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Monk is back – What makes Tony Shalhoub’s detective procedural an interesting watch

Monk has consistently been in the Top 10 shows in India since dropping on Netflix a few days ago

Monk is back – What makes Tony Shalhoub’s detective procedural an interesting watch
Tony Shalhoub as Adrian Monk in Monk that is now available on Netflix

Last Updated: 06.12 PM, Apr 18, 2024


The police procedural Monk, featuring Tony Shalhoub as former detective Adrian Monk, a consultant for the San Fransisco PD, owing to his debilitating fears and OCDs, ended its TV run 15 years ago. Netflix recently acquired the rights to all 8 seasons of the show, perhaps, as a precursor to bringing last year’s Monk movie (Mr Monk’s Last Case: A Monk Movie) to the platform. It’s only been a few days, but since arriving on Netflix, Monk has been consistently in the Top 10 shows in India. Wondering why? Well, let’s tell you what makes Monk so popular.

Tony Shalhoub as Adrian Monk 

A once brilliant detective, Adrian Monk’s world falls apart after the death of his wife Trudy, a mystery he was able to solve only at the very end. While his phobias and OCDs have no impact on his powers of observation and deduction skills, with insights that more often than not solve even the biggest mysteries, they come in the way of him being reinstated as an active detective. Tony was nominated for Primetime Emmy Awards as an Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for all eight seasons and won it three times.


Great cast 

Although the primary focus of each episode and case was how Monk would figure out the ‘who did it’ and how he’d prove as much, he was often greatly aided by Bitty Schram as his nurse-cum-assistant Sharona (in the early seasons) and later by Natalie (Traylor Howard). As Monk’s former boss and now supervising officer, Ted Levine’s Captain Stottlemeyer is as much a weight-bearing pillar of the show as is Lieutenant Disher (Jason Gray-Stanford).

While these four comprised the main cast, Monk’s impressive line-up of guest stars also ensured the episodes remained very watchable. Whether it was John Turturro as Adrian’s brother Ambrose, Adam Arkin, Tim Bagley, Ray Porter, Snoop Dog, Tim Curry, Sarah Silverman, Howie Mandel, Sean Astin, among many others, there were quite a few remarkable episodes made better with the presence of these guest stars.

A refreshing take on mental health 

Monk’s neurotic behaviour is often a source of amusement for those around him, with his inner circle, including Captain Stottlemeyer and Lt Disher, tolerating him because of his track record with solving mysteries. The show shines light on what it means to live with debilitating fears and OCDs without ever making Monk appear caricaturish. The medical aspects were a tad suspect at times, but the fact that the showrunners stuck with a main character who thrived professionally despite his troubles, was widely applauded.

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