Monk-Season 2 (2002)

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Released 19-Sep-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio
Featurette-The Minds Behind Monk
Trailer-Law & Order Franchise, Magnum P.I, Miami Vice, Monk
Featurette-Disher (Jason Gray-Stanford) Character Profile
Featurette-Stottlemeyer (Ted Levine) Character Profile
Featurette-Precinct Tours With Jason Gray-Stanford
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 668:37 (Case: 679)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (4)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Scott Foley
Dean Parisot
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Tony Shalhoub
Bitty Schram
Ted Levine
Jason Gray-Stanford
Stanley Kamel
Case ?
RPI $49.95 Music Jeff Beal


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Pan & Scan English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
French
German
Dutch
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    After a very successful first season which saw Tony Shalhoub win both an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Adrian Monk, the show returned for a second season. If anything, this second season is better than the first with more consistency and a continuing development of the character into someone who feels more than just his obsessions. All the original significant cast members returned for this second season including Bitty Schram (as Sharona Fleming, Monk's nurse/assistant/partner), Ted Levine (as Capt Stottlemeyer) and Jason Gray-Stanford (as Lt Randy Disher). You can find a more in depth overview of the show's premise in my review of Season One. The main differences between these two seasons are that the theme song has been changed from the original instrumental one to a song by Randy Newman which plays over a new credit sequence.

    This second season runs for 16 episodes which are presented across four discs (4 episodes per disc). This program is now in its fourth season in the US, with all the original cast except Bitty Schram who left part way through Season 3. The episodes are:

  1. Mr Monk goes Back to School (42:32) - There is an apparent suicide at the school which Monk's wife attended. He is called in by a friend of his wife's who doesn't think it was suicide. Andrew McCarthy guests.
  2. Mr Monk goes to Mexico (41:12) - A young guy sky dives from an aeroplane and dies when his chute does not open. The autopsy reveals he drowned and Monk comes to investigate.
  3. Mr Monk goes to the Ball Game (41:07) - A crooked businessman gets misdirected by his car's GPS and is then murdered. A major league baseballer is involved.
  4. Mr Monk goes to the Circus (42:30) - An acrobatic killer shoots a man in a restaurant. The man killed was the MC of a circus visiting town. Sharona and Monk are having a disagreement.
  5. Mr Monk and the very, very Old Man (42:30) - The oldest man in the world gets murdered in his nursing home and Monk wants to work out why. Stottlemeyer moves in with Monk. Excellent episode.
  6. Mr Monk goes to the Theatre (42:25) - Sharona's sister, who is an actress, gets accused of murder when she stabs a fellow actor for real thinking the knife is fake.
  7. Mr Monk and the Sleeping Suspect (42:29) - A man deliberately damages Capt Stottlemeyer's car while he is watching, but as he drives away his car is crashed into by a truck. A woman is blown up by a letter bomb 4 months later. Monk needs to work out the link. Sharona's long missing husband shows up.
  8. Mr Monk meets the Playboy (42:28) - The CFO of a publishing company tries to shut down the lifestyle of a Hugh Hefner style playboy who runs a magazine. Instead he ends up dead. Gary Cole & Danny Bonaduce guest star.
  9. Mr Monk and the 12th Man (41:44) - A toll collector gets handcuffed and dragged down the road by a car which stops at his booth. This is one of 9 bizarre murders in the last 2 weeks and Stottlemeyer needs Monk's help.
  10. Mr Monk and the Paperboy (41:34) - Monk's paperboy get murdered while trying to deliver Monk's paper. Strangely, the murderer steals the paper.
  11. Mr Monk and the Three Pies (41:33) - A woman is killed for a cherry pie she won in a raffle. Monk's brother, Ambrose contacts him after many years of them not speaking to each other. Ambrose is concerned that his next door neighbour has murdered his wife. John Turturro plays Ambrose and won an Emmy for this performance.
  12. Mr Monk and the TV Star (41:35) - A TV star's ex-wife, whom he owes money to, gets stabbed just after he leaves her house. Monk is convinced he did it even though the media were outside watching him at the time.
  13. Mr Monk and the Missing Granny (41:32) - An old woman is kidnapped by two masked men. The kidnapping is witnessed by her granddaughter who offers to get Monk reinstated if he helps her. Things get confusing when the kidnappers start making strange demands.
  14. Mr Monk and the Captain's Wife (40:13) - Stottlemeyer's wife  is critically injured in a car accident which results from another driver being shot by a sniper. Monk investigates to help solve the case for the Captain.
  15. Mr Monk Gets Married (41:38) - Sharona and Monk have to pose as a married couple to investigate the murder of an antique dealer. He was murdered by his partner who then marries Disher's mother. Nestor Carbonell guests as the murderer.
  16. Mr Monk Goes to Jail (41:35) - A prisoner about to be executed gets murdered by poison in his last meal. Monk has to go undercover as an inmate in order to find the killer. The character Dale the Whale from Series 1 is reprised in this episode but played by a different actor. Good episode.

    This series continues the high standard of entertainment set by Series One. Highly Recommended.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is good but not spectacular. This series is slightly grainier than Series One probably due to extra episodes being included on each disc.

    The feature is presented in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio non 16x9 enhanced which is seemingly not the original aspect ratio. The Region 1 release is in 1.78:1 16x9 enhanced. Reviews of that release indicate that this is the correct aspect ratio. As per the site's policy I will remove one star for being in the incorrect aspect ratio.

    The picture was reasonably clear and sharp throughout although it was affected by some grain. You would not refer to it as crisp but it is quite reasonable. There was no evidence of low level noise. Shadow detail was also quite good but not spectacular.

    The colour was fine but a little dull, probably added to by the generally dull colour scheme of the show. I did notice some minor spots of cross colourisation. There also seemed to be some minor chroma noise in backgrounds from time to time.

    Artefacts were not too distracting but included some minor aliasing and some edge enhancement. The aliasing occurred on the usual suspects such as Venetians and patterned clothing.

    There are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired and French, German & Dutch. The English subtitles were clear and easy to read but were sometimes summarised.

    The layer changes were not noticeable.
    

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio quality is good.

    This DVD set contains three audio options; an English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s and the same in French and German.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync, which is the most critical ingredient of this show.

    The score of this series by Jeff Beal consists of a cool jazzy theme and some incidental music, which doesn't stand out particularly. The theme was replaced for Season 2 by a song from Randy Newman.

    The surround speakers added some mild atmosphere but little more.

    The subwoofer was used occasionally to add bass to the score.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    The extras consist of some minor promotional featurettes.

Menu

    The menu included music, and the ability to select scenes, languages and subtitles. Nothing to get excited about.

Promotional Featurettes

    A selection of 4 featurettes which are all quite short. The featurettes included are

Trailers

    Trailers for Law & Order, Magnum P.I. , Miami Vice and Monk Series 1.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This series has been released in Region 1 in a very similar format except for the aspect ratio. On that basis Region 1 is the winner here.

Summary

    A wonderful light detective series featuring a great performance from Tony Shalhoub as the title character.

    The video quality is good but not spectacular. It is slightly grainier than Series 1.

    The audio quality is good.

    The set has a small set of promotional featurettes as its only extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersBose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)

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