Monk - Season One
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He's ingenious, he's phobic, he's obsessive-compulsive. Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner "Tony Shalhoub is a riot" (TV Guide) in Monk, the show that critics are praising as "fresh, exciting and utterly original." (Chicago Tribune)Monk's hilarious, offbeat antics have made him unfit for duty but he's back as a police consultant to help out on their most baffling cases. The brilliant but neurotic Monk is now fighting crime as well as his abnormal fears of germs, cars, heights, crowds and virtually everything else known to man in "the best detective show to come along in decades." (NY Post) "Nothing on TV generated more fun than this" (LA Times) and now you can enjoy the entire first season of Monk on DVD.
- Amazon Sales Rank: #48802 in DVD
- Brand: Universal Studios
- Released on: 2004-06-15
- Rating: NR (Not Rated)
- Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
- Number of discs: 4
- Formats: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
- Original language: English
- Subtitled in: French, Spanish
- Dubbed in: Spanish
- Number of discs: 4
- Dimensions: 1.00" h x 5.50" w x 7.75" l, .78 pounds
- Running time: 563 minutes
The ranks of fictional genius gumshoes were joined by former San Francisco detective Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub) in the summer of 2002, and he is indeed a welcome addition. Cable channel USA Network introduced Monk, a bright comedy-drama series about an obsessive-compulsive sleuth drummed out of police work following the murder of his wife and a subsequent spike in his overwhelming neuroses. Once a rising star in the homicide department, the twitchy savant is still valuable to Captain Stottlemeyer (Ted Levine), who reluctantly calls on Monk to solve difficult, high-profile murders of judges, billionaires, police informants, and famous attorneys. Monk's talent for finding clues and seeing the big picture in criminal investigations makes him a force to reckon with, but his many phobias (germs, heights, asymmetry, and much, much else) aggravate Stottlemeyer and make Monk completely dependent on a long-suffering assistant, Sharona (Bitty Schram), a single mom who functions as Dr. Watson to Monk's Sherlock Holmes.
Each of the 12 episodes included in Monk: The Complete First Season is a delightful mix of clever whodunit puzzler, neurotic schtick, and deepening relationships. Among the latter, the bond between Monk and Sharona is most touching, as the platonic friends, sometimes aghast at how involved they are in each other's lives, surprise themselves with the breadth of their trust and commitment. In "Mr. Monk Goes to the Asylum," Monk is forced into a stay at a mental hospital, where a murderer has convinced him he's crazy; it's Sharona who makes her boss realize he's not. In "Mr. Monk and the Earthquake," it's Monk who rushes to Sharona's aid when he deduces that a lying friend is about to kill her. In almost every episode, Monk is confronted with a phobic limitation he must overcome in order to save the day. The question is whether he will heal enough, one day, to re-join his old squad. For the sake of Monk's winning formula and fans, one has to hope such good news never comes to pass. --Tom Keogh
Most helpful customer reviews
147 of 152 people found the following review helpful.
Off to a Strong Start
By Mark Baker - Carstairs Considers
I blew it. I didn't start watching this show until it's second season. Little did I know what I was missing.
Tony Shalhoub stars as Adrian Monk, a former police detective no longer on the force because of his obsessive-compulsive disorder and his phobias. He does still consult on some of their most bizarre cases, however. For example, how could an 800-lb. man commit murder? Why was a billionaire killed while mugging a man on a date? Did a fellow airline passenger really kill his wife? How could a man commit murder and run a marathon at the same time?
This series falls into the classic puzzle mystery genre, my personal favorite. Sometimes I have an idea why or how, but it takes the ending for me to know for sure. More often then not, I'm stumped. Along the way, we get plenty of laughs at the various situations we find Mr. Monk in. The obsessive-compulsive disorder and his fears are handled just right. They provide the clues needed and humor without being over the top or annoying.
Of course, the series is helped by its actors. Tony Shalhoub is excellent as Monk with a performance just slightly understated. He deserved his Emmy win for this season. Just as praise worthy is Bitty Schram as Monk's nurse Sharona. She mixes exasperated and compassionate while providing a strong sidekick character that doesn't get lost behind the lead. Ted Levine and Jason Gray-Stanford as the police Monk helps and Stanley Kamel as Monk's shrink are equally excellent.
The writing is sharp and manages to find humor without mocking Monk, a subtle but clear distinction.
This DVD set is great for old and new fans alike. All twelve first season episodes are present, including the previously released two-hour pilot. They're presented in widescreen and look sharp. The sound, while presented in 5.1 surround, is nothing spectacular. Still, it gets the job done. Disc four has some short extras discussing the creation of the show, obsessive-compulsive disorder, the cast and crew's obsessions, the Emmy win, and the casting of Bitty Schram and Ted Levine. I would have loved a commentary track or two and some outtakes, but they aren't to be found here.
While the extras could have been just a tad better, this set is a must have for those who love light mystery. It was nice to catch the cases I'd missed. This is one mystery show you can watch time and time again for the humor and character even if you remember how it ends.
184 of 193 people found the following review helpful.
Excellent comedy, short season
A funny show where a quirky detective is alternately helped and hindered by his obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and several phobias. The premiere was two hours long and episodes were 60 minutes long. I'm impressed that this is widescreen and DTS! Four discs and running time of 563 minutes doesn't leave much room for the extras, but I haven't been able to find much detail about the extras or their length.
Premiere: 1 & 2. Mr. Monk and the Candidate: Monk works as a private investigator after losing his job on the police department due to his psychiatric problems. Three years later, he gets a call from his old boss who needs his help to solve a murder.
3. Mr. Monk and the Psychic: Monk and a psychic stage a psychic reading to catch a murderer.
4. Mr. Monk Meets Dale the Whale gs: Adam Arkin: Monk tries to prove how a bedridden 800 pound man could have murdered a judge.
5. Mr. Monk Goes to the Carnival: Monk tries to discover who murdered a man riding on a ferris wheel.
6. Mr. Monk Goes to the Asylum: While incarcerated in a psychiatric facility, Monk learns of an unsolved murder.
7. Mr. Monk and the Billionaire Mugger: A billionaire is shot dead while supposedly mugging a couple outside a movie theater.
8. Mr. Monk and the Other Woman: While investigating the murder of a lawyer and his assistant, Monk is attracted to another woman who understands him.
9. Mr. Monk and the Marathon Man: Monk tries to find out who killed a woman during the San Francisco marathon.
10. Mr. Monk Takes a Vacation: Monk goes on vacation to the beach with Benjy and Sharona. The vacation ends when Benjy witnesses a murder.
11. Mr. Monk and the Earthquake: A man dies during an earthquake and Monk tries to prove that he was murdered.
12. Mr. Monk and the Red-Headed Stranger gs Willie Nelson: Willie Nelson (playing himself) is suspected of killing his manager.
13. Mr. Monk and the Airplane gs Tim Daly: Monk's concerns about flying doesn't keep him from investigating what he thinks might be a murder. The flight attendant is played by Monk's wife in real life, Brooke Adams.
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful.
The set was a great idea, but had problems with the Extras
By A Customer
I couldn't wait to get this set. The first thing I did was to watch the extra material. Hmmm. No sound. Well, there was the background music, but couldn't hear the voice track. There was one part of one clip where Bitty's voice came through, but otherwise nada. Amazon sent me a replacement, but it had the same problem. I went through all the episodes, and they worked. But just couldn't get a voice track out of the extra material.
Is it just me that had this problem? For me it ruined an otherwise outstanding buy.