Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What I’m Watching: Monk

Monk: Season 8, Episode 11 “Mr. Monk and the Dog” (B+)

The reclusive Monk’s unusual attempt to find a perfect companion was especially fun in this episode. The fact that he trained his dog to not do all of the tricks and things most dogs do was hilarious, and completely typical and fitting for the obsessive-compulsive detective’s distinct behavior. It was obviously going to be a short-lived phenomenon, but it was still enjoyable while it lasted. It’s important as this show winds down its run (only five episodes to go!) that Monk goes for broke and tries everything he can, the more outlandish the better. Unfortunately, what’s regrettable about this episode and its heavy focus on Monk’s new pet is that the case is second fiddle. It’s not an incredibly complex, surprised-filled mystery, though it does have its share of clever moments, most notably Monk asking outright for the suspects to raise their hands if they committed the murder after the culprit plants the cell phone. The element of the murder that’s given far too little screen time and deserved much more is the victim herself. Marguerite Moreau is a wonderfully charming and talented actress whose scene-long outburst at the beginning of the episode shouldn’t have been her sole appearance on this show. This series has featured its fair share of fabulous guest stars (check out my list of the best guest characters over at TV Tango), and hopefully its swan song will provide worthwhile showcases like the recent reappearance of Sharona, and give great actors and actresses a chance to show what they can contribute to this long-running stellar show.

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