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Starring: Tony Shaloub, Bitty Schram, Ted Levine

Number of discs: 4

Studio: Universal Studios

Run Time: 671 minutes

Mystery fans who do not appreciate the cozy as a sub-genre of mystery miss out on some of the best story telling in the mystery business. Monk is one of the best things to come down the entertainment pipeline in a long time. In the grand tradition of “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” and “Poirot” Monk has been telling some great cozy stories. Monk Season Two continues on the excellent track established in the first season.

The main complaint anyone can have about Season Two of Monk is that the new theme song sucks. It must have been something which the producers were given a lot of grief over as it turns up as part of a subplot in Mr. Monk and the T.V. Star. The Randy Newman song It’s A Jungle Out There is annoying more than anything else but the fact that it focuses all its attention to Monk’s OCD and neurosis rather than his skills as a detective is all wrong for the show.

Monk’s neurosis and OCD are aspects of the character they are not the be all and end all of the television show. While these characteristics sometimes play an important part in the story (Mr. Monk and the Missing Granny) other traits such as edict memory and problem solving skill are what Monk is really about. In the tradition of the cozy the viewer receives all of the same visual and auditory information as Monk gets. Whether we can put it together or not is part of the fun of the show.

The idea of a cozy is simple – take a crime and solve it. The crime must be convoluted but solvable. The crime can be ridiculously motivated (Mr. Monk Goes to the Theatre) or obviously motivated (Mr. Monk Meets the Playboy) but all the elements for solving the crime have to be there. Unlike the action and thriller genres there is no holding back of evidence since in the majority of the cases since the murderer is frequently known from the beginning of the story. Monk has it all and it is well worth the investment in your DVD library.

Episode 14: Mr. Monk Goes Back to School: Monk as a substitute teacher? He has to take the job at his wife's alma mater in order to find a killer.   
Episode 15: Mr. Monk Goes to Mexico: How does a boy drown while skydiving? Only Monk could figure it out.
Episode 16: Mr. Monk Goes to the Ballgame: A rich man and his wife are mysteriously murdered after being steered wrong by a GPS system.
Episode 17: Mr. Monk Goes to the Circus: Everyone saw the murderer and the physical prowess was exceptional. So why does Monk suspect someone who couldn't have done it.
Episode 18: Mr. Monk and the Very, Very Old Man: Stottlemeyer's wife suspects that the oldest man in the world was murdered.
Episode 19: Mr. Monk Goes to the Theater: Sharona's sister is suspected of murder after 300 people watch her stab a man.
Episode 20: Mr. Monk and the Sleeping Suspect: Can a man in a category 9 coma commit murder?
Episode 21: Mr. Monk Meets the Playboy: The CFO of a men's magazine is murdered and the chief suspect couldn't have done it.
Episode 22: Mr. Monk and the 12th Man: Monk investigates a bizarre series of murders.
Episode 23: Mr. Monk and the Paperboy: Why would Monk's paperboy be murdered after delivering the paper?
Episode 24: Mr. Monk and the Three Pies: Can she bake a cherry pie? More importantly why are three cherry pies so important to one man?
Episode 25: Mr. Monk and the T.V. Star: The star of a detective show is standing infront of reporters while his wife is murdered.
Episode 26: Mr. Monk and the Missing Granny: A senior citizen is kidnapped from her home but no one knows why.
Episode 27: Mr. Monk and the Captain's Wife: Stottlemeyer's wife is injured in a car accident after a truck driver is killed by a sniper.  
Episode 28: Mr. Monk Gets Married: Can Monk and Sharona survive as a married couple? The have to when they go undercover to help Disher.
Episode 29: Mr. Monk Goes to Jail: A phone call from Dale The Whale leads Monk to life behind bars.