Monk: Season 8
DVD | Box Set
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Primetime Emmy® Award and Golden Globe winner Tony Shalhoub is back for one last obsessively compulsive good time in the final season of the hit detective series Monk. From the very first moment detective Adrian Monk (Shalhoub) appeared on the scene, audiences have been hooked on this intelligent and irreverent sleuth who uses his quirky phobias and neuroses to solve crimes in a way other detectives just can’t. Join him now as he reunites with former colleagues and friends from seasons past – as well as guest stars Elizabeth Perkins (Weeds), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Lost), Daniel Stern (The Wonder Years) and many more – for some of the most riveting cases yet, including the one that has haunted him for the past eight seasons. Critics and fans agree that “...there is something undeniably stirring about watching Tony Shalhoub’s Mr. Monk take his victory lap” (Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times).
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For the most part, the show didn't really change a thing. Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub) is SFPD's secret weapon in the war against crime. When Captain Stottlemeyer (Ted Levine) and Lieutenant Randy Disher (Jason Gray-Stanford) get stuck on an especially hard case, they call in Monk. Aided by his assistant Natalie Teeger (Traylor Howard), Monk's obsessive compulsive behaviors and phobias allow him to see those clues that others miss.
Granted, the show was never filled with super tough cases, but this season has its share of great ones. I especially enjoyed the one that found Monk convinced he had seen a UFO outside a small desert town. They do a spot on spoof of The Brady Bunch when the now grown actress of Monk's favorite childhood show is being stalked. Monk joins a group theory group only to have the other members start to die.
But what has always made this show so wonderful is the liberal mixing of laughter and quiet, tender moments. And that is what we get here. It's like the writers knew this was their last chance to really say something with the characters, and they didn't want to miss an opportunity. Looking over the episodes makes me smile as I remember a particular line or a scene that make me laugh or a tender moment the characters shared together.
The acting is top notch as always. I've never been able to fault the cast, and they didn't rest on their laurels going into the final season. Their performances really gave wonderful life to those words.
Since this was the final season, the writers did go places they couldn't go previously. Bitty Schram agreed to come back one list time as Monk's first assistant Sharona. That episode had some of the funniest moments of the season as we got to watch Sharona and Natalie fight over Monk, almost literally at one point. Monk also was rehired by the police force. In one of the most touching episodes, Stottlemeyer gets remarried.
And the biggest question of the series is finally answered. In the two part season finale, we finally find out who killed Monk's wife Trudy. Honestly, these episodes were the weakest of the season. Yes, there were some very funny moments and memorable lines. There were also had some wonderful moments for the characters. But I was disappointed with how the mystery itself unfolded.
The box set will look pretty familiar to fans of the show. The sixteen episodes are presented in surround sound and widescreen on four discs. Extras are limited to a video commentary on the final episode and interviews with cast and crew.
I started season eight of Monk hoping it would end on a high note. Even with the disappointing final episode, it left me wishing we'd get more from this wonderful show. Thanks for the wonderful eight years, Mr. Monk. I'll see you in the tie-in novels and my DVD sets.
The season finale is perhaps the most well written and well acted episode of the series. Fans, along with Monk, finally discover what happened to Trudy and it's an emotional rollercoaster as they follow Monk on his journey to bring justice to her killer. Tony Shalhoub deserved every award they could give him for his portrayal of Adrian Monk in that final episode. The series is wrapped up in such a beautiful and fulfilling way, fans are left with feeling the satisfaction of completion.
The special features provide fascinating and entertaining looks into the behind-the-scenes. These features include Tours of the Set, interviews with the cast and creators, on set footage of the final day of shooting, and (my favorite) a video commentary for the final two episodes with Tony Shalhoub, Randy Zisk, and Andy Breckman. Speaking as one Monk fan to another, I'm telling you, you MUST own this final season...you'll thank me later.
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