Friday, August 7, 2009

Monk Season 8 Premieres Tonight

One of my favorite television shows of all time, Monk, is beginning it’s 8th and final season tonight at 9 PM on USA.

Sob! Can’t they make it an even 10 seasons? Mr. Monk would like that, he really would!

I began watching Monk during season 4 after my husband’s very particular metro-sexual boss would not shut up about the show during a theater premiere. I had to see it – at least once. That was enough to get me hooked and I promptly went out and bought seasons 1, 2, and 3 on DVD so that I could catch up on the story line.

Afflicted with psychologically debilitating obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), Monk’s keen observation skills give him the edge to solve the most unsolvable crimes. Actor Tony Shalhoub adds his own unique flair in portraying Monk’s bizarre cleaning, classifying, cutting, and counting behavior, which provides much needed humorous comic relief to the show. His current assistant, Natalie Teeger (played by Traylor Howard), hands him wipes on cue, moves things he won’t touch, and does the dirty job of touching dollar bills. Monk is employed as a consultant with the San Francisco Police Department where he reports to the gruff, but loveable, Captain Stottlemeyer (played by Ted Levine), and the talented, but quirky, Lieutenant Randall Disher (played by Jason Gray-Stanford).

Monk himself used to be a police detective, but lost his job after a nervous breakdown when his beloved wife, Trudy, was tragically blown up in a parking garage by a hit man. My guess is that the end of this final season will bring to fruition the three things Mr. Monk longs for: solving Trudy’s murder; getting his badge back; and falling in love again.

The show experienced real-life tragedy when cast member, Stanley Kamel, who played Mr. Monk’s frustrated therapist, Dr. Charles Kroger, died of a heart attack in April 2008. Rather than sweep the event under the rug, the show’s producers chose to conscientiously and seriously portray the feelings of displacement a patient suffers when they lose their therapist. Monk found a new doctor, Dr. Neven Bell (played by actor Hector Elizondo), who helped him deal with his painful loss.

You can enjoy your own Monk marathon today from 6 AM to 5 PM on USA, channel 39 in the Orlando area. Reruns also air frequently on Sleuth, channel 154 (check the schedule).

The season premier, “Mr. Monk’s Favorite Show,” will air at the following times on USA:
Friday 8/7 at 9 PM
Friday 8/7 at midnight
Saturday 8/8 at 11 AM
Tuesday 8/11 at 1 AM
Tuesday 8/11 at 11 PM

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