Season 1 Episode 9

Dial M for Monica

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Nov 23, 2006 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
117 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

An assistant district attorney is gunned down along with a high-priced hooker in the prostitute's car. The investigation reports the victim had wanted to prosecute narcotics cases and not domestic disputes, and she may have been working the call girl on targeting a drug dealer with whom she had a relationship. Meanwhile, Julie considers going to the next step with Eddie.moreless

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  • I love James Woods. Really. I do. But.

    But Shark is jut crappy TV. It's plotted with all the straightforward sanctimony of Law & Order while sticking embarrassingly close to House's formula of a charismatic, anti-heroic protagonist and a cohort of young, talented assistants. The truth is House's formula has a lot more to do with great writing and less with high-concept than it might seem. I don't think Woods is any worse as an actor than Hugh Laurie at all, but without something to work with even he can't make the character memorable.

    Shark's idea of personal drama is "my teenage girl might or might not have had sex". Shark's idea of "tough character with a heart of gold" is Shark hiding his ex-wife's affair from his daughter or him taking a PR hit for a superior without telling anyone. That falls so short of House's drug addiction or his complicated relationship with abortion, euthanasia and other issues.

    Even the premise of the series makes Shark a less interesting guy. The whole premise is a badass lawyer turns DA after defending a rich murderer that kills again. Compare that with anything on The Practice (well, except those two crappy seasons with the old cast at the end) and you'll see that characters on this show are as shallow and full of candy as legal piñatas. Kinda takes the edge off the whole thing.

    So we have two problems here: a severe identity crisis, not knowing if the series is supposed to be conformist, feel-good catch-the-bad-guy courtroom drama or not AND bad writing.

    The second is exemplified here several times. Shark's one-liners are specially plain, some borderline embarrassing. Coming from the guy who made the line "I'll have your ass and then you'll be just a hole, with no ass around it" great, "I can fix this... just as soon as I figure out how to raise the dead" is just not gonna do it. Here's a suggestion: Woods is well known as a great ad-libber. Let him do his thing more often. The show really needs it.

    It's a pity that this didn't work as well as it could have. "House in a courtroom" is certainly a setting with potential. James Woods as a sarcastic unethical lawyer practically sells itself. All the show needs to be great is good writers.moreless
  • A promising start never really develops and "Dial M For Monica" suffers from a very slow second act before rebounding slightly at the end.

    We get another episode where Stark is reunited with someone from his less-honorable past, and old friendships are tested when that acquaintance ends up as a murder suspect. It's a rehash of "Russo," and while Kari Matchett is good as the madam accused of murder, it isn't anything new. James Woods doesn't have a lot to do in the courtroom this week; most of his manueverings are done outside of court, and it's a shame because his arguments and cross-examinations are part of what makes this show great. Taking Stark out of the courtroom makes him less effective.

    Things start off interestingly enough, when a Deputy D.A. winds up as one of the victims in a shooting, leading the cops to believe he was the target - however, he may have been an innocent bystander. The trail leads to Matchett's character, and a new wrinkle is introduced when Stark's name turns up in her client list. (Though, without giving away anything, I was impressed with how this plot point was resolved.)

    What ultimately brings down the episode is the worst "homefront" plot development yet, as Julie and her boyfriend are preparing to have sex, much to Sebastian's frustration. This isn't a bad storyline in itself, but it's marred by too much character inconsistency. Stark says he doesn't want to know about Julie's personal life, then he does. He's telling her to make her own responsible choices, then he's angry. Not to mention the fact that Julie's lovey-dovey scenes with her boyfriend are gag-inducing. But Woods' exasperated and crushed expression when he hears the phone message at the end almost saves the show, and the storyline.

    Nothing exceptional about this one.moreless
  • i gave a ten because i want to?? =D

    look.....i just love danielle panabaker so much!!

    it was gross she had...well you know... with her boyfriend... but it was relieving anyways...

    well....i didn't really get the court thingi part...

    i only watch it because of danielle panabaker...

    i understood the other episodes with the court court thingi cause they rock at this job!! but i didn't get to know this episode...

    go danielle...keep it up you guys!!


  • Stark was exceptionally funny in this episode!!!

    This was definitely another great installment! Stark's wit, sarcasm and homour never ceases to amaze me!

    I especially loved this part:

    Monica: "go to hell!"

    Stark: "They have a room reserved there for me."

    oh, that was so funny!

    However, i didn't like the fact that he lost a little bit of faith in Julie. Their relationship was finally coming alone. I guess they had to hit a rough patch in their relationship some time or the other.

    Will have to wait and see what becomes of her over night trip with her boyfriend!moreless
  • This episode made you think a little why in the heck would this attorney be with a hooker. You thought possibly one thing and then it turns out to be complete opposite.moreless

    Stark is so funny the stuff he comes up with. This episode was great just like the rest. It shows that Stark and team are great at their jobs and getting to the bottom of the crime. Realizing that things are not always as they seem. I love how the attorney had sticky notes and a mural of all his detective work that he was doing. All he wanted was to cross over to the other side and be a detective. The sad part is that it took his death in order to let his real detective skills be seen. I think that this episode was really sad until Stark says something so funny you can\\\\\\\'t help but laugh. Look forward to watch all the upcoming shows. This show has really became one of my MOST FAVORITES! I always set the DVR so I never miss an episode!moreless
Ron Glass

Ron Glass

Judge Stewart Fenton

Guest Star

Matt Lanter

Matt Lanter

Eddie Linden

Guest Star

Kent Shocknek

Kent Shocknek

TV Reporter

Guest Star

Carlos Gomez

Carlos Gomez

Mayor Manuel Delgado

Recurring Role

Henry Simmons

Henry Simmons

Isaac Wright

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • 10:00 pm