Videovista have my review of season seven on Monk.
Given that Monk (in the UK at least) is a daytime TV detective series that appeals mostly to old people, I think it is fair enough to say that it is somewhat off the beaten path in terms of stuff I normally think and write about. Hell… it’s not the type of thing I normally watch let alone review! However, despite it being quite formulaic, quite repetitive and really not particularly intelligent, I rapidly found myself warming to the way in which the writers were able to take a small number of ideas and themes and keep returning to them again and again without those ideas ever coming across as in anyway tired. Given that most of my genre-related reading and watching tends to focus upon works that transcend and question genre boundaries, I found it fascinating to watch a TV series that is quite content to play within the boundaries of the genre:
While Murder, She Wrote, The Father Dowling Mysteries and Diagnosis Murder may all feature crime-fighting pensioners; only Monk tells the story of a character whose life genuinely resembles that of an older person. Weighed down by fears, doubts and a variety of weird mental compulsions that make it difficult for him to deal with the realities of 21st Century life, Monk lives the sort of awkward and fragile existence common to older people. He even has a carer and struggles with ‘new-fangled’ technology such as the Internet. While Monk may ultimately be little more than lightweight fluff that shamelessly panders to a demographic of which I am not a part, I cannot deny that I enjoyed watching it. You simply have to marvel at a series that does so much with so little!