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Monday, March 20, 2006


Obsessive. Compulsive. Detective.

Adrian Monk

If you live in the UK, you might well not have heard of Adrian Monk - you can blame awful scheduling for that...

Monk is a fictional American detective (played by Tony Shalhoub), he worked for the San Fransisco Police Department until the murder of his wife Trudy in 1997, her death causes him to have a breakdown. Monk is granted psychiatric leave from his position but finds it incredibly difficult to function in everyday life, what were once manageable phobias have become fully blown disorders, Monk is devastated about his loss and this feeling is exasperated by his wife's murder being the only case he isn't able to solve.

Monk eventually returns to work aided by his friend and nurse, Sharona Fleming (Bitty Schram) as a freelance detective/consultant to his former department in the hope of convincing his one time boss, Captain Stottlemeyer (Ted Levine), to allow him to return to the force. Monk assists on the cases that the police are unable to solve. He is the classic flawed genius, his photographic memory and amazing ability to piece tiny clues together comes at a price - his obsessive compulsive tendencies and genuine fears of everything from germs to heights.

When arriving at a crime scene, Monk's natural reaction is to clean it up, he shakes hands with people but hastily cleans them with a wet wipe afterwards and if he spots anything uneven, odd or slanted he is compelled to put it right. The show derives its light-hearted humour from his disposition, in one episode (Mr Monk Goes To Mexico), Monk takes cases and cases of the only brand of water he drinks - Sierra Springs, to Mexico and when the cases are stolen, he goes thirsty for three days! The humour though, is never mocking of Monk's condition and in fact the show is the finest depiction of OCD that I've seen on television.

The cases themselves are remarkably complex for their 40 minute duration and more along the exaggerated 'how did they do it' lines of Jonathan Creek than traditional 'whodunit' dramas.

Formerly screened in the UK on both Hallmark and BBC2 on Saturday afternoons, the show has now moved to a Monday to Friday 2.35pm slot on BBC1 - sandwiched between the dire Doctors and erm, the institution that is Chucklevision. Please then, if you have the opportunity to see or record this show, do so. It's worthy of your attention and support and deserves so much more than a daytime filler slot before CBeebies.

A final note to thank Jon who first introduced me to Monk (and Peep Show for that matter); I am eternally grateful and hope that my recommendation of Smiley Culture's 'Police Officer' was equally life changing. (What?!)

Are you working for NBC, Pete? Because that was one heck of a blurb, my little inkjet princess.

As you say (and as I have always said), Monk is indeed a fine example of television done to... dare I say it... perfection! I would not change a single thing on this show - which is quite the comment.

Does it compare to Neighbours? I decline to comment, but the casting is simply superb. Monk/Tony has been nominated for so many awards (I think it/he has walked away with a few, as well).

I think Season 5 was due to air in America this month. It may actually be airing already - I need to find out.

Bottom line? We love you Monk!

For fans of Tony Shalhoub... he was also (briefly) in the movie Quick Change (Bill Murray), and it was another fine performance.

Nope, never heard of him I'm afraid...

Must take another sickie sometime then...

At the other end of the timescale, still find it hard to believe how terrestrial TV has screwed around with the likes of the Sopranos, West Wing, Curb Your Enthusiasm, etc...
But the daytime imports, I'm not so up on... Occasional hungover stooodent Sundays trying to keep down to the oh-so-ponderous pace with the ludicrous Sunset Beach - even more ridiculous than Joey Tribbiani's Days Of Our Lives - was commitment enough...

Akr, please encourage Pete to watch Curb. It is damn good.

My verification word today was... ukdoepr - UK DOPER. That would be me, yes.

I'm not working for NBC BUT if anyone from NBC is reading this, then drop me an email and we can discuss terms...

I do mean to check out Curb Your Enthusiasm, I think they're showing series 2 on BBC4 at the moment so really I have no excuse.

The British terrestrial channels are never very good when it comes to handling US imports; BBC2 never made the most out of the Simpsons and should have made a much more concerted effort to prevent 24 going to Sky. Those are just two examples to go with akr's above ^.

Channel 4 seems to have almost abandoned The Simpsons as well, after all that time waiting and hyping. Ah, but what the world really needs is another derivative panel game / Peter Kay spin-off / "100 Wackiest/Most controversial/Clips we have in our archive but haven't yet repeated to disintegration... etc etc etc..." show...

Incidentally, how do you do that with the Last FM list down the side of the blog?
Which, in the meantime, has me pointing the iTunes cursor back to the lovely Kasey Chambers...

I have a rather convoluted way of displaying my Last.FM data. I take the standard Last.FM RSS Feed and use a website - to convert it into a javascript that goes in the Blogger template. I notice that Last.FM are promoting a whole host of new ways of displaying your listening information on your website now though, see here. As for Kasey, well, she's just delightful, though I think I prefer Mindy Smith...

Great it's on every day - but as I'm at work, I miss it every day. Saturday afternoons was a good time for me :-(

Cheers for that, but have tried both and still struggling a little.
Where exactly did you insert your line into the blogger template? Everywhere I've tried just seems to throw the entire blog into chaos, without showing the LastFM irrelevancies at all...
Ah well, maybe not meant to be...
Am on there as 'ccbaxter', by the by...
Like Mindy, but find her a little too innocuous... On a similar tip, Laura Cantrell, Tift Merritt and Amy Rigby do it for me more at the moment...

I would try putting it at the bottom of the sidebar, in the template code, locate this part:

< p i d = " powered-by " > < a href = "" >< img src=" " alt = "Powered by Blogger" />< / a>< / p>

(Without the spaces, I out those in so it wouldn't look odd here.)

And paste the Last.FM code after that but before the < / div > tags and the < ! -- End #sidebar -- > tag.

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