"Here's what happened..."Monk
is a Detective Drama
that aired on USA Network
from 2002 to 2009. The show is about Adrian Monk, a former San Francisco police inspector who suffered a nervous breakdown
after the murder of his wife
, Trudy. He is a lifelong sufferer of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
and has many phobias
, and those obsessions became crippling after his breakdown, forcing his retirement; he recovers throughout the series, though he is never fully "cured". His OCD is also the reason Monk was such a successful policeman; one of his compulsions is paying amazing attention to details
Thanks to his breakdown, Monk was discharged from his department
, but is frequently called in to consult on cases which baffle the police, often some kind of Locked Room Mystery
, by his friend and former commander Captain Stottlemeyer. His disorders
are part and parcel of his unique mind; without them, he wouldn't be able to solve these cases. Of course, the one case Monk's been trying to solve since his breakdown is Trudy's murder, and each season of the show brings him a little closer to finally solving the mystery behind her death (with the show's final season bringing the case to a close for good).Monk
is notable for subverting pretty much every Perp Sweating
convention; due to Monk's disorder and the invariable intelligent cockiness of the bad guy, he's always the one in any round of questioning who's uncomfortable and making mistakes.Many of the comedic situations in the series would not exist if Monk or one of his friends would explain his issues to others. So they don't.
However, despite the perpetual comedy at his expense, he is largely portrayed sympathetically. Viewers come to believe that his condition is, as Monk himself puts it, "a gift... and a curse".
This show was a turning point for the USA Network
. USA was previously a channel with a lineup consisting mainly of reruns, game shows, and WWE
programs (and, of course, Duckman
was the first major hit show for the network, launching what has become a string of popular, critically-acclaimed series.Monk
is notable for putting main actors like Tony Shalhoub
and Traylor Howard in the limelight after careers filled with supporting roles.
Unless I'm wrong, which, you know, I'm not, this show provides examples of the following tropes: