Monk is a hidden gem amongst TV shows with the first episode introducing the series on July 12, 2002; the day that Andy Breckham would bless 4.8 million viewers with his first episode. The show is declared as a drama, but should also be considered a comedy. The main characters are played by Tony Shalhoub, Elizabeth Schram, Ted Levine and Jason Gray-Stanford.
Tony Shalhoub plays the primary main character, Adrian Monk, the show’s namesake. Monk is a private crime scene investigator who suffers from a very severe case of OCD. While investigating crime scenes, he struggles with his OCD tendencies. He feels the urge to straighten pictures and fix anything that’s not in order. This is horrible seeing as you can’t just touch a crime scene and mess with the evidence. But for Monk it normally ends up being a good thing, because he notices when things are off and can tell exactly how things would have happened. Or when he can tell the crime scene is fake.
In addition to his OCD tendencies he is also a huge germaphobe. He refuses to touch many things. If he has to touch something he doesn’t want to–like shaking someone’s hand–his assistant comes in. His assistant is played by Elizabeth Schram, as Sharona Fleming. She is on call 24/7 and is with Monk every hour of the day. Her job consists of touching the things Monk refuses to, stopping him from disturbing crime scenes too much, and providing him with a wet wipe every time someone shakes his hand.
Each episode features Monk solving a crime scene better than any of the detectives at the local station. Because of his OCD, he notices things that nobody else picks up on which makes him such an amazing detective. In one episode a bookcase fell over in an earthquake killing someone, but when Monk got to the scene he instantly knew it was a murder because there wasn’t damage or pictures on the wall were all straight the bookcase was on.
Monk began working for the local detective station before his wife, Trudy Monk, was murdered. Monk was forced to resign when he started experiencing OCD tendencies and impulsive behavior after he failed to solve her case. He couldn’t solve his wife’s homicide case, causing the case to go cold. From then on, Monk declared that he’d dedicate his work as a private investigator to working hand in hand with the local department on other cases since he wasn’t fit to be on the team.
Viewers grow to love Monk and watch him try to mourn his late wife, fight his OCD, and solve cases that the other detectives can’t within the eight seasons.