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Blu-Ray : Highly Recommended
Ranking:
Sale Price: $29.16 Last Price: $49.95 Buy now! 3rd Party 45.68 In Stock
Release Date: December 19th, 2023 Movie Release Year: 2004

Monk: Season Two

Overview -

The greatest Obsessive Compulsive Detective of our time is back for Monk Season Two. Tony Shalhoub returns in his multi-Emmy-winning role with his cast of cohorts for one of the series' best seasons. Everything clicked ensuring the show’s longevity while raising the bar for eccentric detective shows. Kino Lorber Studio Classics delivers another excellent Blu-ray release with magnificent A/V presentations and a scattering of archival extras. Highly Recommended

OVERALL:
Highly Recommended
Rating Breakdown
STORY
VIDEO
AUDIO
SPECIAL FEATURES
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
4-Disc Blu-ray Set
Video Resolution/Codec:
1080p/AVC MPEG-4
Length:
640
Aspect Ratio(s):
1.78:1
Audio Formats:
English: DTS-HD MA 2.0
Subtitles/Captions:
English SDH
Release Date:
December 19th, 2023

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

Ranking:

When a show is a hit right out of the gate, it makes the follow-up season all the more important. It’s happened countless times before where a show could have a great first season but trip up in its second only for it to never see the light of a third. For Tony Shalhoub’s Monk, the series not only maintained its footing following a strong start but came back bigger and better. The cases were more elaborate and interesting. The guest-star Killers or Victims were more noteworthy, and our cast fully settled into their characters. Season Two is a homerun follow-up. 

For those who haven’t picked up Season One of Monk, Adrian Monk is San Francisco’s greatest detective, so long as you have the right brand of bottled water and enough hand wipes to get him out of his house. Along with his nurse and assistant Sharona (Bitty Schram), Monk works with SFPD Captain Stottlemeyer (Ted Levine) to solve some of the most puzzling crimes. The kind of crimes that only someone with a keen but obsessive eye for detail might notice. Case after case, Monk matches wits with some of the cleverest criminals who think they just got away with the perfect crime. 

Reviewing individual seasons of a series like Monk is rather difficult. On one hand, I have an appreciation of the entire series so I don’t want to deflate any expectations from one season to the next. On the other hand, I also don’t want to oversell the series because as with any show, there are some bumps along the way. For Monk Season Two I will put my stamp down and say it’s one of the best seasons of the series. Without having to introduce everyone and establish character routines, this season was when it was most comfortable with itself without it feeling routine. Our core cast are well into their respective roles for this murder mystery comedy series so the focus was all about the cases. 

With special guest stars like Andrew McCarthy, Jane Lynch, Tim Curry, Rainn Wilson, Holt McCallany, and Danny Trejo (among many others), Season Two got to focus on coming up with some deliciously devious ways to murder someone. The cases for this season are what make it so much fun with one murder more elaborate and interesting than the next. A couple could feel a little contrived but the resolutions never felt cheated or convenient. The writing team for Season Two was shrewd enough to drop the hints and nuggets without doing the common “Oh look over there at that thing that’s probably nothing and we’ll forget about it for forty minutes.” The hints are small and simple but not so glaring that avid fans of detective shows will feel too far ahead.

And true to Monk form, the show isn’t just a classic whodunit structure but also follows the “whydtheydoit” and “howdtheydoit.” While I do love being teased with a tantalizing “and the killer is…” at the end of the episode, I enjoy more the process of Monk figuring out how the crime was committed. And true to the series, the overarching storyline of trying to solve the murder of his wife is present, but it’s not so omnipresent it stalls out the series. If anything it gives us some welcome back story into his life complete with a visit with his agoraphobic brother Ambrose played by John Turturro in an Emmy-winning performance. So wash your hands, grab your favorite bottled water, and enjoy Monk Season Two

 

Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Kino Lorber Studio Classics continues its run of Monk on Blu-ray for Season Two. All sixteen episodes come spread over four Region A BD-50 discs. All discs are housed in a multi-disc case with individual trays and no stacking with an identical slipcover. The inside of the insert features the episode listing. Each disc loads to a static image main menu with standard navigation options.

Video Review

Ranking:

Picking up where Season One left off, Monk continues its excellent run on Blu-ray for Season Two. Maintaining the 1.78:1 framing the show looks terrific with these 4K-restoration-sourced transfers. Details in Monk’s tweed suit coat, the immaculate production design, and all of the on-location sets in San Francisco look terrific. Facial features and textures are never lost with a healthy setting of film grain that looks far better resolved than what’s appearing on various streaming platforms. Colors continue to be bright, bold, and lively with normal healthy skin tones. I’ve had these on DVD for a while and had been picking through the streaming editions over recent months, but these discs are the clear obvious winner. 

Audio Review

Ranking:

Like the video transfers, the DTS-HD MA 2.0 audio tracks hold strong for each episode. Given the show’s penchant for whip-smart dialog, it’s very conversational focused so the soundscape isn’t necessarily expansive or hyper-active. There are a few busy scenes in each episode and some action bits but nothing terribly demanding of a bigger mix. I’d still be curious to hear a 5.1 track for some of these, but all in all each episode has clean clear dialog, great music accompaniment, and enough element engagement for incidental sound effects to evoke some sense of dimension.

Special Features

Ranking:

Once again on the bonus features side, we have a few archival bits last seen on the old DVDs. They’re brief without much depth, more akin to quick EPK talking head pieces than a dive into making the show. 

  • The Minds Behind Monk (SD 4:35)
  • Disher - Character Profile (SD 3:06)
  • Stottlemeyer - Character Profile (SD 4:37)
  • Precinct Tours (SD 2:13)

Kino Lorber Studio Classics continues their run of Monk on Blu-ray with another great disc release for Season Two. Tony Shalhoub’s Emmy-winning detective series really hit its stride with this second season with a fun variety of cases and a delightful cadre of guest killers, friends, victims, and family members appearing through each episode. This Blu-ray set continues the winning run of great-looking transfers complete with clean audio. Bonus features are still thin re-releasing the old archival content but if you haven’t seen them before they’re technically new to you. This is when the series really got great so if you’ve started grabbing the discs - keep going! Highly Recommended

Order Your Copy of Monk Season Two on Blu-ray