Sunday, April 13, 2008

Monk's Loss Is Everyone's Loss

I don't know where the heck I've been, frankly.

There are tons of shows including Friends and Seinfeld, where I've never remembered what day of the week the shows were on, much less what time they were on, much less what channel they were on.

So, I was always missing the water cooler moments that come with watching what's hot right now.

Also the case with Monk, starring Tony Shalhoub, who's been on the air for 6 or 7 years now, and I only recently discovered him thanks to my brother and brother-in-law.

With the help of DirectTV, I'm able to just "tape" every episode that comes on without any trouble at all, and now that I have 6 years to catch up on, I feel like I'm swimming in money -- that currency of having lots of shows and no fear of running into a re-run anytime soon.

Which is why I gasped with sadness when I saw that Monk recently lost his shrink, Stanley Kamel, due to a heart attack.

There are few shows on the planet that fulfill something special. Monk does just the thing. While it's a "whodunnit" mystery ala Columbo and other great detectives, the twist is that former San Francisco Detective Adrian Monk is a genius who is able to solve crime, and yet suffers from OCD -- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

Anyone who knows anyone with OCD understands that there are funny aspects to the disorder. But with it comes a tremendous amount of pain, shame, and difficulty with functioning in the outside world. They make control freaks like me look slovenly and downright relaxed.

The beauty of Monk is that they are able to use his OCD as both a comedic vehicle, but they don't sugar-coat it either. The pain of OCD and his search for his beloved wife's killer (which seemed to have triggered a worsening of his OCD) is explored in many episodes.

The loss of Adrian Monk's shrink, Dr. Kroger, who was, as CNN so aptly put it "Monk's long-suffering psychiatrist" was and is a tragedy. He added to a brilliant cast of characters that makes that show so very special to watch.

If you get a chance to see the show -- do it.

RIP Dr. Kroger.

Art shamelessly stolen from I'll take it down only if they make me.


Spedvet said...

I discovered Monk two summers ago, when I was home laid up on the couch all day sick as a dog. I loved it. It has a certain sweetness about it... the only other show I could compare it to (being sweet without being sanguine) was my other sentimental favorite, Quantum Leap. (Oh, boy!)

John said...

RIP Croger. He was super tight. I think Monk will be totally destroyed by this (good thing they are done with the seasons lol)

love, jm


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