was not a real psychic to begin with. Even the guys at CSI could have solved the crime in minutes. If you think about it, the crimes committed are not really weird; it's just the cops involved in it are too lazy! They have to go to Monk, who takes care of the deductions, something the regular detectives could have done in their sleep. Still, I like it. I just hope the writers could really come up with an intellectual solution worthy of the complex crimes they create.
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The zero effect, lite
chris111-131 August 2002
Moderately entertaining show whose premise is borrowed from the bill pullman/ben stiller vehicle "the zero effect". Like Darryl Zero, Adrian Monk is chock full o'nuttiness, which, supposedly, is compensated for by his almost supernatural ability to process physical evidence and instanteously process and quantify discrepancies. But that is where the similarity ends. The wimpy monk is totally dependant on his hapless nurse. More rain man than columbo, his obsessive compulsive disorder seems to be injected into story lines that writers can't seem to agree on. And unlike the fine Zero Effect with its richly drawn characters and constant allusions to Noir, this show relentlessly sticks to the low road. The most interesting aspect of this show is that ABC has decided it's a good replacment for the now cancelled "philly," a show several magnitudes of quality above Monk. Go figure.
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6/10
Didn't realize it was a TV movie...
sarastro712 June 2004
I bought this on VHS at a very reduced price because I am a great fan of Tony Shalhoub (whose vehicle this is, of course). I thought the character of Monk was very off-beat and entertaining, and his nurse Sharona was also very likable. While watching it, it never occurred to me that it was a TV movie.

But overall, the story failed to engross me; it just wasn't that interesting. I'm sorry to say it, because I am a huge fan of Shalhoub, and now I have to rate this movie a 6 out of 10, which is a shame as it has, as of this writing, an IMDB rating of a highly impressive 8.1 (!). I usually think good movies are rated too low at IMDB, but in this case I'm amazed at the high rating. The 300 people who's given this movie a 10 out of 10 must be very, very, very big Shalhoub fans!
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1/10
pilot episode for mr moron
sandcrab2772 January 2020
After this opening volley i'm chagrined as to why this show lasted 8 and a half seasons ... its simple its simple its simple .. if you pass away you should get all your money back after watching this bundle of crapola ... i am not a mr moron fan as you can probably tell ... perhaps shalhoub should have paired with his wife who is the real comedian in the family ... if you don't believe that watch every episode with brooke adams ... she has the gift ... its too bad he didn't give her the floor
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10/10
Introducing Adrian Monk
TheLittleSongbird8 July 2017
'Monk' has always been one of my most watched shows when needing comfort, to relax after a hard day, a good laugh or a way to spend a lazy weekend. "Mr Monk and the Candidate", in a way a two part pilot episode, kicks off 'Monk' and introduces us to lead character Adrian Monk.

To this day, "Mr Monk and the Candidate" (both parts) is to me among the best episodes of 'Monk'. While some 'Monk' episodes are better than others, which is true of most shows (very few shows are a case where every episode is great on a consistent level, not even other personal favourites like 'Agatha Christie's: Poirot', Granada's 'Sherlock Holmes', 'Midsomer Murders', 'Law and Order', 'Criminal Minds', 'A Touch of Frost' and even 'Inspector Morse', if we are talking about detective shows for a moment), misfires are fairly few.

One of the best things about 'Monk' has always been the acting of Tony Shalhoub in the title role, it was essential for him to work and be the glue of the show, and Shalhoub not only is that but also at his very best he IS the show. Have always loved the balance of the humour, which is often hilarious, and pathos, which is sincere and touching. It is remarkable here that for an episode that only introduces him that one likes him straight away, even with his quirks and deficiencies that could easily have been overplayed, and also that he is better developed than most titular characters of other shows at this particular stage. Who can't help love Monk's brilliant mind too?

He is very well supported by a sharp and no-nonsense but also sympathetic Bitty Schram, whose Sharona makes for a worthy and entertaining partner for Monk's sleuthing. There is always a debate at who's better between Sharona and Natalie, personally like both in their own way and consider them both attractive though as of now leaning towards Natalie as the better acted and more attentive of the two.

Also by a very amusing, and sometimes even funnier than that, Ted Levine, what a difference from his Buffalo Bill in 'The Silence of the Lambs'. Jason Gray-Stanford is not quite as entertaining, with not quite as memorable lines (only because the other three are so good that's all) but shows great chemistry with everyone and is appealing enough. The supporting cast work well.

It's not just the cast though. Another star is the writing, which is also essential to whether the show would be successful or not and succeed it does here. The mix of hilarious wry humour and tender easy-to-relate-to drama is delicately done but extremely deft, which elevates what could have been just a conventional and formulaic story to a greater level. On paper, the story may have been conventional, but even in the first half there are enough twists and turns to keep one guessing and never in a way that feels rushed that you need to rewind or bog things down that the pace becomes slow.

"Mr Monk and the Candidate" is shot in a slick and stylish way, and the music is both understated and quirky. Much prefer the jazzy Season 1 theme tune to the later "It's a Jungle Out There", which always struck me before as one of my least favourite assets of 'Monk' but has since grown on me, which should have been kept. It's all very capably directed throughout.

Overall, brilliant introduction to 'Monk'. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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10/10
Excellent beginning of a still-outstanding show
caa82125 May 2008
I've seen most of "Monk" episodes, although I didn't begin to watch until sometime after it began. I believe I've now seen nearly all of the earlier episodes via reruns, but for some reason had never seen this initial episode before.

This is my favorite program on current TV, and with the plethora of mindless reality shows and silliness such a "Deal or No Deal" and "1 vs. 100" and other "game" efforts, it is truly the proverbial "breath of fresh air."

I like seeing Gail O'Grady - anytime and in anything - and the story here was a good one with which to begin.

The really good shows seem to improve with age, even where they begin strongly, and it is true of "Monk." I, for one, am extremely grateful that they don't use the close-up filming as they did here, a distracting element detracting rather than adding to the presentation. I also like the way they have "fine tuned" the characters and their interactions in the ensuing years, and while enjoying Bitty Schram, I personally prefer Traylor Howard.

But the best indication of the real quality of this series is that, despite the many improvements made in the successive seasons, this initial effort was better than 99%+ of anything else on the tube, then or now.
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10/10
Superb
MortimerRandolph26 April 2006
This first episode of "Monk" and the next ("Part 2," originally released together with it as "MONK: The Premiere Movie") are essentially everything that television should be. As close to perfection as I have ever seen on American TV.

From here, the show could have gone up ever so slightly to be one of the greatest television series in the airwaves' history. Heck, I'll nominate it for that honor on Season One's merits alone. Alas, "Mr. Monk and the Candidate" is still the show's best episode. Directly after it comes "The Psychic," a huge step down. From there the series rose again for most of it's first season, but never as high as at its inception.

Season Two was still amiably enjoyable, but hardly great. Season Three pained me to watch. I am, of course, being harsh; but in fairness, I am being so out of the tremendous expectations this fine mystery-cop-comedy show gave me. But I can still most heartily recommend Season One to anyone I meet, and most particularly recommend this fantastic episode. It should be required viewing for anyone desiring the title 'well-rounded human being.'
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9/10
A Delieght for all ages!
tornadopark15 June 2005
Not only is monk the most hilarious mystery television show out there, it puts up a great mystery....television will never be the same, now that monk is on weekly. Monk (played by Tony Shalhoub) suffers from an extreme case of obsessive-compulsive Behavior and is also an extreme germaphobic. Monk is an ex-cop whose wife died about 5 or 6 years earlier, in a car bombing. because of that Adrian Monk suffered a complete breakdown. Ever since then his nurse Sharona Fleming,(played by Bitty Schram) has been taking care of him..... I give this TV series TWO THUMBS UP! For those who are looking for a good mystery series thats mostly clean,low profanity, funny, and most of all an intriguing series. don't miss it! 10/10
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10/10
flawless
mralldeeds10 June 2005
first, i was aiming to say few words about this amazing series in the forum..afterwards,i decided that such a still in made masterpiece must have the gratitude..which-believe me- it deserve. adrian monk..a detective who is suffering from a very mild obsessive compulsive actions but they develop to a disorder that made him on a medical suspension right after the murder of his wife...the reason that lead monk to such complications is that he is certain that he was the target of the bombing that lead to his wife's death..and guilt distorted his vision that even his genius mind can't concentrate when it comes to his wife's case... monks methods accompanied by his disorder is giving a great flavor to that amazing series..especially that sherlock holmes and Agatha christy made it very hard for others to show us more characters in the world of crimes and mystery...but monk came from nowhere with the help of the talent of tony shalhoub( or should i say mr.monk).. and no doubt that all characters -either guests or permanent- were amazing and participated very helpfully in that work... just to save you time to go and order the whole series i would like to tell you one word that describes this masterpiece.....

FLawLESS
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excellent and original
Ekittyguru21 August 2004
I fell in love with this series right from the start. I guess I can relate to Monk and his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Who isn't afraid of something? Monk has more than his fair share of fears but is forced to face them in each episode. The first season didn't do such a great job explaining how an otherwise "normal" person could be pushed over into full blown OCD after a trauma (the death of his wife, Trudy), but the second season has gone further into Adrian Monk's character. The second season's episode "Mr. Monk and the Three Pies" clears up many of the unanswered questions about Adrian's basic personality. This is also my favorite episode-so many great lines from Adrian's brother!! I don't think anyone really watches this drama for the mysteries but rather for the tragic/comic/brilliant personality of Adrian Monk.
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Smart, Funny, and Quirky comedy
bondgirl678118 August 2004
I started watching this show only last weekeend on USA and I fell in love with it. In the tradition of the Peter Seller in the Pink Panther series, Adrian Monk is a brilliant detective who is also an obsessive compulsive. After the murder of his beloved wife, Trudy, Monk is motivated to fight crime with the aid of his nurse, Sharona (Bitty Schram, who you may remember from the classic "there's no crying in baseball" scene in "League of their Own"). Excellent writing and winning performances from Tony Shaloub as the quirky Adrian Monk and Bitty Schram as Sharona. Supporting cast includes "The Silence of the Lambs" Ted Levigne as Captain Stollemeyer who has winning moments with Shaloub. I give this show an A+
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A True Original
Joe-937 August 2004
The "mysteries" each week are not as interesting as you might expect from a detective series, but the show as comedy and character study is one of the best things ever to come along in TV. Tony Shaloub is terrific, and he has wonderful chemistry with the also excellent Bitty Schram. If you have never seen the show, the first season is on DVD--but I think the best episodes came a little later, most notably the episode in which John Turturro plays his equally disturbed brother ("Mr Monk and the Three Pies"), the episode in which he goes on his first date since his wife's death ("Mr Monk and the Blackout"), and the one in which he loses his detective's license ("Mr Monk Gets Fired").
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