Blu-ray News and Reviews | High Def Digest
Film & TV All News Blu-Ray Reviews Release Dates News Pre-orders 4K Ultra HD Reviews Release Dates News Pre-orders Gear Reviews News Home Theater 101 Best Gear Film & TV
Blu-Ray : Highly Recommended
Ranking:
Sale Price: $29.81 Last Price: $49.95 Buy now! 3rd Party 29.81 In Stock
Release Date: February 27th, 2024 Movie Release Year: 2006

Monk: Season Four

Overview -

San Francisco can’t seem to lick its murder problem. Thankfully Monk is still on the job. Everyone’s favorite obsessive-compulsive detective is back for a fourth and one of the best seasons in the series' run. Cast shakeups have ironed out, the cases are a little more inventive and fun, and the guest killers and victims just get better and better. KLSC continues the show’s Blu-ray winning streak with another round of excellent A/V presentations for each episode. 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
Subtitles/Captions:
English SDH
Release Date:
February 27th, 2024

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

Ranking:

Now that we’re into the fourth season of eight, it’s starting to seem a little redundant to keep recapping the series. At this point, you’re either an established fan looking to hear if this Blu-ray set is worth your dime and time or you’ve read my other reviews and already decided if this show is your thing or not. Hopefully, if you’re still with us on our coverage for this show you’re a fan and are enjoying each season's Blu-ray release because this season is when the show gets really good. 

That isn’t to say seasons Three, Two, or One were bad or anything, but if you read our reviews or know the show things got bumpy. Thanks to a dramatic mid-season three casting switcheroo, Bitty Schram’s Sharona was given the boot and Traylor Howard’s Natalie entered the scene and stayed through for the rest of the run. When that happened it was like the show had to go through a mini-reset to figure out the cast dynamics all over again. Thankfully those bumps and hiccups smoothed out quickly and led to a very entertaining and much more balanced Season Four

And with the best of the series, Tony Shalhoub maintains his wonderful wit, charm, and humanity as Adrian Monk. This season found plenty of balance for great humor but also some heartfelt character drama. Traylor Howard found her full footing as Natalie without just being the “other Sharona.” Ted Levine’s Captain Stottlemeyer remains as acerbic as ever while enjoying one of his best episodes in Mr. Monk and the Captain’s Marriage. Jason Gray-Stanford continues to be the lovable doofus Lt. Randy Disher but by this point, his antics are far less grating and groan-indusing (his character was given some pretty stupid bits in Season Three). 

Best of all, the cases were more interestingly put together with a great selection of guest stars. In this season alone you had Jason Alexander, Dana Ivey, Daniel Roebuck, Malcolm McDowell, DJ Qualls, Tyler Main, Derrick O’Connor (those three in one episode!), Jon Favreau, a hilarious Wings Hauser, and Mr. Burn Notice himself Jeffrey Donovan. If that wasn't enough, there’s probably the best episode of the season and one of the best of the entire series Mr. Monk Bumps His Head. In this one, the always delightful Laurie Metcalf steals the entire episode as a lonely woman who convinces an amnesia-addled Monk that he’s her husband, they live on a farm in Wyoming, and he likes to do dirty house chores. It’s a damn funny episode but it’s also a wonderfully warm and human one. And then we also have another great return for John Turturro in Mr. Monk Goes Home Again.

Season Four is where I felt the show got really good. This was the season that got me watching on a regular clip instead of just catching the reruns at random. The stories were crisper, the dialog a little sharper, and the cases and murder plots a little less outlandish. The series managed to avoid the pitfalls of so many other detective shows because it has a nice variety of cases. It’s not always a “whodunit” but also a “howdtheydoit” giving each episode some range to play with. All 16 episodes lead to a terrific Season Five so hopefully you've budgeted your Blu-ray money accordingly. 



Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
KLSC continues to crack the case of Monk and the Missing Blu-ray Seasons with another four-disc set for Season Four. Since the series is nicely paced at only 16 episodes, each Region A BD-50 disc holds four episodes. The discs are housed in a sturdy multi-disc case with individual trays without stacking and identical slipcover art. Episode titles and descriptions are on the inside of the case insert. Each disc loads to a static image main menu with standard navigation options.

Video Review

Ranking:

Continuing with their previous efforts, KLSC once again delivers excellent 1080p transfers for each episode. As I review these seasons I’ve also been rewatching the series again on various streaming platforms and these discs are easily the best, most consistent presentations out there. Fine details in actors' faces, their hairstyles, or the textures in their clothing just come in with much better clarity. Film grain is also much better resolved for the discs than on the streaming counterpart. Streaming can be outright noisy and distracting by comparison. Colors are excellent, black levels are on point, and each episode has a nice sense of depth and dimension. It was never a flashy, big and expensive-looking show, but on disc it looks pretty grand.

Audio Review

Ranking:

Keeping with the previous disc releases, KLSC offers up another solid DTS-HD MA 2.0 track for each episode. Most of the episodes for the show are relatively calm and dialog-focused with kicks for action beats. But even when those action scenes crop up the mix is lively and engaging - especially when Monk has to run down a jet getting ready for take-off! Dialog is again clean and clear without issue. Sampling through a couple of episodes each disc, I didn’t notice any errors or issues.

Special Features

Ranking:

Bonus features haven’t exactly been a big pull for this series on disc. Even when it was on DVD, there wasn’t much to go around. Those older archival features continue to port over here. For Season Four we only have a pair of extras, and they’re in keeping with the typical little featurettes we’ve seen before. While brief, these are pretty good. I especially enjoyed the Writing Process featurette. The look at Jon Perkins is nice but it’s very short. 

  • The Monk Writing Process Featurette (SD 14:29)
  • Jon Perkins Behind The Scenes Featurette (SD 3:36)

Monk was a good show from the beginning, but by the time it got to Season Four it had become a multi-award-winning great show. With Tony Shalhoub bringing his A-game for every episode, the great cast, and the fun guest stars, all of the wild cases are a joy to see unfold. On Blu-ray, Kino Lorber Studio Classics makes it easy to enjoy these episodes again and again. The A/V for each episode continues to hold up from one season to the next. Bonus features continue to be portovers from the old DVD sets and although brief, they’re at least worth checking out. Highly Recommended