TV?s most brilliant detective is back, and he?s ready to battle any crime? as long as it doesn?t involve germs, heights or other people! Emmy Award and Golden Globe winner Tony Shalhoub returns to DVD in all 16 third seaso... more »n episodes of the funny, fresh and quirky series, Monk. Rejoin Adrian Monk, the defective detective, who must overcome his obsessive-compulsive disorder and investigate the death of his wife, Trudy. Still hoping to be reinstated in the San Francisco Police Department, Monk continues to use his sharp intelligence, photographic memory and ever-present hand wipes to solve even the dirtiest cases. At his side are Captain Stottlemeyer (Ted Levine), Lieutenant Disher (Jason Gray-Stanford), Sharona Fleming (Bitty Schram) and newcomer Natalie Teeger (Traylor Howard), and together they take on some daunting opponents, including the Mafia, the FBI and a possibly murderous chimpanzee. Monk?s back on the case and better than ever in this hilarious third season, which includes five obsessive brand-new featurettes!« less
Jennifer D. (jennicat) from ST AUGUSTINE, FL Reviewed on 11/12/2014...
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A Quality Season With Many Shortcomings
Robert Taylor | 06/05/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Ignore all the overzealous praise of the show's third season, while it is enjoyable and worth a buy for fans of the series, next to the other boxed sets of the show this one pales in comparison and will not serve as the best way to get someone hooked on Monk.
Monk's third season is most noted for the unexpected and controversial firing of Bitty Schram and the hiring of almost carbon-copy Traylor Howard for the second half of the season. Without even a goodbye Sharona was remarried and shipped across America offscreen.
But I get ahead of myself.
The season opened strongly enough with Monk, Sharona, Stottlemyer and, oddly enough, Randall all following a lead from the previous season to New York City, where, unsurprisingly, Monk had one of his trademark meltdowns.
The rest of the first half of the third season had all the hallmarks of the first and second seasons: the random celebrity casting, the unbelievable explanations and Monk's continual grappling with his condition. However, because of the show's appeal to younger viewers many of the mysteries were dumbed-down and made more childish to bring in younger and younger viewers. The most notable example of this was in Mr. Monk and the Panic Room, which featured a possible killer monkey, a nice message for the kids wrapped up with a big bow, and and Stottlemyer literally acting like a crazy person in order to get a monkey to shoot a gun.
The first nine episodes did have many high points, however. Mr. Monk and the Blackout is probably the best episode of the season, finding the perfect mix between past Monk episodes and new Monk moments. Also of note is the excellent performance of Bitty Schram in Mr. Monk and the Girl Who Cried Wolf, which deserves an emmy nod.
There was one moment that foreshadowed the upheval to come, Mr. Monk and the Gameshow, which featured none of the regulars save Shalhoub and was produced specifically to show cast members that they were expendable.
The first "season" of the two part season closed on USA, with everything seemingly fine in Monk-land. The episodes were becoming more adult again, and Shalhoub's chemistry with Schram never better.
Then, in a still mysterious chain of events, the episode count for the second half was cut from 9 to 7, Schram was fired and new characters were to be introduced that were almost identical to Sharona and her son.
Monk's new girl Friday was named Natalie Teeger, and was to be played by Traylor Hackford, late of Two Guys, A Girl and a Pizza Place. Reception for the changes was harsh to say the least, and I find myself concuring that the producers should have payed Schram whatever she wanted to stay on the series, because the character of Natalie pales in comparison.
That isn't to say the character didn't show potential. Hackford's debut episode, Mr. Monk and the Red Herring, is a crackerjack romp with many character building moments and an acceptable, if not believeable, sendoff to Sharona. Hackford showcased some real chemistry with Shalhoub, and her character showcased a chance of becoming something other than a Sharona-knockoff.
But as the remainder of the season progressed it became clear that none of that potential would be acted upon. It became obvious that the scripts were written for Sharona and Natalie was just thrown into the script as a replacement without much thought. Hackford is a great actress, and you can see her trying in these later episodes, but to no avail. The character becomes annoying and grating.
The mysteries do the same. A budget increase was obvious, with big action sequences happening in almost every episode (most notably Mr. Monk Gets Cabin Fever and Mr. Monk Gets Caught In Traffic) and less attention paid to the mysteries, often making them eith so obvious or so outlandish they were laughable.
Shalhoub still provides the emotional drive and the center of the series, and doesn't overact or miss a beat no matter how stupid or unintentionally funny the situation.
Therefore, I recommend this box set for Monk fans. The series took a big dip in quality near the end, but the Sharona episodes are a gentle reminder of great things past, and the first Natalie episodes showcases a potential never acted upon."
The Third Season Continues the Strong Series
Mark Baker | Santa Clarita, CA United States | 07/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Adrian Monk is back with sixteen new cases to solve. The seasons starts in New York as the regular cast follows up a clue about the death of Monk's wife Trudy. But soon they're back to San Francisco and dealing with killer monkeys, power failures, the mob, traffic, Vegas, and a new assistant.
Just over the halfway point, Bitty Schram, who played Monk's assistant Sharona, was asked to leave the show over a salary dispute. As with any cast change, this one has it's own share of controversy. I was afraid this would ruin my favorite series, but I felt it made it stronger. Natalie is a strong character. In fact, her introduction episode is easily my favorite of this season. While she shares much with Sharona, she doesn't treat Monk with kid gloves but expects him to behave somewhat like an adult. Even more importantly, it forced the writers to once again focus on good character interactions and stories. I feel the first half of the season was slipping into caricature. The cast change forced them to refocus their efforts; it proved to be a breath of fresh air that the show needed.
So what do you get with this set? The sixteen episodes are presented in wide screen and Dolby sound on four discs. Each disc also contains at least one mini extra segment. There are five this time around. Members of the cast and crew talk about favorite scenes; we finally get a profile of Monk as well as Natalie; Tony Shalhoub, Ted Levine, and Jason Gray-Stanford talk about the back story of their characters (we learn nothing new about Monk, but we do about the other two); and the series creator talks a little bit about Monk's quirks. Most of these segments are only five minutes long, so we really don't learn much from them.
This series continues to entertain with funny lines and situations and puzzling mysteries. If you love light mysteries, this series is for you. I can't wait to see what Monk takes on next."
R. LaRue | Ca. | 06/13/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been a fan of Monk since the series initial start. I own the first season on DVD and I plan to purchase seasons two and three. I am also a huge fan of Bitty Schram and the dynamics that she brought out in her character Sharona. Season three is compiled of the last episodes with Bitty Schram and the introduction of replacement for Schram with Traylor Howard. I suggest that if you have seen an episode with Bitty Schram you should watch seasons one and two before seeing the new episodes with Traylor Howard. I am very dissapointed with the departure of Schram and the new turn of the series. I am although a devoted fan of Tony Shalhoub and Monk. Some of the crafty writing and strong character relationships that helped to develop the show have slipped with the departure of Schram. I continue to watch the series and hope the character chemistry and strong storylines will be revived or perhaps Schram will be invited back. I must also give praise to other characters that help carry the show. Captain Stottlemeyer (Ted Levine) and Lieutenent Randall Disher (Jason Gray-Stanford) are brilliantly cast and bring a realization to the "Defective Detective" that made the first two and a half seasons worth watching. "
Not-yet-hooked-on-Monk?...Buy Season 3 Third
J. Dunn | Florida | 07/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is advice for the not-yet-hooked-on-Monk...
I came to know Monk because of my mother-in-law's recommendation. (I have trouble believing it, too.) My wife and I have now been hooked for 2 years. It's the only series we watch and the only show we ever record.
I predict Monk will be a long-lived favorite in the same sense as M*A*S*H . Characters, story, characters, suspense, characters and humor... The predictibility of the characters, their interplay, the mystery solving, the romance of Monk and Trudie and, above all, Monk's Obsessive Compulsive Disorder driven skill, draw fans even though it airs on Friday night on a non-major network.
If you're not-yet-hooked-on-Monk, it's essential to watch Season One, first. (The boxed set includes the pilot.) Yes, there is a thread running throughout the life of the series. Background info is revealed from time to time. And, you get to feel the dismay over Sharona being written out of the script...