Monk: Mr. Monk Makes a Friend
(S05E11) Tony Shalhoub has garnered a few Emmys for his role as Adrian Monk, and I know some have complained that at this point it's almost as if he's given the award automatically. I don't care whether or not Shaloub "deserves" to be nominated year after year, but I do know that it's Monk that makes Monk worth watching. I don't watch this series because of the complex plots, because they're rarely complex. Clues to the suspect's identity are made more obvious than hints in an Encyclopedia Brown story, especially in this episode when a mysterious man strangles his lover in the opening scene, a man who is clearly Andy Richter even though they try to obscure him.
Of course, we find out about halfway through that Hal (Richter) really is the man who seduced a woman who used to work at the police station to help him sneak a priceless statue back from Greece. That's why he decides to befriend Monk, so he can check Monk's mail and intercept a letter from the dead woman that would pin him to the crime.
Monk, however, is so elated about having a new friend he doesn't notice all the clues building up that point to Hal. he wants to "pop the question" to Hal and ask him to be his best friend, and sits by the phone like a teenage girl waiting for the cute boy in her class to call her. It's both hilarious and heart-wrenching to see Monk so deluded, and even after Hal tries to kill him, Monk thinks it would be cool to go to another hockey game with him.