Monk is a series on USA Network that is coming to a close tonight after seven successful years. For those loyal fans out there, we will miss the obsessive-compulsive police consultant/detective. Created by Andy Breckman, Monk is a different type of police drama. It diverges from the normal archetype of cop dramas when it throws in comedy and mystery. A brief synopsis of the show: Monk was a brilliant detective until his wife, Trudy, died in a car bombing. After a mental breakdown, he was let go from the force, turning into a hermit refusing to leave his house for over three years. His earlier assistant Sharona finally convinced him to leave his house, leading to a consultant job as a PI as well as going to see a shrink.
Monk’s OCD and phobias are numbered at 312. This exact figure is known because of an episode entitled “Monk & his Biggest Fan” where Sarah Silverman complies a list of his phobias. Leave it to the hottest foul-mouth on the planet to undertake this project. Among these fears are milk, ladybugs, germs, and risk. But while some might see the fears as a negative, they are what makes Monk’s character so adept at solving crimes. His attention to detail is near-perfect and his ability to recollect minute details is amazing.
There are a lot of things that I will miss about the show. First, the interactions between Monk and the police staff like the Chief and Randy. The chief, played by Ted Levine, is a hard-ass who can tolerate only so much of Monk’s OCD. His sidekick is Randy who is just a complete doofus but simultaneously is lovable. Randy’s always good for two or three laughs per episode due to his oblivious comments about the obvious.
Next, I will miss Monk’s OCD. While some might see this as comical or a problem, I can somewhat relate. I’m not as bad as Monk (probably a 3 out of 10 whereas Monk is like a 12 out of 10). I arrange things in my room and like things organized. So I can appreciate what Shaloub’s character goes through on a daily basis. To see him freak out when someone tries to shake his hand or if something touches him is priceless.
Traylor Howard’s character Natatlie Teeger really desensitized Monk to his shortcomings. Her character really pushed him to change as a person. As a back story, Howard actually might’ve saved the show. Because of Bitty Schram leaving due to contract disputes (she was Monk’s original assistant), Howard stepped in. She was unaware of the show and wasn’t thrilled about the role but auditioned for it anyways. Andy Breckman said that he “will always be grateful to Traylor because she came in when the show was in crisis and saved our baby. We had to make a hurried replacement, and not every show survives that. I was scared to death.”
Monk’s evolution as a character has seemed to have been fast-tracked lately. He’s more daring of recent episodes and more likely to undertake tasks that would’ve otherwise scared him. Producers say that the finale will not disappoint and in the last few episodes, they’ve been opening storylines to help close out the series. While the series will end, I look forward to the reruns of the episodes. Like CSI or Law & Order, some channel is bound to pick up the series. You can catch the finale at 10 pm on USA Network.
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