Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Monk: Season Eight

Normally in a review like this – one written about the final season of a series – I’d say, “This isn’t the place to start if you’ve never watched [insert show title here] before.” But with Monk, there isn’t any real reason why you shouldn’t. You’ll “get it” even if you start watching with this DVD. Of course, the show was on the air for eight seasons, so chances are you’ve already been exposed to some of it, somewhere along the way. You may even be like me – someone who’s only watched the show intermittently over the years. If so, then you know the basic premise of the obsessive-compulsive detective, and the ongoing backstory of how the murder of Monk’s wife Trudy caused him to cave in as a human being. In this final season, Monk finally solves that most important and personal of cases, but more on that later.

Monk is never going to go down as one of the great cop series of the ‘00s – not in a decade that produced fare like The Shield and The Wire. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t one of the most reliably entertaining series of the decade. It’s the TV equivalent of comfort food, and there aren’t many shows you can say that about anymore. Now there’s one less. Likewise, Tony Shalhoub is never going to garner the same kind of critical respect bestowed upon actors like Michael Chiklis and James Gandolfini, because his performance was more often than not played for comedy, and that’s a huge shame, because if you see enough of this series, you begin to know that his work is every bit as calculated and driven as the Bryan Cranstons and the Jon Hamms; all this despite three Emmys, which goes to show that awards probably don’t mean all that much.

Read the rest of this DVD review by clicking here and visiting Bullz-Eye.