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Monk is an American comedy-drama detective mystery television series created by Andy Breckman and starring Tony Shalhoub as the eponymous character, Adrian Monk. It originally ran from 2002 to 2009 and is primarily a mystery series, although it has dark and comic touches. The series was produced by Mandeville Films and Touchstone Television (although the corporate name changed to ABC Studios in the course of the series, the Touchstone Television logo remained throughout, making Monk the last surviving series to carry it) in association with Universal Television.
The series debuted on July 12, 2002, on USA Network. It was well received and continued for eight seasons, with the final season concluding on December 4, 2009. The series currently holds the record for the most watched scripted drama episode in cable television history, a record previously held by The Closer. Monk set the record with "Mr. Monk and the End – Part II", its last episode and finale, with 9.4 million viewers, 3.2 million of them in the 18–49 demographic
Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub) was a brilliant detective for the San Francisco Police Department until his wife, Trudy, was killed by a car bomb in a parking garage, which Monk then believed was intended for him. In a later episode, he discovers the bomb was truly meant for Trudy. He later believes that Trudy's death was part of a larger conspiracy that she had uncovered during her time as a journalist. Trudy's death led Monk to suffer a nervous breakdown. He was then discharged from the force and became a recluse, refusing to leave his house for three and a half years. Trudy's death was the only case that Monk did not solve until the final episode.
He is finally able to leave the house with the help of his nurse, Sharona Fleming (Bitty Schram). The breakthrough allows him to work as a private detective and a consultant for the homicide unit despite limitations rooted in his obsessive–compulsive disorder(OCD), which had grown significantly worse after the tragedy, along with several other phobias.
Monk's compulsive habits are numerous, and a number of phobias compound his situation, such as his fear of germs. Monk has 312 fears, some of which are milk, ladybugs, harmonicas, heights, imperfection, claustrophia, driving, food touching on his plates, messes and risk. He however had a breakthrough from claustrophobia later in the series. The OCD and plethora of phobias inevitably lead to very awkward situations and cause problems for Monk and anyone around him as he investigates cases. These same personal struggles, particularly the OCD, are what aid him in solving cases, such as his sharp memory, specific mindset, and attention to detail. In one episode entitled "Mr. Monk and His Biggest Fan", Marci Maven (Sarah Silverman) has compiled a list of all of Adrian's fears. In another episode, he tries to conquer his fears by doing various activities which involved his phobias. For example, he tries drinking milk, climbing a ladder, and putting a ladybug on his hand, but when things are scattered unorganized across a table, he cannot resist the compulsion to arrange them neatly.
Captain Leland Stottlemeyer (Ted Levine) and Lieutenant Randall "Randy" Disher (Jason Gray-Stanford) call on Monk when they have trouble with an investigation. Stottlemeyer is often irritated by Monk's behavior but respects his friend and former colleague's amazing insight and observational abilities, as does Disher. Ever since childhood, Monk's obsessive attention to detail allowed him to spot tiny discrepancies, find patterns, and make connections that others often missed. Something someone says or does usually triggers Monk to make the connection.
In his spare time, Monk continues to search for information about his wife's death, and is plagued with the idea that he may never determine who killed Trudy. He dedicates his life to solving other murders because he feels this is fixing disorder in the world. He becomes especially intrigued when a woman is killed, or when someone is killed with some type of bomb, because this reminds him of Trudy's murder.
In the middle of season three, Sharona decides to re-marry her ex-husband and move back to New Jersey, prompting Mr. Monk to hire Natalie Teeger (Traylor Howard) as his new assistant. Natalie is a widow and mother of an eleven-year-old daughter. Monk discovers Natalie when she is involved in a murder case herself, in "Mr. Monk and the Red Herring".
Monk has a brother Ambrose (John Turturro) and a half-brother, Jack, Jr. (Steve Zahn), whom Monk never knew about until his father tells him in season five. He later meets Jack, Jr., in the episode "Mr. Monk's Other Brother" during season seven.
Here's the Thing!
by Gregg Metcalf
Here’s the thing, my name is Mr. Monk
once upon a time I was a cop
But when my wife was killed by a bomb
It was then I was forced to stop
Here’s the thing, I was a great detective
I served the San Francisco PD
A gun and a badge were all I knew
And there was no one better than me
Here’s the thing, I’m afraid of 312 things
With germs being number one
But heights, milk, and risk are there
So my days on the force were done
Here’s the thing, weekly I see a Shrink
now he's the one that helps me cope
Monday, Wednesday and Friday I go
It’s the only thing that gives me hope
Here’s the thing, I now consult with the SFPD
I solve the crimes that seem to stump-em
When the clues have all turn cold
Then they hope I can think of somethin'
Here’s the thing, when I am on the scene
I use my hands to see the clues
That no one else can see but me
While I solve their crimes I pay my dues
Here’s the thing, this is what I always say
When I hope to avoid a risk
But they always push me to comply
They think I am a broken disc
Here’ the thing, I have a favorite line
When I know who’s the crook
I say, “He’s the guy!” and they know
No further do they have to look
Here’s the thing, I have this one hope
That the Shrink and all the therapy
Will one day rid me of all my fears
And I can rejoin the San Francisco PD
Here’s the thing, while I work a case
I am trying to find the killer
Who took my Trudy away from me
I will one day solve this thriller
Here’s the thing, I hired Sharona to assist
me with everyday tasks and chores
For three years she was by my side
But then she moved to the Jersey shores
Here’s the thing, I had to go and hire Natalie
she's the one who helps me now get by
There was a day when Sharona came to visit
And both helped me catch the bad guy
Here’s the thing, whenever I shake a hand
I’m deathly afraid of any germ
Natalie automatically hands me a “wipe”
Otherwise I would shake and squirm
Here’s the thing, I never was reinstated
But I did catch Trudy’s killer
He was a well known judge
He was a regular community pillar
Here’s the thing, I also found someone
Trudy had had a daughter
I was able to meet her one fine day
She lived near the bay on the water
Here’s the thing, she is just like her mother
It is like having Trudy back again
And I know she can’t take her place
But seeing her brings to me a silly grin
Here’s the thing, this was a way to end the show
After eight seasons of fears and phobias
With broken hearts and broken dreams
I can finally relax with friends at Zenobia’s
Here’s the thing, go to Amazon.com, buy each season
I know you will enjoy all my funny quirks
And one by one purchase all of the DVDS
Let me amaze you by the way I work
Here’s the thing, I did not get paid
To write this poem or ask you to buy
The collection of Mr. Monk
But you will love him as much as I
Here’s the thing, I have to find a way
To stop this silly little rhyme
I know it is beyond any hope
But it was what was on my mind!
Did you read the whole thing?