For those who are unfamiliar with Monk, it's a comedy with a blend of crime and mystery that's really hard not to love. Tony Shalhoub plays Adrian Monk, a rather ingenious obsessive compulsive gumshoe, who suffers from a myriad of phobias and the common symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder. Despite everything that's wrong with him, he's still one hell of an investigator. In the past, he was one of San Francisco's finest detectives. Now, he works as a private investigator for the police department, fighting crime and his phobias at the same time! Of course, always at his side is his partner in crime (and personal nurse) Sharona Fleming (Bitty Schram). Together, they take on the toughest cases that Captain Leland Stottlemeyer (Ted Levine) and Lieutenant Randall Disher (Jason Gray-Stanford) have to offer. And when these four get together, you're in for a few laughs and a decent mystery.
Like the first season, the content of the second season is just as good, if not better. In general, comparing the two seasons will offer very little variety. In some television series having very little development from one season to another can hurt it, but Monk is not one of those. Even though the second season has the same cast, it also means the acting continues to be top notch. In addition, the series' writing continues to be very good, producing some very comical episodes with the right blend of crime and mystery. Overall, fans who were hooked to season one will definitely enjoy season two.
The season has some very good episodes. My absolute favorite episode (of the entire series!) is "Mr. Monk and the Three Pies". Monk gets a call from his brother Ambrose (John Turturro, Rounders), which eventually leads to a new murder mystery. There are several things about this episode that make it great. The first is Turturro's performance. It's stunning to see him side-by-side with Shalhoub. They work extremely well together. Another thing that makes this a good episode is Turturro's character. Ambrose makes Monk look like a normal person, which is by itself very funny. In addition, the story itself is pretty amusing and it's diabolically fun to watch these two neurotic brothers solve a murder mystery.
"Mr. Monk Goes to Mexico" is another very fun episode. In it, we find Monk traveling with Sharona to Mexico to solve a murder. What makes this a great episode is a long running joke throughout the episode. I dare not mention it, because it'd spoil the fun. But I'll say this, Shalhoub gives a great performance, making it feel both melodramatic and hilarious. "Mr. Monk and the TV Star" offers a very funny episode. In it, Monk and the rest of the gang get involved with celebrity Brad Terry, who stars in the very popular (and fictional) Crime Lab S.F, a television series that is farther from reality than C.S.I.. The greatest thing about this episode is watching Monk do his thing when he gets on the set of Crime Lab S.F.. There are just too many imperfections for his own good. Another great thing about it is to see how everyone gets awestruck with the TV star. Overall, there are some really great episodes that tie in fairly good stories and downright good comedy. Some of the episodes also touch upon the series' long running story arcs, which include the mysterious death of Monk's wife and Monk trying to get back on the force.
In general, another great aspect about this season (and the first) is its replay value. The episodes are re-watchable and in most cases, just as funny as the first time. I have personally watched each episode more than once and I find that watching the episodes over and over again is great. Overall, I feel that Monk: Season Two is one of those must purchase releases. With a great cast, wonderfully executed acting, comical writing, and high replay value, this comedy/crime/mystery hybrid television series has something fun for everyone. It's a great show to sit back and enjoy. You won't be disappointed.