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Monk: Season One (Blu-ray Review)

REVIEW OVERVIEW

The Series
The Video
The Audio
The Supplements
Overall

SUMMARY

Brilliant detective Adrian Monk, who suffers with O.C.D., consults with his former employer, the San Francisco Police Department, on cases as he tries to solve the murder of his wife.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Monk: Season One is the season that started it all for the brilliant yet neurotic detective with O.C.D. Tony Shalhoub (Barton Fink, TV’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) plays Mr. Monk, the detective whose psychological issues and strange antics, brought on by the murder of his wife which is the one case he could never solve – have made him unfit for duty. While awaiting reinstatement and aided by nurse Sharona (Bitty Schram), he takes on cases as a private detective, often consulting with the same police department that does not want him on in an official capacity.

Season one sees Monk investigating the assassination attempt on a politician, introducing the morbidly obese “Dale the Whale” and solving a case while he is institutionalized after wandering into the wrong house. The season is thirteen episodes (spread across four discs for this release). I was surprised that I remembered each of these episodes. I was sure that I would have forgotten or had not seen all of them. The pilot is included in two different versions, the original pilot and the cable TV version with more finished visual effects and split across two episodes.

The Video

Monk has been newly remastered in 4K and presented on Blu-ray in a 1.78:1 AVC 1080p encodement. Alas, a remaster is only as good as its source, and Monk looks soft with coarse granularity. The production values on the series do not help either. Probably due to the budget constraints and deadlines there are many out of focus shots. Also, some visual effects like cityscapes in the windows as an example were obviously done in standard definition video and have not been redone. It is disappointing because the original pilot – not the cable version of the pilot – made me optimistic, with very crispy grain and excellent colors. After that things get a little softer, more diffuse, and flesh tones look a bit too reddish. These are not necessarily issues with the transfer, but add them all up and they do hinder the look of the disc. Still, Monk looks steps up from how it has looked streaming on various platforms over the years.

The Audio

The audio mix for Monk comes in English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 stereo. There is nothing too special about the sound either, but it is good for what it is, presenting clean dialogue and a medium width stereo image.

The Supplements

Bonus Features:

  • Mr. Monk and His Origins: Featurette (SD; 00:04:18)
  • Mr. Monk and His O.C.D.: Featurette (SD; 00:02:59)
  • Mr. Monk and His Fellow Sufferers: Featurette (SD; 00:04:14)
  • Mr. Monk and His Emmy-Award-Winning Performance: Featurette (SD; 00:03:53)
  • Mr. Monk and His Partners in Crime: Featurette (SD; 00:04:35)

The Final Assessment

Monk is a hilarious series and in the vein of the many detective series that find quirky investigators whose eccentricities make them brilliant. Season One gets the season and its characters off and running with a great start and it only gets better.


Monk: Season One is out on Blu-ray November 28, 2023, from KL Studio Classic


  • Rating Certificate: TV-PG
  • Studios & Distributors: Mandeville Films | ABC Signature | Moratim Produktions | NBC Universal Television | Touchstone Television | USA Cable Entertainment | Universal Media Studios (UMS) | KL Studio Classics
  • Run Time: 435 Mins.
  • Street Date: 28 November 2023
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Primary Audio: English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Stereo
  • Subtitles: English SDH
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Brilliant detective Adrian Monk, who suffers with O.C.D., consults with his former employer, the San Francisco Police Department, on cases as he tries to solve the murder of his wife. Monk: Season One (Blu-ray Review)