Rating: Not Rated
Tony Shalhoub as Adrian Monk
Bitty Schram as Sharona Fleming
Traylor Howard as Natalie Teeger
Ted Levine as Capt. Leland Stottlemeyer
Jason Gray-Stanford as Lt. Randall Disher
Life Before Monk
Natalie Teeger Profile
Dolby Digital 2.0 Sound
Running Time: 11 Hours 45 Minutes
The following is from the DVD cover:
“Television’s most brilliant detective is back, and he’s ready to battle any crime as long as it doesn’t involve germs, heights or other people! Emmy Award and Golden Globe winner Tony Shalhoub returns to DVD in all 16 third season episodes of the funny, fresh and quirky series, Monk. Rejoin Adrian Monk, the defective detective, who must overcome his obsessive-compulsive disorder and investigate the death of his wife, Trudy. Still hoping to be reinstated in the San Francisco Police Department, Monk continues to use his sharp intelligence, photographic memory and ever-present hand wipes to solve even the dirtiest cases. At his side are Captain Stottlemeyer (Ted Levine), Lieutenant Disher (Jason Gray-Stanford), Sharona Fleming (Bitty Schram) and newcomer Natalie Teeger (Traylor Howard), and together they take on some daunting opponents, including the Mafia, the FBI and a possibly murderous chimpanzee. Monk’s back on the case and better than ever in this hilarious third season, which includes five obsessive brand-new featurettes!”
Monk – The Complete Third Season is not rated.
I had never seen a single episode of Monk before getting this DVD, but I was eager to check it out. I’ve always liked Tony Shalhoub and I had heard a lot of good things about the TV series. Now having seen it, I found it to be pretty good. It wasn’t as good as the hype had led me to believe, but it was entertaining nevertheless.
Monk is one of the more unique detectives ever shown on TV. As already mentioned, he suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder. This is his greatest strength and his greatest weakness. It allows him to notice the minutest details in crime scenes and investigation work, but it also keeps him from being able to function normally. Obsessed with cleanliness, order, and symmetry, he needs a handler to get him through a normal day. Despite being a world renowned investigator, he finds himself unable to solve the mystery behind the death of his wife. This is a major subplot of the series. Fortunately, it’s not hard to pick things up and follow what’s happening at the beginning of the third season. It’s easy to get up to speed.
The supporting characters are pretty good as well. Ted Levine is entertaining as Capt. Leland Stottlemeyer. He juggles between dealing with Monk’s brilliance and the frustration of dealing with his eccentricities. (I have to admit that it was weird seeing Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs playing a cop.) Bitty Schram is also fun as Sharona Fleming, Monk’s handler. However, when Traylor Howard joins the show as Natalie Teeger, Monk’s new assistant, things get even more interesting. She pokes fun at Monk and says all the things the audience wants to say about his obsessive-compulsiveness. Finally, there’s Jason Gray-Stanford as Lt. Randall Disher. He’s the rookie, over-eager member of the investigation team, but I found him to be the least interesting of the bunch. A number of guest stars also appear on the show. Look for guest appearances by James Brolin, Brooke Adams (Shaloub’s real life wife), Mako, Faith Prince, Judge Reinhold, Carmen Electra, Scott Foley, and more.
If you like mysteries or if you’re interesting in a comedic cop show, then I think you’ll find Monk well worth checking out. You’ll probably want to start with the previous seasons if you’ve never seen it, but it’s possible to start in the middle of the series.
There are a few bonus features included on this DVD:
Favorites In this brief featurette, they ask the cast and crew what their favorite moments from the series have been.
Monk Profile Tony Shalhoub talks in depth about his character, how the show has created new phobias about hand shaking in him, and more.
Life Before Monk This is an interesting feature where the actors talk about what they think their characters did before the series ever started. They discuss their backgrounds, their personal lives, etc.
Natalie Teeger Profile Traylor Howard talks about her character and what it’s like to come on board in the middle of the series. She’s a fun character, so it’s cool to hear her talk about Teeger.
Quirks Shalhoub discusses some of Monk’s disorders and how he portrays them on the show.
The Bottom Line:
Monk is an interesting addition to a long line of TV show detectives. The mix of humor and mystery makes it worth checking out.