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    Tony Shalhoub stars as Monk on USA

    I recently borrowed a set of DVD’s on a show called “Monk.” Tony Shalhoub stars as the title character. He’s an obsessive-compulsive (OCD) detective who, because of his disorder, was forced to leave San Francisco Police Department and began work as a private detective.

    He’s accompanied by his nurse played by Bitty Schram for the first few seasons, though I’ve only seen episodes from the first season. His nurse works closely with him as he solves homicides the police force have difficulty solving.

    What’s most ingenious about the show, in my opinion, is how his many quirks are worked into the script adding to what is already going on. He’s very picky, as most OCD’s are, and this is where his nurse reigns in his obsession. He has an established relationship with the police detective played by Ted Levine who had been his former boss and who has a love/hate relationship with needing help from Monk.

    Oftentimes Monk will know important details about a case that only his peculiar way of looking at things can reveal. According to several entertainment publications:

    “He’s ingenious, he’s phobic, he’s obsessive-compulsive. Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner "Tony Shalhoub is a riot" (TV Guide) in Monk, the show that critics are praising as "fresh, exciting and utterly original." (Chicago Tribune)
    Monk’s hilarious, offbeat antics have made him unfit for duty but he’s back as a police consultant to help out on their most baffling cases. The brilliant but neurotic Monk is now fighting crime as well as his abnormal fears of germs, cars, heights, crowds and virtually everything else known to man in "the best detective show to come along in decades." (NY Post) "Nothing on TV generated more fun than this" (LA Times).”

    Normally I wouldn’t really be interested in detective shows per se. I was an addict for NYPD Blue, but it was all about caring about the characters. Monk gives us the chance to care again about a dysfunctional but lovable hero.

    Monk can be seen on the USA Network which will be going into its fifth season this fall. Because of its popularity, reruns can be seen various times so check your local listings.

    Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com