"Monk" Mr. Monk and the Actor (TV Episode 2006) Poster

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Stanley Tucci tries to out-Monk Tony Shalhoub
alwayshungry30 April 2011
First off, I haven't been following Monk so this is one of the few episodes I caught and I have to say Stanley Tucci deserves the award he received for playing his character, David Ruskin.

In this episode, Stanley Tucci plays a method actor who will play Monk in a movie based on a previous case. Tony Shalhoub has made a name for himself playing the very peculiar Monk and to have someone to attempt the role and succeed really shows the strength of these two actors.

I was hooked at the beginning when Tucci showed up on set and I could already see that he can pull off the Monk look and the rest of the episode made me truly applaud his outstanding portrayal. And I have to remember the actor that help brought such a wonderful character to life.

I'm glad that of all the episodes I caught, I was able to see such talented actors. I guess the only downfall would be the lack of shine from the supporting cast. It's like the two amazing actors took so much of the attention that the others sort of fade into the background.
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Direction Has Gone Too Far On The Humor Angle
ccthemovieman-15 August 2007
"Here's the thing," as Monk likes to say. This program, generally-speaking, has gotten away from its successful combination of a crime and humor, and that's why the usual episode isn't as good as it was the first few years.

The writers had a combination of maybe 50 percent humor and 50 percent crime. A lot of the fascination, in addition to Mon's humorous quirks, was how brilliant he was in solving tough cases. Each episode showed how he solved the murder.

This episode, the opening one of the fifth season, is typical of the new direction it has gone. Now it's 90 percent humor and 10 percent the crime. Unfortunately, since all the regular viewers - and there are many - are so familiar Monk and his obsessive behavior, the quirks know longer entertain. The writers, certainly knowing this, have made the mistake of substituting over-the-top behavior for cleverness. We, the viewers, wind up losing.

This fifth season debut episode just left me shaking my head in disgust. It could be me, and probably is to a degree, but I have talked to others and they, too, have noticed a definite decline in the show.

In this episode we have a Monk within a Monk, an actor (real life: Stanley Tucci) who is playing Monk in a movie and actually starts to become the famous detective with all his eccentricities. Some of it was good humor, parodying our hero, but most of it got just plain stupid. The ending with the "two Monks" actually fighting it out in a Volkwagen showroom was a perfect case in point how ridiculous things have become.

Tucci is a good actor and fun to watch but I get annoyed when Capt. Stottlemeyer and Lt. Disher act stupid, which they do here because are star- struck over people playing them in a movie. There was a similar theme in a past show where these guys acted goofy like this when meeting a film "star." I expect that from Disher's character, who always acts stupid, but not from the captain.

The actual crime story probably a couple minutes of the entire show. That's not enough.
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Should have been called Mr Monk and Mr Monk
NatashaJAmos201512 January 2020
Sandcrab277 doesn't get it. It was a terrific episode. If you think this was terrible then you probably think every Monk episode was terrible ?
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Lights, cameras, action!
TheLittleSongbird16 August 2017
'Monk' has always been one of my most watched shows when needing comfort, to relax after a hard day, a good laugh or a way to spend a lazy weekend.

To me, "Mr Monk and the Actor" was a terrific start to Season 5 and one of the better season premieres of 'Monk'. Admittedly the humour and the character moments are a little more memorable than the mystery, but in all honesty it was like that for a while on 'Monk' (a lot of Season 4 was like that, but still, like this episode, managed to do it well). Besides the mystery concerning a double murder is a clever one and lots of fun to see how it unfolds and is solved.

It's the character moments where "Mr Monk and the Actor" shines brightest. The character of David Ruskin is a triumph all round and his scenes with Monk are episode, season and show highlights. Particularly the climactic scene in the car dealership, which is just priceless, and the last scene with them together which really breaks the heart, not only seeing a more serious side to Stanley Tucci as the character but also perfect proof of how Tony Shalhoub is every bit as good delivering on the drama and pathos as he is with the comedy and quirks. Another side of Monk seen that was a joy was how innocent and child-like he behaved when hearing that Ruskin wanted to meet him, like his yearning for acceptance (which one can identify with, was like this in school myself) coming true.

As said many times, one of the best things about 'Monk' has always been the acting of Tony Shalhoub in the title role. It was essential for him to work and be the glue of the show, and Shalhoub not only is that but also at his very best he IS the show. Have always loved the balance of the humour, which is often hilarious, and pathos, which is sincere and touching.

Other than Shalhoub, the other highlight is Stanley Tucci's fantastic supporting turn as Ruskin. His metamorphosis of Monk, mannerisms, quirks, appearance and all is sheer genius and so believable that telling them apart is not always easy (despite how this sounds this is in a good way, seeing as it suits the concept of the episode perfectly).

Natalie is down to earth, sympathetic and sassy, also being sensitive to Monk's needs and quirks which Traylor Howard does well bringing out. Ted Levine and Jason Gray-Stanford have fun as Stottlemeyer and Disher, they are a bit goofy here (not unusual for Disher but rare for Stottlemeyer) but again it works well within the concept and is entertaining. Besides who doesn't like seeing a different side to Stottlemeyer which was needed actually.

It's not just the cast or story though. Another star is the writing, which is also essential to whether the show would be successful or not and succeed it does here. The mix of wry humour, lovable quirkiness and tender easy-to-relate-to drama is delicately done, particularly the last one. The quirks are sympathetically done and never exploited or overdone.

Visually, the episode is shot in a slick and stylish way, and the music is both understated and quirky. While there is a preference for the theme music for Season 1, Randy Newman's "It's a Jungle Out There" has grown on me overtime, found it annoying at first but appreciate its meaning and what it's trying to say much more now. Oh and a good job is done with the different opening credits sequence to accommodate the changes made.

Altogether, terrific Season 5 opener. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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two monks equals 3 morons
sandcrab27726 January 2018
If you liked this episode you are the third moron...the writers are really grasping at straws to keep this series going from week to week...the only notable improvements were the actresses that played the movie roles for natalie and randy...better than previous eye candy by far...what would have made this episode a success would have been the real solution to trudy's murder by the actor portraying monk
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