32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Fear Not. There's More Fun with Season Four,
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Monk - Season Four (DVD)
Everyone's favorite obsessive-compulsive phobic detective is back! Police consultant Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub) has sixteen more cases to solve. They're sure to leave him terrified and us helpless with laughter.
In this batch of episodes, Monk is faced with a brand new set of puzzles. Who shot the pizza delivery guy? Why did a masked man break a stock analyst's right hand? Did Monk's late wife fake her death? Who tried to run over Lieutenant Disher (Jason Gray-Stanford)? And how could an astronaut commit murder when he was in space? While working on answering these puzzles, he must face the challenge of dealing with the dentist, the flu, a cubical, a hangover, and amnesia.
Once again, the plots here are a little on the thin side. Heck, Monk usually tells us 15 minutes into the show who done it. The problem is figuring out how the person did it. I usually can't put all the pieces together until Monk explains it at the end, and then I feel foolish for missing it.
Of course, the heart of the show is the humor. The writers go out of their way to put Monk into situation that make him uncomfortable to show him over reacting to things. Yet they keep him human, making us care for him. This is best shown in "Mr. Monk and the Astronaut." In one scene, we're laughing at his reaction to the laser pointers, the next we're feeling sorry for him as the suspect in the case belittles him. Yet by the end we're proud as always of the way Monk overcomes his fears to save the day. Overall, this keeps Monk human.
Of course, the show works because the acting is so good. The actors take the material and make it shine. The cast is lead by Tony Shalhoub who brings Monk to life expertly. This is the first full season with Traylor Howard as Monk's new assistant Natalie. I may be in the minority, but she continues to grow on me each time I see her. There is an innocence and sweetness that compliments Monk so well. And Ted Levine and Jason Gray-Stanford continue their great work as the police who constantly have to call on Monk to solve their hardest cases.
Unfortunately, this season does have a couple of negatives. While Monk's wife's murder is mentioned a few times, that storyline seems to have been dropped. I like the few clues we were given each season to advance that story. And this season has the single worst episode of the show yet. "Mr. Monk Goes to the Dentist" misses the comedy mark and becomes really dark really fast. While I liked the fact they made Lt. Disher smart for a change, the rest of the episode just didn't work for me.
Those who have been buying the previous seasons know what to expect here. All sixteen episodes are presented in widescreen and Dolby sound on four discs. The set is light on extras, this time giving us only two both on the last disc. The first is a fifteen-minute look at the process the writing staff goes through to create an episode, looking specifically at "Mr. Monk and the Big Reward." Despite what the box says, the actual second bonus feature is a brief profile of Jon Perkins, the detective who consults on the show to help add a bit of realize to it.
On the whole, this is another fine season of a great dramedy. This is the perfect way to preserve the show to watch over and over again.