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Starring: Tony Shaloub, Bitty Schram, Ted Levine, Traylor Howard
Number of discs: 4
Studio: Universal Studios
Run Time: 705 minutes
In its third season Monk continues to impress with what is one of the more original creations in the cozy fashion that has ever graced the screen. Monk – Season Three is a 4 DVD disc collection that features some of the best small screen acting and some of the more clever plot lines available to television. Tony Shaloub is peerless as the OCD, neurotic and phobic Adrian Monk which is of key importance because Monk has a great cast but it is not an ensemble type production. While focus does shift from Monk as a primary occasionally to Stottlemeyer or Monk’s assistant the show is carried by Monk.
Season Three of Monk is a season of change with Monk finding a new lead to his wife’s killer, trying a drug regime to improve his condition, taking more risks, losing Sharona and breaking in a new assistant.
The new assistant Natalie Teeger (Traylor Howard of Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place fame) is markedly different from Sharona Fleming (Bitty Schram) who closes out her role on Monk in inglorious fashion as a never seen voice we never hear on the end of a telephone line talking to Monk. It is unfortunate that Schram didn’t get a really juicy way to end her run at Monk and the haphazard first episode featuring Natalie (Mr. Monk and the Red Herring) has the feel of something that was cobbled together at the last minute. Other than that one episode the rest of the Monk – Season Three is solid. The sole caveat would be that the annoying Randy Newman song returns as the theme to Monk – mute buttons are a blessing.
Episode List Monk – Season Three
Episode 30: Mr. Monk Takes Manhattan: Monk ventures out of his San Franciso bubble to N.Y.C. in hopes of finding a lead in Trudy's murder.
Episode 31: Mr. Monk and the Panic Room: A music producer is murdered in his panic room by a chimp – only Sharona refuses to believe it.
Episode 32: Mr. Monk and the Blackout: Monk find himself in an odd position of being attracted to a woman who is attracted to him as he investigates a murder linked to a series of blackouts in the San Francisco area.
Episode 33: Mr. Monk Gets Fired: The chief of police pulls Monk's P.I. license to spite him for testifying against a crooked cop.
Episode 34: Mr. Monk Meets the Godfather: Monk is asked by the capo di tutti capi of San Francisco to look into the murder of four of his men.
Episode 35: Mr. Monk and the Girl Who Cried Wolf: One of the best Monk episodes ever Sharona seems to be losing her grip on reality in a very serious way and only Monk can help her find her way back.
Episode 36: Mr. Monk and the Employee of the Month: When a disgraced former cop suspects the employee of the month has been murdered Monk reluctantly helps out.
Episode 37: Mr. Monk and the Game Show: Trudy's father comes to Monk for help when a game show he produces seems to be hosted by a cheater.
Episode 38: Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine: Monk finds the perfect drug and he loves it, but everyone else hates it.
Episode 39: Mr. Monk and the Red Herring: A 99 cent marble head fish seems to be the target of two would be thieves one of whom loses his life trying to snag the fish. This is Natalie's first appearance on the show.
Episode 40 Mr. Monk vs. the Cobra: Sonny Chow may be alive and well and have killed a critic who called Chow a fake.
Episode 41: Mr. Monk Gets Cabin Fever: Monk witnesses a Tong settling of accounts and is taken into protective custody – where of course there is another murder.
Episode 42: Mr. Monk Gets Stuck in Traffic: Guest stars Korn play a very minor role in helping Monk during a traffic jam caused by a murder.
Episode 43: Mr. Monk Goes to Vegas: A drunk Leland Stottlemeyer forgets calling Monk into Vegas to show him a murder he solved all on his own.
Episode 44: Mr. Monk and the Election: Natalie comes under fire – literally – as someone tries to get her to quit running for election to the school board.
Episode 45: Mr. Monk and the Kid: A two year old foster child finds a finger in the park and Monk becomes his temporary guardian.