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Sunday, February 19, 2006

Monk mania

June 30, 2004

It’s a well-known fact that I’m somewhat compulsive.

I carry Wet Ones in my purse to wipe my hands, after pumping gas or pushing a shopping cart. I refuse to drink soda from a can, opting for a cup with ice instead. And as my co-workers can attest, I regularly scrub down my desk, phone, and work area as if I were sterilizing them for surgery. So, it’s understandable that I feel a certain connection with the lovable, yet obsessive-compulsive detective Adrian Monk.

For those who haven’t had the pleasure of watching Monk yet, don’t expect the smooth, unshakeable characters we’ve come to know in TV detective shows. He’s no Matlock , Kojak, or Jessica Fletcher.

Monk is eccentric. He’s phobic about germs, fears heights, crowds, and the dark, and despises chaos. Yet, it’s easy to fall under the spell of this defective detective.

Monk’s obsessive-compulsive disorders began after his wife was murdered. His condition forced him to leave his job at the San Francisco Police Department, where he was the go-to guy for solving difficult cases. Despite his current neuroses, he’s still the go-to guy. He works as a private investigator, but often lends a hand to his former boss at the department when he needs assistance on a case. Monk hopes to someday reclaim his job. And he’s on a quest to find out who killed his wife. Lucky for us, we get to take the journey with him.

TV enthusiasts will recognize Monk’s portrayer Tony Shalhoub from his breakout role on Wings. He played unlucky cab driver Antonio. But it’s his role as the peculiar P.I. that has earned Shalhoub a mantle full of awards, including an Emmy, Golden Globe and a SAG.

If you haven‘t guessed, Monk is a comedy. And I promise it will make you laugh. That more people haven’t discovered this show is a crime. I’m blaming it on the unfortunate time slot. It airs Friday nights at 10 p.m. on the USA network.

If you’re not home regularly on Friday evenings, learn to program your VCR. If you are home, make a date with Monk.

It may just become your new obsession.

Originally published 6/30/04 in The Exponent Telegram newspaper.


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