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October 6, 2015

Monk: Mr. Monk's Favorite Show (season premiere)

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 8th 2009 1:00AM

Somewhere Sherwood Schwartz was smiling if he watched this season premiere of Monk. Or else he was calling his attorney to sue for copyright infringement. I think it was more likely the former, because the tribute to The Brady Bunch was sweet. More on that and the rest of Mr. Monk's return -- for his last season -- after the jump.

The idea that Monk was obsessed with a show called The Cooper Clan was just goofy enough to work. After all, it played into Adrian's dysfunctional childhood. He felt like the Cooper clan was the family he should have been part of, a 1960's sitcom, squeaky clean, wholesome and happy bunch that resolved every problem in half an hour. No wonder Adrian was obsessed. How neat they all were.

Elizabeth Perkins as Christine Rapp, the child star of The Cooper Clan, had turned into a Hollywood whore with a tell-all book to hawk. From the moment she pushed the remote to start her car and it blew up, you knew "she was the guy." Interestingly, Monk never said that in the episode. It was too bad, too, they didn't give the publicist more motive to kill Christine, because Rena Sofer was sort of wasted in the expository role.

There were a few good scenes that stood out, like Monk and the mirror over the bed. In his obtuse way, he just couldn't figure out why it was there. Searching the victim's apartment, only Monk would have noticed the book on interior decorating didn't fit in, and therefore, he found the incriminating evidence against Christine.

The best bit in the show, though, was the re-creation of The Cooper Clan, courtesy of Christine bashing Adrian over the head with a vase. In his fantasy version of the sitcom, Monk was Adrian Cooper, the eldest son of the clan. From the moment he entered the set, he was awash in applause. It was like Fonzie on Happy Days, remember?

In Monk's mind, Adrian Cooper was the king of high school -- star quarterback, most popular guy, everybody adored him. He had everything, including an understanding dad who promised to never drive away and leave the family. And didn't you love the 1960's polyester pants and print top?

It wasn't a top-notch Monk, in that the mystery was pretty pedestrian, but it was a good character piece. It was also interesting in terms of family dynamics, especially when he never once mentioned Trudy. That was unusual.

Overall, though, it was a welcomed return. Shucky darns, Mr. Monk, it's good to have you back.

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I can't believe nobody else has noticed that for the first episode of this, Monk's final season, they got Rena Sofer to guest star. It's widely suggested that Rena Sofer is the harbinger of death for television shows, so they probably sought her out for this episode. I thought that was the funniest part of this hilarious premiere. You'll be missed, Mr. Monk.

August 14 2009 at 3:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I will be sad to see this show go.

August 12 2009 at 2:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have watched every frkn show of monk my fav. one is Mr. Monk gets a Punch or something like that i never miss a show EVER!... I would love to meet Tony Shaloub a.k.a. "Mr. Monk" i am like semi-obsessed with the show NOT him!...Ppl can say it's wierd that i watch monk because im not an old person...lol... P.s. natalie is better than Sharona... lol

August 11 2009 at 8:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am wondering if the people who didn't like this episode are younger or older than I am, and were therefore never obsessed with The Brady Bunch themselves? For me that is what made the show, all the references coming from every angle.

Without that connection I can see this episode being kind of lost.

Also wasn't Monk wearing the "Jan" wig, or was he just supposed to be Greg with a perm?

August 10 2009 at 1:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to lala's comment

I thought it was a good episode to start the season. I was really just happy to have some new Monk content in my life. I too, like everyone else I'm sure, wants to know what was on page 73. I thought it was pretty funny when Natalie ate it, but it really made me wonder what was possible on it. Loved Ellizabeth Perkins guest starring, I think she's a pretty talented actress, and is always able to add that "sass" to her characters.

August 10 2009 at 11:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I still wanna know what was on pg. 73.

August 08 2009 at 8:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I found the first half of the show intolerable but the second half, peculiarly, was quite good.

I wish they wouldn't stoop to generic sitcom gimmicks like "so crazy about a celebrity they lost all common sense" especially when used with Monk who has such an odd control of the specifics of his life.

August 08 2009 at 5:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

apparently the writers are slipping. Maybe that's the biggest reason this is Monk's last season?

August 08 2009 at 3:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Not a good episode. I was under the impression that Monk never watched (or even had a) TV when he was growing up. Indeed, it was obvious that Liz Perkins was "the guy" and as soon as they awkwardly mentioned the name of the accounting firm that counted the award votes, it was obvious that she somehow cheated.

August 08 2009 at 2:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bruce's comment

I am wondering if we will hear about page 73 later in the season. I have a sneaking suspicion that Mr. Monk will find the answer to Trudy's murder on this page.

August 13 2009 at 4:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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