I love Monk and therefor was looking forward to the all-new season of Monk. But when I finished watching the first episode I was truly disappointed. It was the worst episode in the whole Monk history. It wasn't real Monk who appeared here, the character wasn't presented on the high level as known before. Obviously Monk's brain was suffering hard from the lost of Dr. Kroger. The story was too far away from reality for my personal taste. Monk normally can't make any real decision - and here he - within minutes - is sure to buy an expensive house? Noone will really believe this. I hope the next episodes will be on the same high level as before.
This was my first exposure to Monk, and I must admit that it is a really weak program. Tony Shalhoub is in his role well, but his performance is not worthy of his Emmy awards that he has won. The academy loves virtually an eccentric, bizarre behavior and thus overrates Adrian Monk.
The program tries to hard to be funny, but then takes serious moments too lightly (such as Brad Garrett's character murdering his girlfriend). Utilizing guest actors is something Seinfeld mastered, and it's great that Monk uses it too, but a strong supporting cast is more important. Not a single actor outside of Shalhoub has any sense of presence on camera.
Brad Garrett's Jake character would be a perfect supporting actor for the show. A handyman alongside the former detective would gel really well. Garrett has a great perception of comedy and this was a good idea to put him in the season premiere, but even he couldn't save this trainwreck of an episode.
The show tries to hard to be funny, and then immediately switches to a serious moments. Shows like Desperate Housewives know how to ration the drama in with the comedy in a way that produces an entertaining hour. Scribes for Monk should take note of that.
Everything TREKDADDY said is exactly true, but he forgot to mention that there was no real mystery --- we are given one clue (the money) and in the very next scene, we are told the it's origin, and everything becomes pretty obvious. Plus we have the inconsistency of the villain who shown to be willing to kill anyone (even his friends) with little provocation, but keeps Monk and Natalie alive for no apparent reason.
With that, you start looking at the little inconsistencies that one would have given them a pass on if the rest of the show had been better --- why doesn't Monk, who's knowledgeable about almost every subject, recognize that repairs aren't really needed? Why isn't Monk bothered by all the dust in the house from the smashed walls? Why isn't he horrified by the thought of mold spores in his house?
We love Monk. The dry humor, unpredictable story lines. It just wasn't there for this one. It was so predictable- no surprises at all. There were few humorous parts in this episode, and the ones that were there were very poor. Also, it was SO out of character for him. When he was looking over this house, taking Natalie around it, and everything else he didn't notice the torn wallpaper and scuffed stairs. He would have seen those immediately, especially when he first came looking into the death. He notices a light that isn't centered, but not the other things? And the Captain and Natalie wouldn't have been looking out for him or suggested that he get another opinion as this guy is tearing the house down? The way they watch out for him, that just doesn't make since. This is our least favorite Monk episode. Very weak.
Yes, this was another weak episode. How many different plots can you come up with after 6 years? Weak plots are a problem for any show thats been on as long as Monk. I'm just a lemming for the character at this point. Most of the interest in this season premier was how they would handle the death of Stanley Kamel and transition Monk to a new shrink. They did an ok job at it but I must say that I was surprised that they didn't devote the whole episode to it. Instead they seemed to have forced it into a regular episode. Then again they didn't fuss much when Sharona left either.
This episode of Monk felt especially par-boiled and mediocre compared to many of the finer episodes. The incorperation of a new shrink for Monk, though very strained, was somehwat of a necessary given the tragic death of Stanley Kamel. The new shrink, however, definitely could have waited.
As for the mystery, it had a good base and feel to it, but was in combination much too simple and needed very much to be drawn out more. The best episodes of Monk are the ones where the mystery is complex and the viewer feels as if there's actually a progression: an epidose where the mystery unravels slowly and surely rather than unfolding all at once in what seems a moment. This episode had no such mystery. However, given the loss of one of the show's main actors, these misgivings can certainly be forgiven to a degree.
Let's hope that Monk manages to get back on its feet and toss out some really good episodes, otherwise the show may find itself slowly going downhill.
While two previous reviewers mentioned that this was an out of character episode and not as sharp or funny as others. I agree but with all that just happened to Monk and to the cast itself in real life it was a tribute episode to their lost friend.
The loss of a cast member threw the whole cast and creative team a huge monkey wrench. They obviously had episode written for the new year and had brought out some wonderful and funny episodes to the actors for the new season. The loss of one of the main characters presented a problem. How to bring a new doctor to the show and show respect for the loss of their friend.
I thought Monk being way off his game was a fitting way to do it, and it carried through the whole episode. I know when I have lost a close friend or associate at work I am off my game. Monk was off his game because he had no outlet, Natalie tried but she was not what Monk needed.
Monk buying the house on impulse, not seeing the problems of the light, the scuffs on the step, the wallpaper, the mold situation and even the dust showed he was preoccupied.
The reason that Monk and Natalie were not killed is simple, it is one thing to steal the money, but to kill Monk would have brought the wrath of all law enforcement down on them, something he did not want.
I liked this better than Monk and the genius even thougb that was a pretty good episode. It had great humor, it was adventurous, and Tony Shaloub as Monk is great!! Monk is my favorite character after all!! Natalie is just okay and I again kind of find her annoying, but still okay. I like that they used Brad Garrett as the handyman guy in this one. I like how he talked and acted and stuff. It was weird to see Monk not as compulsive as usual and in previous episodes but he was still funny especailly when he was asking questions about the house. A great season opener!!
As Tony Shalhoub indicated in interviews to promote Season 7, this episode and the developments it introduces to "Monk" come at a good time in the series. Though Stanley Kamel and Dr. Kroeger will be missed, it will be interesting dramatically to see how a new therapist will help guide Monk through life. Hector Elizondo made the most of his few short scenes as Dr. Bell, and I can't wait to see the relationship develop.
The mystery front wasn't much of a mystery, but it boasted a strong guest performance from Brad Garrett and some good observational deductions by Monk. All in all, it's great to have the gang back. Stottlemeyer and Disher were funny with the Morse code bit (you knew it was going to save the day when they telegraphed it so much) and Natalie had some nice scenes with Monk in mourning.
It's not perfect, but since the writers were kind of forced into this position due to Kamel's untimely death, I'll cut them some slack. Plus, we got a very sentimental but not maudlin tribute to a good actor and character.
Brad Garrett is a great guest star that completely fits the part of a money-seeking handyman. But the show focuses on Monk's OCD, and there is no way he would be able to stay in the house while the destruction was going on in a not orderly fashion. I figured that the money would have been hidden by the light that was off center or under the tub with the feet that Monk always wanted, but instead the money was hidden in a random wall. There were three parts that made me laugh, and I liked the new therapist, but other than that it was a bad choice of plot for a season premiere in my opinion.
The ending was very sweet with the piano music and it managed to save the episode. Rest in peace, Stanley Kamel.
A good way to say goodbye to a fine actor and a good friend.
The episode is not the best this show has to offer, but it is funny and sweet and ends with the outmost respect for Stanley Kamel who died of a heart attach on the 8th of April 2008. He was only 65.
They could have lightened it up by making a more uplifting story about what happened to Dr. Kroger, but they decided to go with the brutal truth. Life is unfair and full of surprises. A fine yet sad episode. I give it a 10 as a farewell.
1 January 1943 - 8 April 2008
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