Loved it. All TV detectives come with quirks but Adrian Monk (aged 45 and three quarters, I guess) beats the rest because he has a complusive-obsessive disorder which makes crime solving sheer agony for him.
Here’s a list of the things he was scared of/obsessed with in episode one: leaving the stove on, keeping socks in plastic bags, untidy cushions, handshakes, traffic, haphazard pins in a map, heights, keys, the dark, germs, crowds, milk, flashing lights, coughing kids, counting peas, counting and touching parking meters and bollards, fish, bridges.
Yet, while shaking and fretting, he managed to nail a smarmy political campaign worker for murder and win over doubting cops. One of them called him “the defective detective” but he’s an effective detective, too, in a Columbo-like way.
His sidekick is his patient nurse Sharona (remember The Knack?), dreaming of being Lois Lane to his Superman. She even forgives him when he ruins her latest relationship by spotting that her lover isn’t the lawyer he claims to be. His former boss Captain Leland Stottlemeyer is won over, too, gasping in admiration as Monk homes in on clues he’s missed. A conspirator in the crime isn’t quite so happy. “Someone tries to kill my husband and you send in Rain Man,” she complains.
Best bit was a slapstick scene in which Monk dropped his keys off a church balcony into a coffin below. Using dental floss (he’s into that big time) and a paper clip, he tries to retrieve them, only to hook on to a shirt sleeve and cause the corpse to wave to the shocked congregation.
With a bit of promotion, this could have been a primetime winner for BBC2. Instead, it has been shoved into a Saturday tea-time slot, but the mad Monk is worth hunting down.