39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Quirky detective Adrian Monk has only one more season of obsessive-compulsive detection left. Start mourning now, because it's still one of the best shows on TV.
In the meantime, the seventh season of his dramedy/mystery series holds up well and shows little signs of its age. It's got everything you'd expect of "Monk" -- new phobias, personal crises (shot in the leg!), lots of hilarious writing, bizarre mysteries, and the celebration of Mr. Monk's one-hundredth case.
Monk is having more trouble than ever after Dr. Kroger unexpectedly dies, and the neighbor girl starts playing the piano. So he decides to buy the house of an old man who recently fell down the stairs. Unfortunately, some creepy people want to get their greedy hands on whatever is hidden in that house -- and they'll destroy his dream-house to do it.
Unfortunately (for Monk) it's the least weird case he encounters this season. He has to deal with (in no particular order): a murdered homeless man, miraculous fountains, lottery murders, a stolen bike at a biotech lab, submarine "suicides," exploding grills, protecting a boxer, the impossible murder of Monk's annoying neighbor, and a manly-bonding football game with Stottlemeyer.
And Monk struggles with his own problems, with the help of his new therapist Dr. Bell (Hector Elizondo) and his assistant Natalie (Traylor Howard: bad hypnosis, a kindly old lady, a crush, a looming physical, and a half-brother escaped from prison. And Monk tries to stop the parking lot where Trudy died from being demolished, only for the council-woman involved to be found murdered in the bay...
Most quirky TV series don't survive past the first few episodes, or the first season at most. So while the seventh season of "Monk" has a few bumps in the road (such as "Mr Monk and the Bully," where he comes across as rather too vindictive), it still has the right balance of humor, poignancy and brain-twisters.
The whole season is pretty much a solid string of enjoyably complex murder mysteries -- baffling crimes, obscure clues, and a few new eccentricities for Monk. Despite all the murder and bittersweet moments, the episodes are peppered with some comedy as well (Randy watching the football game upside-down in the stairwell) and plenty of solid dialogue ("It's a square tomato. You're doing the Lord's work!").
This season Monk's biggest problem is his biggest phobia of all -- his fear of being left by everyone, whether it's a mother substitute or his beloved shrink. Fortunately Shalhoub has the skill to keep his tragicomic character from seeming cartoonish -- good-hearted, socially clueless (see "guy banter") and trapped in the cage of his own fears and sorrow. The only flaw is that for some reason, Monk tends to be a wee bit more mean-spirited here.
Traylor Howard does a solid job as Monk's assistant Elizondo is quite good as the replacement for Dr. Kroger, and Jason Gray-Stanford continues to be hilarious as Randy ("Ergo the killer. Is that Hungarian?"). Ted Levine gets to show different side to Stottlemeyer, when the longtime cop becomes a monk (yes, the religious kind) and goofs off at tailgate parties. Not in the same episode, of course.
There's only one more season of "Monk" to go, but the seventh is a heckuva penultimate chapter, with plenty of befuddling mysteries and strange problems.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2009
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I don't think I can say it better than what others have said. Monk is simply one of the best television shows on. I must say they did show a darker side of Mr. Monk in this season. The way he treated Natalie on the show when he got shot was suprisingly insensitive for a guy whose character is based on a man unable to let go of his dead wife. One of the reasons that I love his character is that loving devotion to his wife. Otherwise this is another good season of the show. Like the seasons before, I am looking forward to adding this to my home library.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
MONK SEASON 7
**** Out of 5
Tony Shalhoub, Traylor Howard, Jason Gray-Stanford and Ted Levine
Here we are with the 7th season of Monk and it was yet another strong season in this truly excellent series; the later seasons seem to get some mixed reactions from fans, but I personally thought season 4-6 were among the best of the series.
With that said though I do think there might have been a couple of more duds per season, but as a whole I thought they had the strongest of episodes. The 7th season of Monk got off to an ok start and I started thinking it seems age has finally fully caught up to the show, but soon the series works itself out well and became a fantastic season and provided some great moments.
Ted Levine returns as Capt. Leland Stottlemeyer and Jason Gray-Stanford as Lt. Randy Disher; both Levine and Stanford really help elevate this show and both actors work so well together and work well with the rest of the cast. But of course Tony Shalhoub as Monk is the reason for tuning in.
Tony Shalhoub has won numerous awards and plenty of critical acclaim for the role of Adrian Monk and Shalhoub is more than deserving of all the credit he gets. Tony Shalhoub is no doubt of the greatest comedic actors of all time and just might be the best to ever grace the small screen; as Monk, Shalhoub is funny, tragic and quite sad and more often than not, Shalhoub mixes all these together at the same time. As great as Tony has been through the years I think this might be the best work he's done during the run of the show.
The actors really work so well together and even in the weaker episodes they still have funny moments thanks to the very talented cast. And I still feel Traylor Howard as Natalie is the better character between her and Sharona.
Stanley Kamel who played Dr. Charles Kroger sadly passed away after the filming of the 6th season and Hector Elizondo joins the cast as Monks new shrink Dr. Neven Bell. The season premiere has a nice tribute to the late Stanley Kamel who will be missed by Monk fans all over the world.
MR. MONK BUYS A HOME- **** ½
Monk buys a new house due to the constant piano playing that is driving him nuts; the previous homeowner died in an accident inside the house, but Monk soon figures out it was murder; this was a really great episode that is funny from beginning to end; the final shot was a nice little tribute to Stanley Kamel who played Dr. Charles Kroger who passed away after the 6th season. Hector Elizondo joins the cast as Neven Bell Monk's new shrink.
MR. MONK AND THE GENIUS- *** ½
A woman shows up at Monk's house telling him her husband plans to kill her and not long after that she ends up dead; problem is the prime suspect was in another country at the time of the murder; this was a good episode, but not great. At the end of the day what makes it work so well is the mystery of how the husband did it and how Monk will be able to prove it.
MR. MONK GETS LOTTO FEVER- **** ½
After the Lotto hostess is murdered, Natalie takes her place and becomes famous, which drives Monk crazy with jealousy as he tries to solve the case and deal with Natalie's new found fame. This was a truly great episode and Tony Shalhoub who is always great on the show gives one of his best performances of the series, Shalhoub is a comedic genius and it's all on display here; terrific episode.
MR. MONK TAKES A PUNCH- *** ½
A famous boxer getting ready for a shot at the title he lost 5-years ago narrowly escapes death and Monk is brought it to find out who is behind it; this was a good, but not great episode. For the most part the episode works well, but starts to drag on near the final act; still a fun episode even with the flaws.
MR. MONK IS UNDERWATER- ***
Monk gets aboard a submarine to look into a suicide that might have been murder, while Monk is on the submarine a training drill takes place and Monk is stuck on it trying to solve the case and avoid a breakdown; this was rather weak effort and Monk on a submarine could have and should have been classic, but it's just all a bit too silly. To the credit of the cast they really elevate this one, but at the end it was an ok episode with some funny moments.
MR. MONK FALLS IN LOVE- *** ½
After a cabbie is found dead Monk develops a crush on the main suspect, which starts to cloud his judgment; like the previous episode this one was a bit weak, but stronger as a whole. Not a bad episode by any means, but just sort of lacks; entertaining episode, but nothing special.
MR. MONK'S 100TH CASE- ****
Monk reaches a milestone with their 100th episode; this episode has a TV crew following around Monk as he attempts to solve case number 100; along the way Monk realizes something isn't right and re-investigates the case; this was a solid episode with some former guest stars appearing, but I have to be honest I did expect more out of the 100th episode; when all is said and done though this was a very entertaining episode.
MR. MONK GETS HYPNOTIZED- *****
Monk unhappy with his life gets hypnotized and it reverts him back to his 7-year old self; meanwhile an actress claims she was abducted by her husband and killed him during the escape Monk, suspects' foul play, but since he's hypnotized nobody takes him serious; without a doubt this is one of the greatest episodes of the series! The episode starts off good, but becomes hysterical; Tony Shalhoub is simply brilliant! There is no doubt in my mind he's a comedic genius and here Shalhoub's talents are on full display; Monk does things that Monk would never do and seeing him do these things are hysterical; again this is one of the greatest episodes of the series and Tony Shalhoub was brilliant.
MR. MONK AND THE MIRACLE- *****
Three homeless men show up at Monk's house seeking his help for their friend who they found dead and believe was killed meanwhile Capt. Stottlemeyer is suffering from severe back pain that isn't getting any better, but when he drinks from a fountain that heals people he decides to leave the force and become a Monk (not Mr. Monk, but a Monk). This was the Christmas episode, which they have done since the 4th season; while not as good as the previous Christmas episode this one was hysterical; Monk and 3 homeless men are just classic!
MR. MONK'S OTHER BROTHER- *****
While cooking breakfast an escaped convict breaks into Monk's house, but Monk soon finds out the man is actually his half brother! This was a really great episode that is funny through out; Steve Zahn guest stars as Monk's half brother and Zahn and Shalhoub are simply brilliant together; this episode is bound to be considered a Monk classic.
MR. MONK ON WHEELS- ****
Natalie accidentally helps a man steal a bike and she asks Monk to help her find the bike, while on the case the suspect shoots Monk in the leg and he than makes Natalie's life miserable. This episode started off a bit slow, but once it gets going it's a really fun and entertaining episode.
MR. MONK AND THE LADY NEXT DOOR- **** ½
Mr. Monk befriends an older lady who becomes a mother like figure to him, but while working on a case he suspects his new friend might only be using him; this was a solid episode and while not the best of the season it's easily one of the most entertaining; always funny and even a little tragic this was another solid episode.
MR. MONK MAKES THE PLAYOFFS- *****
Mr. Monk has tickets for the biggest football game of the year and he wants to take Natalie, but she talks him into taking Stottlemeyer; while at the game before they can even enter the stadium Monks suspects foul play in a supposed prank, which leads to a murder victim; the best episodes of Monk are always the ones where he's taken out of his element and Monk at a football game is way out of his element; this was one of the strongest episodes of the season and is an absolute blast from beginning to end.
MR. MONK AND THE BULLY- ****
A bully who once tormented Mr. Monk hires him to trail his wife who he thinks might be cheating on him, but soon the case turns to a murder investigation; solid episode with plenty of funny moments, not a perfect episode, but highly enjoyable.
MR. MONK AND THE MAGICIAN- ****
Mr. Monk investigates a magician he believes is a murderer, but problem is the suspect was supposedly in another State at the time of the murder; solid episode, but starts to drag a little bit towards the end, but despite that this episode works well and is highly enjoyable
MR. MONK FIGHTS CITY HALL- ****
The garage where Monk's wife Trudy was killed is set to be demolished and turned into a playground, Monk gets the support of a councilwoman, but before she can vote she goes missing; this was a solid season finale and while its not as explosive as the 6th season finale it still works well and is a very entertaining episode; one thing I can say is thanks to this episode I'll never eat a hot dog from a vendor.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2009
Monk caught me from the very first episode. I love this show. Every episode, and I mean every episode is gold. This season is no different. It is a fantastic season, with Tony Shaloub at his very best. What a versatile actor he is. He seems to seamlessly fit into any part he attempts to do. I have read some of the negative reviews of this season, and I have to say that the reviewers are missing the main points here, Monk is an evolving character leading up to a conclusive ending in December of 2010. Season 7, shows Monk getting away from the use of the wipes, every time he touches someone or something, this is huge. There are other steps toward interdependency as well. All leading up to the finale episodes when all is resolved for Adrian Monk. I for one, prefer to see an ending to the TV shows I watch. Monk clearly has issues, that's what makes him so lovable as a character, but to see those issues reach a resolution by the ending of the series is what we as viewers want in a series. Season 7, has set up the parameters for those resolutions. I believe that those who are seeing this in a negative light, need to reevaluate the show, the premise, and the character.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Outside of one big change, much is the same on season seven of this hit show. Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub) is still obsessive, compulsive, and phobic. But he is still able to consult for the SFPD and help old friends Randy Disher (Jason Gray-Stanford) and Leland Stottlemeyer (Ted Levine) solve difficult cases thanks to the help of his assistant Natalie Teeger (Traylor Howard).
What has changed is his psychiatrist. After the death of actor Stanley Kamel, Dr. Kroger was also killed off, giving us a great case for the first episode. Monk is desperate to get away from a song that reminds him of Dr. Kroger, so he buys a house, only to find out about a mysterious death that took place there. Joining the cast in that episode is Hector Elizondo as Monk's new doctor, Dr. Bell.
From there, things settle down to normal. Or as normal as you can have it for Monk. Monk and Natalie get trapped on a submarine. Monk takes on a chess master who might have committed the perfect crime. Stottlemeyer witnesses a miracle and becomes a religious monk. Monk makes friends with his neighbor, only to find she's a murder suspect. In the only development relating to Trudy's murder, Monk attempts to keep the parking garage where she died from being turned into a park.
And I have to mention my favorite episode of the season. The special 100th episode is full of fun. Yes, Monk solves a new case. But the episode also features appearances by quite a few people we've met over the course of the show so far. It was very funny and a very clever way to mark the momentous occasion.
Unfortunately, this season is as uneven as the previous season was. Yes, I still enjoyed it. But the comedy and tender moments aren't as natural or real as they have been in previous seasons. Actually, the first half started strong. It was the second half where things fell into predictable molds once again. The writers seem to be running out of steam and going for the cheap laugh over the real character moments that make this show for me. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoyed the season. It just wasn't as strong as it could have been.
The show is slipping from its peak, which makes me happy that this was the penultimate season. It's still good, but it has been better.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
I love the character of Monk and virtually everyone who watches it is also hooked on HIM. Monk is a former San Francisco police department detective who had to go onto disability from the force because his OCD psychiatric disorder incredibly worsened after his wife was murdered by a fire bomb in her car. On its face, this sounds like it could be offensive as it satirizes a mental disorder. However, Monk is so lovable yet so aggravating with his OCD disorder that it works. Monk now consults with the police department. The reason he is such a good detective is because of his OCD. He notices everything. He is a fountain of information, including esoteric trivia, which he gravitates towards due to his illness. Put it all together and he can reach amazing deductions although he drives everyone around him completely bats.
Some viewers feared the series would suffer when the gal friday was replaced (from Sharona to Natalie) but there were no repercussions. Monk is so totally the show, which everyone else revolves around, that the change caused barely a ripple. As the series has gone on, it has evolved into more of a comedy and a character study which is also a mystery. Monk always solves a murder but that is secondary to everything else going on. Two characters I would miss are Leland Stotelmeyer, the Captain, and his sidekick Randy. They have grown very funny in their own right and are the next strongest characters to Monk himself. A month ago I rewatched every single episode of Monk and found myself every bit as fascinated with the episodes as I'd been the first time through. If anything, I was even fonder of Monk this second viewing through. Some excellent guest stars have also been on the series. Gena Rowlands was on one episode in season 7 and she was magnificent with Monk. I've read she's up for an Emmy for it. John Turturro has also guest starred as Monk's brother and he was also wonderful.
One loss to the show is that Monk's psychiatrist died (the actor in real life and thus the character on the show too). This relationship had been building with every season and the two, Monk and shrink, were very good together. Those pairings had been growing so it was a regular for them to have a session. There were some great sessions between them with both insightful and comedic moments. However, that is being soft pedaled now that a new shrink for Monk had to brought in. This new shrink is ok but it is not the same.
Tony Shalhoub plays Monk and he is wonderful. The one thing the viewers would never accept is a new Monk. He's said he thinks they should stop after season 8 (next season) but I hope he can be persuaded to do it a bit longer.
Visit my blog with link given on my profile page here or use this phonetically given URL (livingasseniors dot blogspot dot com). Friday's entry will always be weekend entertainment recs from my 5 star Amazon reviews in film, tv, books and music. These are very heavy on buried treasures and hidden gems. My blogspot is published on Monday, Wednesday & Friday.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2009
We all know how it goes by now: Monk gets a case, Natalie helps him, the captain maintains order, Randy is still a goofball, and Natalie's daughter barely appears. It's a formula, but it's enjoyable.
There is a nice inclusion of Mr. Monk's 100th case, which is apparently the 100th episode, and it features some alumni such as John Turturro, playing Monk's brother.
I'm hoping that the final season will really pull out all the stops.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 2009
I have been a "Monk" fan ever since the first episode aired some seven years ago. It has improved with every season. I have purchased all the season DVD collections over the years and have a special place for them in my video library. Ted Levene has been wonderful as captain Captain Leland Stottlemeyer. Who would have ever guessed that he could out do his part like he has? I remeber the serial killer that he played opposite Jodie Foster in "Silence of the Lamb" and WOW, can he act!
Most TV shows play out after the first few seasons or cast changes but this one has stayed new and exciting. The cast changes have never effected "Monk". Bitty Schram, as Sharona Fleming, moving off of the show did not effect Monk in the least, in fact the addition of Traylor Howard, as Natalie Teeger added new zest and life to the show.
Jason Gray-Stanford as Lt. Randall Disher allowed Monk to give it a balance of comendy and drama. I always knew that there would be humor with his part. My favorite episode for season seven was "Mr. Monk and the Lady Next Door", Gena Rowlands was an excellent guest star for that part. I truly enjoyed that episode.
Needless to say, I will miss Monk when it plays it's final epeisode at the end of season eight but I have all the seasons to revisit on DVD.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2008
Stuck at home with a bad cold over the weekend with Christmas parties happening all over the town. I did the next best thing... downloaded the season 7 Monk and had a great time.
The shows were full of best acting I have seen in a while. I loved the writing and the depth of what is being done by the writers. Great job guys!
I dont have a TV or cable so this is the only way besides buying the DVD (which is NOT out yet) to see the Monk Shows.
Glad my shows are stored and I was able to watch them again. Thank you for turning the bad evening into a good one! I watched the shows over again into the whole weekend!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2009
My husband and I were happy to find a TV series that we both enjoy equally. Each episode is about 45 minutes and it is just about the right amount of time to sit down for dinner or a break or just time together. We love all the characters in the series and the writers do a great job. Even when we have seen an episode when it originally aired we still enjoy seeing it again. Hope you enjoy "Monk" too.