It's time to tidy up for another season with Primetime Emmy Award and Golden Globe winner Tony Shalhoub in all 16 Season Five episodes of Monk, television's most fresh and funny series. Gumshoe Adrian Monk would never actu... more »ally have gum on his well-polished shoes: in addition to intellect and instinct, he also has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Though his eccentric traits bewilder his colleagues Natalie Teeger (Traylor Howard), Captain Stottlemeyer (Ted Levine) and Lieutenant Disher (Jason Gray-Stanford), Monk's attention to detail keeps crime?and grime?off the streets. Included in this highly collectible, 4-disc set are both the black & white and color versions of the noir-style episode "Mr. Monk and the Leper," obsessively good bonus features and the pilot episode of the hit comedy-drama Psych. Follow the clues to Season Five of Monk, the quirky and original show TV Guide hails as "alternatively hilarious and touching."« less
Jennifer D. (jennicat) from ST AUGUSTINE, FL Reviewed on 11/12/2014...
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E. A Solinas | MD USA | 03/23/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Most cult TV dies pretty quickly, but Adrian Monk has been charming viewers with his quirky detecting for five seasons now. The fifth season occasionally crosses the line into cartoonishness, but overall it's still an entertaining, amusing little detective show... with the world's only OCD detective.
In the opening episode, a movie is going to be made about Monk's (Tony Shalhoub) life and amazing abilities, with well-known actor David Ruskin (Stanley Tucci) as Monk. But Ruskin turns out to be the world's best method actor, as he observes Monk doing his detective work -- and starts to acquire Monk's OCD and personality. Sometimes acting can be TOO good.
But Monk's problems don't cease when he's paralyzed by a garbage strike, and the strike leader is murdered. Other cases include a mysterious electrocution in a gym shower, being blinded by a murderer, a stint as a private eye, a college reunion, a disastrous rock concert, a leper, posing as a butler, a radio host whose wife died while he was on the air, and he competes against technology to find a serial killer.
On the personal front, Monk gets reacquainted with his father, who left the family when he was a child, and he also tries to deal with Dr. Kroger's early retirement, by solving the crime that prompted him to leave. And he helps Randy (Jason Gray-Stanford ) out when the latter inherits a farm -- and a mysterious death.
The fifth season does sag a little in the middle -- the retirement and rocker episodes have Monk's OCD becoming almost cartoonishly comic. But most of the rest of the episodes are quite good, with the typical unsolvable cases, unbreakable alibis, and inexplicable phobias from poor Monk.
Writingwise, there's nothing to complain about -- solid writing, solid plots full of difficult mysteries, and Monk undergoing lots of stress as he tries to deal with his many phobias. The dialogue is top-notch ("There's never hope. I wish I drank. Is it wonderful?"), and the writers allow all the regular characters to shine now and again, including Randy and Stottlemeyer (who have a kind of big-brother/little-brother vibe).
Tony Shalhoub is just amazing here, as Monk tries to navigate the dangers of a dirty, random world. He's absolutely hilarious when poor Monk has to square dance, feed chickens, and single-handedly tries to clean up San Francisco. But he also gives us some truly beautiful moments, such as when we see Monk watching his wedding video, quietly crying.
Traylor Howard continues to give a solid performance as Monk's assistant, while Ted Levine and Gray-Stanford round off the regular cast as the kindly Stottlemeyer and naive Randy. Alice Cooper has a fun cameo, and Tucci is absolutely great as a Monk-impersonator. And Sean Astin gives a glorious performance as a murderous, spoiled rich brat.
The fifth season of "Monk" has a few episodes that are lacking, but most of them are still excellent, suspenseful little mysteries. Definitely worth seeing."
Messing around with a winner
Thomas Reynolds | Potomac, MD United States | 07/02/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Why is it in recent years that the producers of successful television shows frequently allow writers to screw around with the successful formula which gave them a winning in the first place? We are big fans of this series, which we only view on DVD since it is the only way we can get it. We eagerly awaited the fifth season, and have gone through it one episode after the other since we received the set. It was a big letdown compared to the previous four years. There may be more to it, but it seems the major problem is a significant drop in the quality of writing. While our view at this point is that "bad Monk is better than no Monk at all," that's not much of a recommendation. It would be good if the people in charge of this show could clean up their act and get interested in it again, or turn the show over to better handlers. This show could be a cash cow for many more years in the right hands, assuming loyal followers are not driven away."
Class Reunions, Rock Concerts, and Shock Jocks
Mark Baker | Santa Clarita, CA United States | 07/01/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Season five of Monk continues to bring us the cases and struggles of Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub) as he struggles to solve crimes despite his OCD and many phobias. This season finds Monk facing new issues in the same old way.
When the city garbage workers go on strike, it's up to Monk to solve a murder to get everything cleaned up. His assistant Natalie (Traylor Howard) convinces Monk to strike out on his own and open a private eye business. Monk's 25 year class reunion at Berkley involves a painful stroll down memory lane and the murder of a nurse. When Captain Stottlemeyer's (Ted Levine) son skips school to attend a rock concert, Monk finds a dead man in an outhouse. And in a "Wings" reunion, Steven Weber plays a shock jock that may have killed his wife. He just has the perfect alibi; he was on the air at the time.
This season featured two episodes at aired during the hiatus between parts of the season. In the first, Monk finally meets his dad, a trucker who needs Monk's help to solve a murder. The second is very interesting. "Mr. Monk and the Leper" was originally shown in black and white and color. It's a very noirish tale, and the black and white color scheme really adds to the episode. Both versions, including their original introductions are included in the set.
As always, this season provided many fun character moments and some hilarious situations. At times, the characters can become cartoonish. This felt especially true near the beginning of the season. But the actors do a great job of keeping things believable and human.
Since the set has both the black and white and color versions of the one episode, there are 17 episodes in this four disc set. Extras include an audio commentary (a first for the series) on the black and white version of "Mr. Monk and the Leper." Disc four contains some hilarious "webisodes" that premiered on line. I know I've seen at least one used as a promo on TV, however. Finally, there's the pilot of "Psych," a similar comedic mystery.
Monk isn't for everyone. But anyone who is a fan will love the latest set."
Family Friendly Monk
Homeschool Mom | Ohioville | 03/26/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For fans of Monk, season five is in no way a disappointment. Monk, Stottlmeyer, Natalie, and Disher are as great as ever, littering the sixteen episodes with priceless moments that will have you in stitches. (Seventeen episodes, if you count both the B&W and color versions of "The Leper".)
Aside from a comedic make-out scene, a reference to a "sex affair" (both in "the Leper"), and some mild swearing throughout it's as family-friendly as ever. (Thank you USAnetwork!)
The mysteries are still challenging and creative. (Keep an eye out for clues!)
As for the DVDs themselves, the quality is excellent. All episodes are in widescreen.
The only way at all that this product is lacking is the sparse special-features. The brief webisodes are odd and don't fit the style of normal Monk episodes at all.
The additional Psych episode is neither here nor there unless you have a strong opinion concerning the show. (I hate it. :P)
However, the commentary over Mr. Monk and the Leper is priceless and very enjoyable. It's worth sitting through the episode a second time.
All-in-all, I would say that this four DVD set is worth its cost."