Did I like it?
When I started writing Super Detective I needed some inspiration; some input. And my local TV station just happened to start a run on the show. And I began watching almost every episode. It was a fascinating and hilarious run. The way the character Monk is written is as dramatic as it is comedic. It swings between both extremes like balancing on a sharp razor. It has a little but enduring and colorful cast which complement the entire show masterfully. Let’s go.
+ Acting. Masterclass.
Tony Shalhoub’s acting has yet to be conquered and challenged. The way he straightens his body, the way he tips objects. Keeping this consistency within all episodes is a miracle. He is not acting – he is. The way he uses his view is interesting. Especially when he is trying to look intimidating or cool. You can see a great difference between his “normal” view of insecurity and curiosity; and his attempt to ‘break’ that being in-character. I have never seen such a talent in acting. Especially considering that this is a TV show and not a Hollywood blockbuster or indie art house film. I wonder how he’d tackle new and different characters.
+ Writing. Awesome.
Writing is – most of the time – at least consistent. Shows like Supernatural or The Flash have always consistent writing. Most of the, I don’t want to say mediocre, but simply normal. (However you wanna interpret this.) But Monk never lets a character being off or off beat. Randy Disher is always a bit plain, Captain Stottlemeyer stern and sturdy. And Monk is always a living tragedy who can’t get over his insecurities and phobias. Even when the situation purely demands it. The writers managed to keep it awesome throughout the entire run. What I really aspire.
+/- Cases. Great.
This is a bit ambiguous. The first cases, maybe the first twenty or thirty, were much better than the ones that came later. Here falls the writing a bit apart. The attention to detail was much more focused and given. Later on it was simply stumbling through the plot and then there was a ‘how it happened’. One of the first cased made a runner fake running a marathon by sticking the chip to a bike. Awesome. Later on, there was a man shredded by a trash compactor/machine and that was brutal and lame. It simply got worse after each episode. (I could determine a bad plot by correctly predicting what would happen.) For example: Mr Monk Buys a House. I knew they were looking for something.
– Assistants. Why.
First Monk had Sharona. Who got angry with him, quit her job, threatened to quit a lot. Throughout the series I never really understood why he needed help. Because of tissues? He can buy groceries, he can cook, okay he can’t ride a car or use public transport. But that is all. A sidekick for the sake of a sidekick is boring. Maybe she needed to help him with formulars, or help him with his daily life. It may had a reason, but I probably didn’t get it. The same for the therapy. In Season 8 it is stated he had therapy for more than 10 years. Without any improvement of his conditions? Why is that? It doesn’t seem very useful. And the dialogue between Monk and first Chuck, then Neven, is not adding something useful to the plot. I didn’t care.
Bottom line: Tony Shalhoub should get another gig like Monk.