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‘Monk’ – Perfect Comedy Crime Show
After the first few notes followed by the raspy voice of Randy Newman, fans know it’s time to watch ‘Monk’. Premiering in 2002 and lasting an impressive eight seasons, ‘Monk’ dominated network TV. Created by Andy Breckman, Tony Shalhoub stars as Monk, a quirky germaphobe detective who solves cases by seeing things that no one else can. In each episode, the private detective is called on the scene when the police are absolutely stumped. Whether it be an untied shoelace or a crooked remote, Monk can see the details that help unfold the murder. Though it’s never too easy for him and his phobias and OCD get in the way of his everyday life, his trusty assistant helps him with the things that most don’t need help with. The episodes are packed with comedy and Shalhoub is what makes this show so phenomenal. Looking back at hit television shows, many of them haven’t aged so well, but this one has done quite the opposite.
What makes ‘Monk’ the perfect comedy crime show is the blending of drama and comedy. Murder is of course no laughing matter in reality, but the show doesn’t shove it in the viewer’s face. On so many crime shows whether it be ‘Criminal Minds’ or ‘Law and Order’ the visuals and the violence shown on it can be so brutal that it makes the viewer sad even if the bad guy is caught. ‘Monk’ rarely shows violence and if it does it is rated PG-13. Each episode perfectly wraps up with a bow on top which may be predictable, but it is always exciting to hear him say the words, “I just solved the case”.
Where the Cast is Now
It’s been over ten years since the season finale of ‘Monk’ so it’s a good time to look and see what the core cast members are doing now. Starting off with the lead Tony Shalhoub, since 2009 he has done a ton of voice work along with reoccurring television roles. Being featured on shows such as ‘Nurse Jackie’ and ‘BrainDead’, but some of his most popular work was playing Abe Weissman in Amazon’s hit show ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’. Shalhoub won three Primetime Emmys for his lead role on ‘Monk’, but also won best supporting actor in a comedy series for ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’.
Next up is Ted Levine who played Captain Leland Stottlemeyer and Monk’s best friend. Levine was also a well-established actor before the show and most known for his role in ‘The Silence of Lambs’ and ‘Wild Wild West’, but continued his successful career in film and television. Some other popular works are the warden in ‘Shutter Island’ and ‘The Alienest’. Levine’s partner in the show was Randy Disher played by Jason Gray- Stanford. His not so bright, but optimistic character charmed many viewers at home. He continued mostly guest-starring in TV and film roles and made a recurring appearance on ‘Republic of Doyle’. Last and certainly not least is Monk’s assistant Natalie Teeger played by Traylor Howard. Though she joined the show in the later season after the abrupt leaving of Bitty Schram, she was quickly loved by the viewers. She is also known for her work on ‘Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place’ and ‘Dirty Work’.
Surviving in Covid Times
The entire premise of ‘Monk’ has been extremely timely in the last year or so. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we find ourselves turning into Monk as we wash our groceries after buying them and using a wipe after shaking someone’s hand. A lot of people tried to imagine what the show would be like if it were still on when the pandemic hit. Thankfully we didn’t have to imagine too hard because Peacock Presents At-Home Variety show hosted by Seth MacFarlane had a wonderful skit and reunion of the ‘Monk’ cast. We see Monk washing his hands, putting his socks on with gloves, and zooming with friends (of course six feet away from the screen to be safe).
The reunion was very heart-warming as the cast still embrace their characters so well as if the show never stopped. It was an uplifting moment when the world was shut down and everyone inside. A unifying and human moment for fans to come together and remember something great during a difficult time.
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‘Monk’ is hands down one of the best shows on network TV. With the perfect blend of comedy and drama and a stellar cast to back it up, ‘Monk’ has not been forgotten. Though Hollywood is known for revamping old classics and making it something new or just bringing it back, this particular show should not be touched. Running a total of eight seasons is extremely impressive, but they did so incredibly smooth while having gripping storylines for each episode while simultaneously having Monk’s back story be so intriguing throughout. If anyone hasn’t seen the show, anyone who watched it would recommend it in a heartbeat.
Stream ‘Monk’ on Peacock today!
Actors: Tony Shalhoub, Traylor Howard, Ted Levine, Bitty Schram and Jason Gray-Standford
Creator and Head Writer: Andy Breckman| Directors: Randy Zisk, Jerry Levine and many more
By Jack Colin
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Monk, Monk, Monk, Monk, Monk, Monk, Monk, Monk
Jack Colin is a playwright and screenwriter with an immense love for film & television which drives him to learn from and share his passion with anyone willing to listen. Living life as a trans man, Jack wants his writing to create a safe space for LGBTQ+ members and share the positive stories that are so often ignored through his work at The Hollywood Insider, he is eager to give readers a confident outlook on life. The storytellers of the world are the ones who decide what happiness can be. Jack takes pride in The Hollywood Insider’s mission statement to stray away from gossip and to lift up voices in entertainment with supportive and meaningful stories that will promote strength and unity.