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Mr. Monk's Writers Get an F

The prissy FBI agents. Oh come ON.

You do NOT NOT NOT leave hazardous chemicals in spray bottles that look just like perfume atomizers. NO FBI person will do this. ALL such chemicals WILL be in clearly labeled hazardous material standardized containers. NO WAY does Monk spray a 'cleaning spritzer' of highly caustic chemical onto a TV screen by mistaking it for water.

Also, there is no fucking pet store in SF where you can just walk in and buy a ferret. Thanks to paranoia that domesticated Ferrets would destroy California, since 1895 it has been illegal to import, sell or OWN a ferret in California. No pet store sells them.

The 'drink coaster' joke is also very, very old. Monk has seen computers used before, many many times. He isn't a stupid man and will know the difference between a CD slot and a drink coaster.

Feh. Bad writing episode.

EDIT: "I want all street musicians off the street except one!"


The writers have lost sight of the fact that the humor in Mr. Monk's life arises from the absurdities of real life, not from stupid cartoon caricatures being even more broken that Mr. Monk.

Is there a way to give these guys an F- ??


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 24th, 2007 02:10 pm (UTC)
A friend of mine has hated that show from day 1 anyway. (Note that I've never even seen part of one episode.) She hates it because she really *is* OCD, and she hates that Monk makes it look like OCD is a "cute little illness that can be laughed at and doesn't really hurt anything." She is severely OCD, and it took her a long time to admit it, even to very close friends. It ruins your life. She's on powerful medication and she still has several rules that she has to follow or suffer a full-on panic attack. It makes life very hard for her. It's not amusing or cute or easy. And that show is a smack in the face for everyone who's living with OCD.
Feb. 24th, 2007 04:05 pm (UTC)
I live with the condition. I have liked the show for a long time.

Does that make me an Uncle Tom?
Feb. 24th, 2007 06:44 pm (UTC)
Not as far as I've seen.
Feb. 24th, 2007 06:50 pm (UTC)
They do a pretty good job of showing a functional but severe OCD, but Monk's got a bunch of other stuff in there, that has nothing to do with OCD.
For instance, he also has an autistic syndrome.

Like any psychiatric disorder, there is a spectrum of success in coping with or treating ANY disorder. The show presents this as something he has had and been aware of all his life, and that he has developed a number of strategies which helped him deal with it, to a lesser or greater extent.

However, they do tend to vary wildly in the degree to which they write the OCD, and how well they present the problems it causes in his life. But they do not make it "cute" except inasmuch as Adrian Monk is "cute" and the series began with Adrian having been catatonic for three years after his wife's death, not leaving his house and barely leaving his room. This is not "doesn't really hurt anything" by a long shot.

I did a little digging, and your friend's opinion is far from universal among the OCD community. I do agree with her, that it's not always an accurate portrayal, but within the limits of a recurring television program which isn't about OCD, but about Adrian Monk the detective, it's usually close.

(sorry to reply twice - first time I left a tag open)
Feb. 24th, 2007 07:03 pm (UTC)
Good summary, which also reflects what I was trying to say as well.

Along the same lines, I have the darndest spot of difficulty determining just when humor crosses over the line. There is a spoof on the Oompa Loompas in an ep of "Family Guy" dealing with the character supercop in a wheelchair asking where the ramp is for the tour of the factory.

The Chumba-Wumbas (stand-ins for the Oompa-Loompas) sing "What do you do when you're stuck in a CHAIR" "Finding it hard to go up and down STAIRs" "What do you think of the one you call God" "Isn't his absense slight - ly - odd?"

I can see some as reflecting on this as a microcosm of the JOB story (very very micro) and others considering it outright blasphemey. What do you think about the religious acceptability of such a line? Looks like this has become a slight tangent so apologies in advance.
Feb. 24th, 2007 07:48 pm (UTC)
Oh, it's clearly blasphemous, but it's only a slightly more overt blasphemy than anything else on that particular show (or many others.)

However, as far as I've ever seen, it's the religious whose beliefs or power or position or income are threatened by this kind of thing, who get upset. God doesn't seem to react to it any more (or less) than to any other evidence of human disbelief, disrespect, contempt, or scorn. That is to say, He declines to provide any more concrete evidence of His existence by erasing the blasphemers.
Feb. 24th, 2007 08:19 pm (UTC)
And that's kind of where my difficulty comes in. My gal says that she believes God has a sense of humor, and she is extremely devout and doesn't like profanity, to give a reference point for her level of commitment.

Would you like to continue this subthread in personal email?
Feb. 24th, 2007 11:47 pm (UTC)
Up to what you're comfortable with.

I believe God has a sense of humor. Anyone who's ever seen themselves naked ought to know that.

Disliking profanity and vulgarity indicate a personal fastidiousness, and isn't a bad thing at all. I swore like a sailor for years, and only got over it because Penny wanted me to. There's also a matter of respect for other people, and for their comfort. And of course, if you believe in God then you don't want to be using His name in vain, any more than you want to be in a room with someone who uses your name as a vulgar oath.
Feb. 24th, 2007 10:10 pm (UTC)
Well she's entitled to her opinion, and she's certainly entiteld to be insulted if she decides to take it that way. I don't watch tv, and it's not the kind of show I'd watch even if I did watch tv. *shrugs* I was just presenting another viewpoint.
Feb. 24th, 2007 11:53 pm (UTC)
Yeah, but it's her opinion, not a global opinion of all people with OCD.

Being offended on their behalf is what was lampooned once as 'offence-sensitivity' - a pretty common thing among empathetic people who want to protect others from harm, but also something to look out for.
Feb. 25th, 2007 01:52 am (UTC)
Yeah, but it's her opinion, not a global opinion of all people with OCD.

I never implied that she was speaking for all OCD people. Apologies if it came off that way.
Feb. 25th, 2007 08:21 am (UTC)
I wasn't sure if it was her or you, but it did come off like that, hence my pointing out that it wasn't really an offense to all OCD persons.
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 24th, 2007 11:49 pm (UTC)
I was watching the show expecting some standards of quality writing, which are usually there to a much greater degree.

As was discussed on the wiki page for the show, they try not to dwell on the specifics of any one of Mr. Monk's neuroses; they've identified agoraphobia, catatonia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder many times, and shown him in extreme personal pain from them.
Feb. 24th, 2007 05:06 pm (UTC)
Agreed. Though, handled right, I do think Monk would enjoy computers. Where else is there a world build upon such rogid perfection?
Feb. 25th, 2007 07:13 am (UTC)
I would concur. In the first few seasons, Monk was a brilliant man hampered by mental complications. In this season, it's had such stupidity as Monk not recognizing dated 1960s catskills hippie jokes. Lazy writing.
Feb. 25th, 2007 08:19 am (UTC)
Penny and I both found the episode where his doctor came up with a drug that worked to be the most painfully telling of the series.

He had not truly LOST his wife, because he had the hyperactive memory and the other elements that contributed to his OCD. He could always, with eidetic clarity, recall her. He spent three years reliving his past and never leaving his home. Then, in that one profoundly disturbing episode, he found peace from a drug that allowed him to not-care about the minutia, and discovered that his focus and his care about the minutia was what made him able to function so well as a detective, and even then he didn't care until he tried to have his regularly scheduled 'conversation' with his wife, and he couldn't remember her voice.

We sobbed like sentimental goose-brains when we saw that one.
Feb. 25th, 2007 07:24 pm (UTC)
Huh. Isn't that also the episode where he tries to be "cool", and he gets ditched at a pool party? The ditching scene sticks out more with me, because I think it profoundly highlighted his sense of alienation.

I really enjoyed the game-show episode which had some really nice flashbacks showing Trudy and her family, back when he was just idiosyncratic and not OCD.

I really hope the show gets back to real people with real problems, soon.
Feb. 25th, 2007 11:24 pm (UTC)
Yeah... he always had the autism/Asperger's and a mild tendency to be compulsive about things, but he was much more relaxed for a long time.

I feared the show jumped the shark sometime last season, but couldn't put my finger on it. Perhaps when his father showed up.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )