• Publication date: August 15, 2011

San Francisco�s Best Detective Is Afraid of his Own Shadow

Lebanese-American Tony Shalhoub is Adrian Monk, an obsessive-compulsive detective whose mental disorder provides him with extraordinary insight and crime solving skill; at the same time it hinders his ability to function independently, requiring the assistance of Sharona Fleming (Bitty Schram), his nurse.

Lebanese-American Tony Shalhoub is Adrian Monk, an obsessive-compulsive detective whose mental disorder provides him with extraordinary insight and crime solving skill; at the same time it hinders his ability to function independently, requiring the assistance of Sharona Fleming (Bitty Schram), his nurse.

Ordinarily a television program with a mentally ill lead character would be anything but humorous; yet �Monk� makes light of an unfortunate situation, and often exemplifies how a psychiatric condition can, in some ways, be equally a blessing and a curse rather than just one or the other. �Monk� is first and foremost a comedy, but it is a comedy with intelligent plots that require the viewer to utilize his or her own deductive abilities, reminiscent of a Sherlock Holmes novel.

While Monk has been obsessive-compulsive for all of his life, the traumatic death of his wife, Trudy (Stellina Rusich) triggered the detective�s severe psychotic break, transforming him from a well-respected, yet eccentric detective into a man living in seclusion, afraid to leave his home for nearly three years. Trudy�s death was the result of a car bomb that Adrian believes was intended for him. With the help of his nurse turned assistant, Sharona, the sleuth slowly recovers from his wife�s death, partially driven by the possibility of finding his her killer(s) coupled with a hope that he can once again work as a detective for the San Francisco Police Department. Until then, he works as a freelance detective, often assisting his former colleagues Captain Leland Stottlemeyer (Ted Levine) and Lieutenant Randy Disher (Jason Gray-Stanford) in unraveling murder mysteries.

Adrian faces new struggles and stigmas upon his return to work. His compulsions are magnified with added phobias: he�s deathly afraid of germs, heights, traveling too far from his apartment, and last but not least � even an ordinary glass of milk.

In the debut season of �Monk� we follow Adrian as he attempts to locate the assassin of a mayoral candidate, determine the innocence or guilt of an 800 pound alleged murderer, investigates a crime involving a ferris wheel, and even journey with him to a mental hospital where he suspects a chief psychiatrist has committed a murder seven years before.

Prior to �Monk,� Shalhoub was a regular on the hit NBC sitcom �Wings;� he has also appeared in films such as �Men in Black� (1997), �The Siege� (1998), �Life or Something Like It� (2002), and �The Great New Wonderful� (2005). His performance as Adrian Monk has landed him three Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award. Show creator Andy Breckman has written for television programs �Late Night with David Letterman,� and �Saturday Night Live.�