Sunday, December 06, 2009

Goodbye, Mr. Monk

It was with regret this week that I watched the last episode of the TV series Monk--regret in that I will be missing the show itself and regret in that I am very afraid that the high standards for non-network television set first by that show and followed by a few others will begin to slip. I like detective fiction, movies, and television, but I have often found that the "cozies" don't translate well to the screen. Tony Shalhoub, however, was surprisingly good in his portrayal of Monk. And, yes, I know the series is technically a police procedural, but you must admit that Monk has real ties to characters like Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot. Shalhoub started out as very good when the show first began a few years ago, but he created a character on screen that grew and changed and became more believable, more sympathetic, and sometimes more UNlikeable as the series progressed. The viewer saw not just a funny, obsessive-compulsive detective who always solved the crime, but a character who could be so wrapped up in his own problems that he was totally insensitive to those around him, who sometimes hurt other people, and who needed the help of others to do what he did best in crime solving. In short, a stereotypical bumbling detective character who could easily have become a caricature became a human being.

Of course, credit also goes to a wonderful supporting cast who matured with the Monk character and to the writers who wrote the parts. The progressively improving quality of the show could even be measured in the subtle changes in set design and wardrobe. I must say that the finale rated as one of the most satisfying that I've ever seen on any series, with not only a sense of better things to come but a sense of completion. I just know, however, that my Friday nights are going to be impoverished by the absence of this program.

Thank you, Tony Shalhoub and the rest of the cast!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

oh boy, I my SO and I so agree with your assessment of the show "Monk". You stated it so well.