Monk: Season Six (2007)

Genre(s): Comedy / Crime / Drama
Universal || NR - 682 minutes - $59.98 || July 8, 2008
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2008-06-29


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: NA
Writer(s): Andy Breckman (created by)
Cast: Tony Shalhoub, Traylor Howard, Jason Gray-Stanford, Ted Levine


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Audio Commentary
  • Video Commantaries


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English

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.::THE FILM::.

Our favorite obsessive compulsive detective returns for a sixth season. Adrian Monk is back at it, solving crimes the police are unable to with relative ease. It’s obvious by now, Tony Shalhoub plays Monk so damn well. He fits that character like Kelsey Grammer did as Frasier or Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy. Shalhoub has been nominated for an Emmy in this role every year and has won three times, not too shabby.

In season six, much like seasons four and five, it seems the hunt for Trudy’s killer gets sidelined or even ignored and in its place more unusual cases that, for a short time, baffle the great detective. And while he still has his phobias (germs seem to be the biggest one now), it’s not quite as prominent and instead his quirkiness takes the driver’s seat this go around.

Although Shalhoub gets the attention, and deservedly so, one cannot overlook the supporting players either. First, Ted Levine continues to be that friendly foil for Adrian, keeping him in check but still showing that he cares for his old pal even when Monk gets under his skin; Jason Gray-Stanford is still the almost Mr. Magoo partner but, like in previous seasons, gets his chance to prove his worth; and Traylor Howard does such a good job as Natalie that when there’s a “Monk” marathon on USA, I actually tend to forget there was someone in that [type of] role before (Bitty Schram left the show over her contract). Last, I could not overlook the late Stanley Kamel as Monk’s good old psychiatrist, Dr. Kroger. With his passing in April, it will be tough to fill that void, even though it’s a part that was only a couple minutes in various episodes (Hector Elizondo has been tabbed to take over as Monk’s new doctor).

This season also continues the tradition of recognizable guest appearances: Sarah Silverman starts things off in the season premiere (“Mr. Monk and His Biggest Fan”) while others like Snoop Dogg (ugh), Alfred Molina, David Koechner, Angela Kinsey (from “The Office”) and Howie “Deal or No Deal” Mandel all make appearances in various roles.

Some episodes are still easy to figure out while others will have you guessing until the end. However, what makes this show still so funny and watchable is because of Monk himself. Yeah, he may be a self-centered, narcissistic a-hole sometimes, but you still can’t help but like him. That said I have to wonder how many more adventures Monk has in him because I hope they begin to bring focus on Trudy (they did begin doing so in the 2-part season finale, but that only led to more questions... what is this, “Lost”?). But “Mr. Monk Is On The Run: Parts 1 & 2” is certainly a fantastic 2-part season finale and probably one of the better episodes in the past few years.

Here are the episode breakdowns:

01. Mr. Monk and His Biggest Fan – Monk’s most obsessed fan convinces him to take a bite out of crime with her when her beloved dog is accused of murdering a neighbor.
02. Mr. Monk and the Rapper – When a car bomb leaves popular rapper Extra Large dead, Monk and Natalie find themselves trying to defend a rival rapper from overwhelming evidence against him.
03. Mr. Monk and the Naked Man – In one of his most uncomfortable cases ever; Monk investigates a murder that occurred on a nude beach and explores his past to get to the bottom of his nudity phobia.
04. Mr. Monk and the Bad Girlfriend – Crime strikes close to home when Monk suspects Captain Stottlemeyer’s girlfriend of murder despite the fact that she was on a webcam date at the same time of the incident.
05. Mr. Monk and the Birds and the Bees – Monk plays cupid and detective at the same time when he investigates a crooked sports agent while also advising Natalie’s teenage daughter about love.
06. Mr. Monk and the Buried Treasure – “X” marks the spot of treasure and trouble when Monk offers to help his psychiatrist’s son follow a map to untold riches.
07. Mr. Monk and the Daredevil – When a famous daredevil is revealed to be Monk’s arch rival, Harold Krenshaw, Monk is baffled that his even more phobic competitor has been living such a life of danger.
08. Mr. Monk and the Wrong Man – Monk is baffled when DNA evidence clears a man he helped send to prison years ago, but in his efforts to set things right, he discovers there’s more to the case than meets the eye.
09. Mr. Monk Stays Up All Night – Suffering from insomnia after seeing a mysterious woman, Monk takes Natalie’s advice and goes for a nighttime walk; but instead of finding relaxation he witnesses a murder.
10. Mr. Monk and the Man Who Shot Santa Clause – When Monk defends himself and shoots a man dressed as Santa, he becomes a social pariah and must work to clear his name – and stop a larger criminal plot – before Christmas.
11. Mr. Monk Joins a Cult – Monk reluctantly joins a cult in order to solve a murder but is quickly charmed by its charismatic leader.
12. Mr. Monk Goes to the Bank – Trudy’s bracelet is stolen from a bank safety deposit box, and Monk will do whatever it takes in order to solve the deeply personal case.
13. Mr. Monk and the Three Julies – Women with the same name as Natalie’s daughter are being killed, and Monk races against the clock to find the murderer.
14. Mr. Monk Paints His Masterpiece – Monk’s new hobby is painting, and he soon finds himself with an aficionado eager to purchase anything he produces.
15. Mr. Monk Is On the Run: Part 1 – After he is arrested for murder, Monk escapes from a small-town sheriff and goes on the lam until he can clear his name.
16. Mr. Monk Is On the Run: Part 2 – Monk races to find the identity of the person who framed him, while Stottlemeyer continues to pretend that his friend is dead.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

All 16 season six episodes comes to you on four discs each housed in a slim case. Personally, I like what Warner did with “The Closer” providing four discs in 2 slim cases to save on shelf space, but the presentation here is fine. What isn’t, however, are the features. I don’t know if it’s just the norm now with “Monk” (Season five didn’t contain any featurettes, just a commentary track or two) or because of the strike shortened season, but it’s a little disappointing.

Video Commentaries – OK, this is a bit of false advertising on the part of Universal. These aren’t technically commentary tracks but instead short interviews (total runtime: 22:50 on 7 episodes) with the writers on their respective episodes. I’m OK with this feature, but to call these “Video Commentaries” is a bit misleading.

Audio Commentary – The only other feature is a commentary track on “Mr. Monk Stays Up All Night” with Tony Shalhoub, Ted Levine, Jason Gray-Stanford and Director/Executive Producer Randall Zisk. The track is fairly standard with the cast kind of going through the motions of liking this or that scene, but the episode is also filled with plenty of gaps as well.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

The series, as with past seasons, is presented in anamorphic widescreen and a 1.78 AR. The picture looks reasonably clean and colors look just about right. We’re not getting high quality here, but it’s still pretty good overall.

For some reason “Monk” season DVDs have never been available with a Dolby Digital 5.1 track, and season six continues that trend with a decent Dolby 2.0 Surround track. On rare occasions do I ever use my surround sound system on TV shows, so it’s not that discouraging...



.::OVERALL::.

While the features seem to dwindle with each passing season, “Monk” as a show still pushes on strong. Tony Shalhoub is still a blast to watch on the small screen and the stories, though at times predictable and repetitive, are still fun to watch. I do hope they get a move on with Trudy’s murder, however. Season six does touch upon that in the season finale, but I have a feeling the series may be winding down and I’d rather not see some quick and unsatisfying resolution.