Monk: Season 1 (2002)

SEASON:

Season 1
Monk

Critics Consensus

Monk is a pedestrian procedural anchored by an extraordinary star performance, with Tony Shalhoub bringing both beguiling eccentricity and rich humanity to the titular detective.

100%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 14

93%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 36

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Episodes

Air date: Jul 12, 2002

Part 1 of 2. Obsessive-compulsive ex-cop Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub) comes out of a forced retirement to investigate the murder of a politician's bodyguard.

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Air date: Jul 12, 2002

Conclusion. Obsessive-compulsive ex-cop Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub) comes out of a forced retirement to investigate the murder of a politician's bodyguard.

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Air date: Jul 19, 2002

Not long after the wife of former San Francisco Police Commissioner Harry Ashcombe (John Bourgeois) disappears, the woman's body, buried in a mudslide, is located by self-styled psychic Dolly Flint (Linda Kash). Recognizing Dolly as a notorious con artist, Monk (Tony Shalhoub) has trouble accepting the "miracle" of finding the body--and he also doesn't believe that Mrs. Ashcombe died accidentally. The solution to the mystery may well be in the hands of Aschombe's mistress Jennifer Zeppetelli (Jenny Levine)...and may also hinge on the fact that Dolly Flint is a narcoleptic.

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Air date: Aug 2, 2002

A ride on a Ferris wheel proves fatal to police informant John Gitomer (Rob Stefaniuk)--and may also destroy the career of Adam Kirk (Stephen McHattie), a "loose cannon" police detective who is the prime suspect in Gitomer's murder. Kirk's former partner Lt. Stottlemeyer (Ted Levine) asks Monk (Tony Shalhoub) to investigate the situation, a job that Monk takes on despite his intense dislike of Kirk and his deadly fear of heights. The trail of clues leads to a dance club, a secret phone number, and a campaign of terror conducted from a prison cell.

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Air date: Aug 9, 2002

After the cops catch him preparing dinner in the house that once belonged to his late wife Trudy, Monk (Tony Shalhoub) is temporarily bundled off to the Medford Psychiatric Institute. While undergoing therapy, Monk stumbles upon clues to the murder of a doctor that occurred at Medford three years earlier. But how can Monk convince the authorities that he isn't hallucinating--especially since his main sources of information include the highly delusional John Wurster (Kevin Nealon) and a thirty-year-old inmate (Ken Cheeseman) who still believes in Santa Claus?

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Air date: Aug 16, 2002

Apparently suffering from a mid-life crisis that causes moments of bizarre whimsy, billionaire computer executive Sidney Teal (J.C. McKenzie) pulls a gun and attempts to rob a couple outside a restaurant--and is killed in the process. Though beset with financial problems, and facing the possible loss of his trusted nurse Sharona (Bitty Schram), Monk (Tony Shalhoub)agrees to investigate Teal's death, and the reasons behind it. Perhaps the answer can be gleaned from the two people whom the dead man mugged...or perhaps the solution is in the hands of Officer Moretta (Jonathan Rannells) the cop at the crime scene who inexplicably ran away before back-up arrived--and hasn't been seen since. (Note: the scene in which Monk discusses clues pertaining to the earlier death of his wife with writer Kelly Street [Mary Black] was actually filmed for, but removed from, Monk's two-hour pilot episode).

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Air date: Aug 23, 2002

Monk (Tony Shalhoub) has sworn to remain faithful to the memory of his late wife Trudy, but beautiful divorcee Monica Walters (Maria Del Mar)--who so closely resembles Trudy that it is genuinely frightening!--may make him change his mind. But there's a problem: Monica is among the suspects in the murder of attorney Lou Pratt and Pratt's assistant. Despite a preponderance of evidence, Monk is convinced that Monica is not guilty --and nearly gets himself killed in his dogged efforts to prove her innocence.

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Air date: Sep 10, 2002

Monk (Tony Shalhoub) suspects that 800-pound tycoon Dale "The Whale" Biederbeck (Adam Arkin) is the murderer of one Judge Lavinio. But how can this be? Dale the Whale is so obese that he can't even get out of his bed, much less leave his room. Also, it looks as though Monk is acting on a personal vendetta against Biederbeck, stemming from a devastating lawsuit a few years before. Even so, Monk is obsessed (surprise, surprise!) with proving Biederbeck's guilt, and his nurse-assistant Sharona (Bitty Schram) offers her services to prove Monk right--even if it kills her. With this episode, Max Morrow joins the cast as Sharona's son Benjy.

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Air date: Sep 13, 2002

During the running of a citywide marathon, Gwen Zaleski (Brandi Marie Ward) killed in a 21-story fall. Under normal circumstances, the principal suspect would be Gwen's lover, brash young furniture mogul Trevor McDowell (Peter Outerbridge). But McDowell has the perfect alibi: He was running in the marathon, and he has irrefutable evidence to prove it. Still convinced that McDowell is guilty, Monk hopes that he can prove his theory with the roundabout assistance of his lifelong idol, legendary Nigerian marathoner Tonday Mawaaka (Zakes Mokae)--not to mention his own long-suppressed running skills!

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Air date: Sep 20, 2002

A weekend vacation at a California seaside resort turns out to be business as usual for Monk (Tony Shalhoub), Sharona (Bitty Schramm) and Benjy (Max Morrow). The trouble begins when Benjy witnesses a murder--or does he? All existing evidence suggests that Benjy was either lying or hallucinating...especially when the "victim" shows up alive and well. But Monk smells a rat: Even by his own obsessive-compulsive standards, the alleged murder scene was way too clean for its own good!

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Monk: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

The first season of this quirky detective show introduces Adrian Monk (Tony Shaloub), a private eye with obsessive-compulsive disorder who, after being removed from the police force after his wife's murder, now assists the Homicide Division of the San Francisco Police Department. Sharona Fleming (Bitty Schram) is his sassy no-nonsense assistant and helps him cope with his OCPD and 312 phobias, which include flying, heights, crowds, imperfections, messes, ladybugs and milk. His cases include an assassination attempt, an 800-lb. murder suspect, a deadly ferris-wheel ride and being institutionalized. Guest stars include Willie Nelson, Garry Marshall, Adam Arkin, Tim Daly and Shaloub's wife, Brooke Adams.

Critic Reviews for Monk Season 1

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (9)

This show is a unique gem and, even better, it has a real heart.

Mar 11, 2020 | Full Review…

This series is more than just the best show USA has done in years (which is such faint praise, it's barely audible). No, Monk is a summer delight - a sure-handed blend of mystery and humor.

Sep 10, 2018 | Full Review…

The series never sells out its protagonist's need for justice and acceptance. It is this compelling desire, underpinning a goofy premise, that gives the show its remarkable durability.

Sep 10, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Deftly shifting between scenes of pathos and physical comedy, he renders Monk as an endearingly original hero, a germaphobe who's fighting to clean up the gritty streets of San Francisco without getting his hands dirty.

Sep 10, 2018 | Full Review…

Departs enough from the tired detective formula to be worthy of your attention, and also features a stellar performance from Shalhoub and crisp, original writing.

Sep 10, 2018 | Full Review…

The breezy gait of the storytelling, the nicely explained quirks of a brilliant mind and Tony Shalhoub's sterling characterization in the lead role make this a fine ratings contender in the season to come.

Sep 10, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

If Monk, man and show, require patience, they also earn it and reward it.

Sep 10, 2018 | Full Review…

This fresh series has a gimmick that works like a charm.

Sep 10, 2018 | Full Review…

Story-wise, there's nothing in Monk that makes the show terribly different from all the detective shows that came before. It's the character of Monk that gives the series distinction.

Sep 10, 2018 | Full Review…

[Tony Shalhoub and Bitty Schram] make a formidable and entertaining team... If the energy and originality of the storylines catch up with their dynamic, the series can only improve.

Sep 10, 2018 | Full Review…

The talented star of Monk proved that there was still life in the character-driven detective series even as programs like Law & Order had thrived on ensemble over lead structures.

Sep 10, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Monk is a thinking-person's television show thanks to fresh, intelligent writing and well-nuanced characters.

Sep 10, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Monk: Season 1

  • Jul 04, 2020
    It's sometimes old-fashioned with hit-and-miss comedy, but "Monk" is light and sweet, and represents an amiable way to pass the time. The main selling points for the series are the quirky compulsive detective Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub) and the bizarre cases he solves. The series establishes quickly that Monk is an unusual man. He prefers order and cleanliness. He does not shake hands. He arbitrarily touches the points on random objects. Monk is hardwired to see even minuscule problems and rectify them--which makes him perfect to solve crimes so unusual and inventive. He is joined by his assistant Sharona Fleming (Bitty Schram; Traylor Howard later fills the role of assistant Natalie Teeger), as well as his former boss Captain Stottlemeyer (Ted Levine) and Lieutenant Randy Disher (Jason Gray-Stanford).
  • Dec 30, 2017
    While weak when compared to future years of Monk, season 1 is still a strong start to a fantastic original concept with a strong cast of characters and expert writing that creates smart, unpredictable mysteries and combines them with fresh, clean humor.
  • Oct 28, 2017
    The year I became a MONKaphile.

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