Friday, December 4, 2009

Mr. Monk Says Goodbye

Magnet # 108: San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge

Material: Resin

Purchased By: Mom & Dad

Monk - come back!

Well, it didn't work for the kid at the end of Shane. And I don't think it's going to work for me.

Yep, the final episode of San Francisco's delightful defective detective airs tonight on USA. I've watched this show on and off from the beginning and I am really going to miss the character of Adrian Monk. I don't ever remember a series featuring a protagonist with that degree of obsessive compulsive behavior before, and it's almost been a revelation seeing Monk in action. There are moments when I see bits of myself in his compulsive behavior, but I've never taken it to the extremities he has. Yep, Monk is one of a kind, and Tony Shalhoub has done an amazing job portraying him. Not that his performance has gone unnoticed - he has been nominated for an Emmy all of the seven previous seasons this show has aired, and he's managed to win three times. Pretty impressive - almost as amazing as Monk's detective skills. Who else has managed to solve cases committed when the killers were stuck in a coma, live on the radio, or even in flying space? And I also love how the show manages to stay so lighthearted, even if people die on it on a regular basis. Monk has done a fantastic job taking classic detective television shows like Murder She Wrote, The Rockford Files, and my favorite, Columbo, and updating them with a modern twist, giving new life to the genre. I'm sad that there is going to be a void in these detective shows for awhile, but I hope a worthy contender will soon appear to pick up the mantle (and maybe disinfect it).

I have to admit - I share at least one fear with Monk - that of bridges, which makes this magnet oddly appropriate for today's post. All of my life, bridges have unnerved me. Sure, I might go over some bridges on a daily basis, but those are fairly small ones and they don't really get to me. It's the ones that go really high up in the air with all of the scaffolding that drive me nuts. I'm usually okay as a passenger, but I get kinda nervous when I'm behind the wheel. And when there is no lane to pull off into in case of emergencies and the bridge goes on for a mile - or more - I get pretty antsy. It's not a debilitating fear, as I always manage to make it through to the other end, but I can have some pretty tense moments along the way. Luckily, the only one I have to fear here in Savannah is the Talmadge bridge, and I usually manage to stay away from it. Going to Jacksonville in Florida can be dicey for me, as there are big bridges all over the place and I tend to get lost there at least once each trip. Growing up, I always hated crossing the bridge over the Mississippi River between Mississippi and Louisiana when we were traveling to Texas - and I wasn't driving then. Nor was I driving when we visited California and crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, but I don't remember liking the experience. And when Magneto ripped it out of the ground during X-Men 3, it really wigged me out. Sure, that was fiction, but real bridge disasters do happen, as was proved in Minnesota a few years back. I'm not sure why flying doesn't upset me and I have no problem going to the top of places like the Empire State Building and the Sears (yes, Sears) Tower, but bridges are definitely frightening for me. But I guess fears are never rational - just ask Adrian Monk.

So who killed Trudy? After eight seasons, we will finally know. And then it's over for good - and maybe permanently for Monk, who has been poisoned in the first part of the finale. But Monk fans have already suffered a pretty tough loss - that of Stanley Kamel, who did such a wonderful job portraying Monk's incredibly patient psychiatrist, Dr. Charles Kroger. In light of that blow, the show's end should be a little easier to take. I will always miss Monk, but I look forward to seeing what's ahead for Tony Shalhoub. After his last show, Wings, ended back in the 90's, I've followed pretty much every cast member, and it's been fun to see a couple pop up alongside Adrian Monk. And Monk has provided me with another great cast to follow in the future. I wish them all the best and can't wait to see what roles they have ahead of them!

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