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'Monk' Has Staying Power

Dee Doyle Dee Doyle
January 31st, 2008 8:41am EST
MonkAdrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub) is sitting anxiously in an emergency therapy session with Dr. Kroger late at night and is talking about a possible murder suspect who stuffed his own mother's corpse in order to keep her with him. Monk points out to Kroger that he never did that with his beloved wife Trudy. Roughly quoted, Dr. Kroger responds sincerely "No, you didn't, Adrian, and I've always been proud of you for that."

This is an excerpt from the newest episode of "Monk" titled 'Mr. Monk and the Three Julies,' and it was a very amusing one. Monk and Natalie are called onto a case, and they admire Captain Stottlemeyer's (Ted Levine) new police car. While investigating, Natalie hears on the police radio that there was a homicide involving a woman named Julie Teager... the same name as her daughter! She panics and steals Stottlemeyer's car, rushing to the crime scene. It is a woman by the same name, but the situation gets stranger when they hear on the radio that another woman named Julie Teager is now dead. Monk has to find who the murderer is before he or she can harm the only Julie left: Natalie's daughter!

We are given yet another brilliant "Monk" episode, and it involved one of the most amusing visual gags when Monk enters a creepy room to see the back of an old woman's head as she rocks in a chair. Other memorable moments: Monk trying to tell Julie no; Randy dripping ice cream all over himself, Captain Stottlemeyer's car and his agonized face; Natalie's frantic driving; Randy in the old woman suit; Randy screaming every phrase possible for help; and the very dry driver's ed coach.

The entire cast adds their own humor, and it was sweet to see how concerned Captain Stottlemeyer and Lieutenant Disher were for Natalie and Julie. It must be said that the young actress who plays Julie, Emmy Clarke, is good at her job and does not seem overly precocious or overacting as opposed to many others at her age. Special props have to go to Traylor Howard for being very genuine as a panicked mother and to the guest actor who played Matthew Teager as both creepy and childish.

The case was well done by misdirection but felt a little too easy in the end. The red herring was successful, keeping the viewer's mind on a story completely different than the real answer, but by doing so it felt somewhat unsatisfactory. Still, it was overall the kind of episode I've come to expect with excellent writing and performances all around. "Monk" has truly showed itself to have a staying power that many other USA shows fail to mimic ("The 4400," "The Dead Zone"), or strive to copy ("Psych"). Perhaps the light hearted, tongue in cheek style of "Monk" coupled with its eccentric attention to detail is what makes it so appealing to a general audience.

This season is not over yet; tune in for more "Monk."

Story by Chelsea 'Dee' Doyle
Starpulse contributing writer


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