I think I see your problem. You have this list. It’s a list of people you need/want to buy a Christmas gift for. The trouble is that they’re into home theatre, and you don’t know Star Trek from Star Wars. You couldn’t tell a Wolf Man from a Wolverine. And you always thought that Paranormal Activity was something too kinky to talk about. Fortunately, Upcomingdiscs has come to the rescue every Christmas with our Gift Guide Spotlights. Keep checking back to see more recommendations for your holiday shopping. These gift guides ARE NOT paid advertisements. We take no money to publish them. With conditions as they are, shopping won’t be easy this season. The nice thing about discs is that they’re so easy to get from places like Amazon that you can give a great gift and stay perfectly safe while you do it. Today we feature KL Studio Classics release of Monk: Season 1 on Blu-ray.
Kino Studio Classics has brought one of televisions strangest yet most beloved shows to high definition for the first time with Monk: The Complete First season on Blu-ray. This will fit nicely under anyone’s tree. It doesn’t matter if they already have the DVD’s. Someone on your Christmas list is really, really going to want these. My wife is one of them.
Adrian Monk was a top San Francisco detective when his wife was killed. This turns out to be the one case he can’t solve. The event triggered a mental breakdown. Now Monk is afraid of almost everything. And the surprising thing is that we’re watching a character in pain and distress. He’s not a happy man, but we find his discomfort a laugh riot. Why is that?
It is nearly impossible to escape the common comparisons between Monk and Columbo. But don’t get this show expecting it to be at all like the well-loved bumbling detective played for decades by Peter Falk. The two characters are nothing alike. The comparisons are made because we haven’t had a detective show since Columbo where the quirks and personality of the character himself were more important than the cases he solved. Tony Shalhoub’s Adrian Monk suffers from a long list of phobias, from germs to drinking milk. He also suffers from O.C.D. (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). This means that Monk can’t stand disorder of any kind. This, of course, doesn’t help when you consider how few “neat” crime scenes there are. The series uses different writers to bring out the comedy and the mystery elements of the show. Shalhoub is what really makes everything fly. Expect that the show does go way over the top. But it’s all in good fun. One of the big surprises here is Ted Levine as the police captain. Levine, of course, is best known as the killer from Silence of the Lambs.
“Mr. Monk and his Origins” is obviously a short talk about how the show came to be. The most interesting fact here is that Michael Richards from “Seinfeld” was originally considered for the title role.
“Mr. Monk and his O.C.D.” talks about the disorders the character suffers from.
“Mr. Monk and his Fellow Sufferers” Cast and crew discuss some of their own quirks.
“Mr. Monk and his Emmy Award Winning Performance” This is a Tony Shalhoub love-fest.
“Mr. Monk and his Partners in Crime” is a 5-minute look at the supporting cast.
I got to talk to Tony Shalhoub during the show’s final season. You can check out a transcript of that interview here: Tony Shalhoub Interview
Monk is not really a mystery show. The Charlie Chan reveals are usually less a surprise than formula. Make no mistake about it, Monk is a character study to the extreme. Shalhoub can say more with a silent stare than most actors delivering Shakespeare. What compels us to watch isn’t seeing Monk get his man. We watch to see Shalhoub entertain us with his circus act. “I could be wrong … but I’m not.”