Monk: Season Five Blu-ray Review: This Season Showcases Monk’s Self-absorption and Selfishness

Despite the fact there isn’t any real character growth and the show’s formula is still there, Season Five of Monk is another charming season, revealing more of Adrian Monk’s (the always fantastic Tony Shalhoub) quirks and phobias.

Buy Monk: Season Five Blu-ray

However, this season showcases Monk’s self-absorption and selfishness, which can sometimes make or break our sympathies with him, especially how he treats Natalie (Traylor Howard, who makes her character incredibly endearing and relatable) and obviously annoys Captain Stottlemeyer (an always wonderful Ted Levine) and Lieutenant Disher (the winning Jason Gray-Stanford), who can also be just as goofy and bewildering as Monk himself.

As with other seasons, there are some standout episodes, especially the noirish “Mr. Monk and the Leper”, which has Monk reluctantly encountering a desperate leper who needs his help. Perhaps my favorite one is “Mr. Monk Makes a Friend” where Monk thinks he’s finally found someone who actually understands him. It’s both sweet and sad. Overall, every episode is entertaining, even some are better than others.

Of course, as with other seasons, the guest stars (including Shalhoub’s wife Brooke Addams, Sean Astin, Andy Richter, Sharon Lawrence, Chris Williams, Charles Durning, and Dan Hedaya, among others) are brilliant and memorable. They help their characters shine and bring some flavor to many episodes.

Overall, I really enjoyed this season. I found myself laughing one minute and getting emotional (and at times shocked) the next. Again, the formula is there, but it’s one that continues to be very fun and likable.

I’ll be back with Season Six, and I’ll bring the wipes.

Special features consist of audio commentary for “Mr. Monk and the Leper” with cast, producers, and director; both the original B&W and color versions of “Mr. Monk and the Leper”; intro to B&W version of “Mr. Monk and the Leper” with Shalhoub; intro to color version of “Mr. Monk and the Leper” with Levine and Gray-Stanford; and four webisodes.

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