Any "Monk" fans yet?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Phil Florian, Jul 15, 2002.

  1. Phil Florian

    Phil Florian Screenwriter

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    Howdy,
    We watched the pilot episode of USA's new "crime dramedy" called "Monk." I am a big fan of Tony Shaloub, having loved his performance since his stint on "Wings," his performance in "Big Night" and the many unique spots that followed (I even loved him in his bit part in "In Search of Bobby Fischer"). I had high hopes for this series, if only as a vehicle for a very talented actor.
    I was a bit underwhelmed. The story was very contrived and unoriginal, the characters that surrounded Monk were flat and formulaic, and the main reason I watched, Tony's performance, was cliched and inconsistent. That said, I will still watch it because one hopes that in a new series, the characters will begin to flesh out, the performances will mellow and the stories will improve. Look at the first season of just about any show to see this.
    Maybe I am spoiled by great BBC produced mysteries that show up on A&E and PBS. Those are great, often quirky, characters that solve crime with their intellect, sheer will, etc. (and rarely weapons or combat). Following the opening scene, that was what I thought we were getting, kind of a low-rent version of those shows. But it quickly degraded into a Z-level cop-drama story line (another corrupt politician or political operative???


    I mean, if you are going to re-hash stories, find something original in them. Ugh.

    Monk as a mentally ill ex-cop, while a cool premise, didn't work out. Instead of building up an anxiety ridden character on a couple recognizable issues, they kind of piled on the symptoms. He is a Rainman-esque type of semi-autistic cop (photographic memory and low-affect), obsessive compulsive cop (must touch and count things, rigid daily plan, etc.), depressed with sleep disorder cop(wife dead, natch), and highly -phobic cop (germs, crowds, heights, and I am sure more as it goes on). Ugh. Pick one, move on. Sherlock had his Opium, Cracker had his booze and gambling (mostly the gambling), and Morse had...er..his health? Keeping it simple would really go a long way towards making Monk a believable person and not a collection of symptoms to ham ones way through.

    That said, I still will attempt to follow the show for a while, if only to see if the performance comes down anywhere near to earth. Here is hoping it happens...


    Phil
     
  2. LarryDavenport

    LarryDavenport Cinematographer

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    I actually "watched" it twice, yet didn't see any of it. Both times I was totally engrossed in "The Sims" a video game I got for my laptop (because I was tired of Solitaire). I'll try to actually watch it next week. (Damn, my Sims need to go to the can again!)
     
  3. Phil Florian

    Phil Florian Screenwriter

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    Maybe if you played a Sim with obsessive compulsive disorder and a fear of germs, it would be a good bridge to the television?


    phil
     
  4. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Ahhh, here comes "Tragic Clown"*

    I remember Tony Shaloub on Wings, "Antonio" one of my favorite characters from sitcoms of not-too-long-ago. I didn't really get to know the actor until I kept seeing him pop up in movies and stuff, including "In Search of Bobby Fisher".

    Sadly, I didn't get to catch his new series but read a short blurb in a local paper's tv guide. Maybe I'll try to catch a rerun on USA sooner or later..

    Jay

    * a reference to "The Sims: Livin' Large"
     
  5. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    It shouldn't be too hard - I gather USA is re-running the pilot approximately 5,276 times this week. I'm planning on catching one of those, since I missed Friday's premiere.

    Aside - why is USA running this Friday at 10pm EDT, the same time as sister network Sci-Fi's most popular program, "Farscape", rather than building a block on Sunday with "The Dead Zone"? I could understand if both networks ran full schedules of original programming, but how tough is it to stay out of your own way?
     
  6. Jeremiah

    Jeremiah Screenwriter

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    I saw it and I liked it. I thought he was great in it, I liked his nurse too and the cop(even though he didn't do much), I will watch it again.

    The kid picking his nose was classic.
     
  7. David Williams

    David Williams Cinematographer

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    I watched and found some things to like. It was not a total success, but Shalhoub and Schram were outstanding. I find it less about the mystery and more about the characters, comparable to Nero Wolfe, which seems to be the inspiration. Adrian Monk = Nero Wolfe, Sharona = Archie, with Stottlemeyer = Inspector Cramer.
    I agree with Jeremiah, the nose-picking kid was fantastic!
    Hopefully it will gel better in future episodes but nonetheless it's quite an enjoyable summer diversion. Certainly not Shakespeare, but better than most of those summer repeats.
     
  8. Todd Terwilliger

    Todd Terwilliger Screenwriter

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    I meant to watch this and totally forgot! I'll try to catch one of the reruns this week. I love Nero Wolfe so if this is half as good then I'll probably like it.
     
  9. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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    I saw the pilot last night...or at least the first hour. I was so tired that, no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't stay awake for the second hour. I really liked what I saw and wished it wasn't on so late. I'm looking forward to seeing the next episode this Friday.
     
  10. Marianne

    Marianne Supporting Actor

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    The first time I saw the trailer for "Monk" during "JAG" I thought it looked quite interesting. After the 5,000th time USA showed the trailer I was so pissed off I decided not to watch "Monk" at all.

    USA does this for all their new shows and original movies - I guess it works for some viewers!
     
  11. KenA

    KenA Stunt Coordinator

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    I enjoy it. Its not the best thing out there but Tony Shaloub is a trip and the rest of the character development is coming along.
     
  12. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    I think its a great idea. A cop whos a manic compulsive[​IMG]
     
  13. Phil Florian

    Phil Florian Screenwriter

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    Second episode didn't really improve on the pilot, sadly. I think the show needs to decide on a tone and go with it. It kind of tries this light and frothy approach with semi-serio-comic undertones...ugh. Thankfully, this past week's criminal proved to be a complete idiot, saving Monk and friends from having to do much more than a Scooby-Doo inspired bit of planning to get the evil man to admit to his crime. Help me.

    "I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for this meddling obsessive compulsive guy." -Typical Monk Villian

    Phil
     
  14. DaveZ

    DaveZ Extra

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  15. Lisel

    Lisel Stunt Coordinator

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    I've only seen the pilot, but I think it has promise. I like Shalhoub and the Sharona character. I generally like James Remar (that is the police captain, right?) but not in this role. And I also wish it didn't air opposite Farscape. Fortunately I can tape the midnight broadcast.

    Lisel
     

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