Bitty Schram

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I wanted to echo TaMara's ...

Question: I wanted to echo TaMara's recent "Ask Matt" comments about the improvement of Psych. When the show's first season received quite a bit of attention last summer, I thought it was being overpraised. Though billed as a detective comedy, sometimes it was tough to sort through James Roday's antics and find any genuine comedic moments. But Season 2's writing has been crisper and far more focused. Even the cops are funny this year. Also, rather than emphasizing the often antagonistic father-son relationship that drove the first year, this season's stories have wisely been mostly driven by the best-friend camaraderie of Roday and Dulé Hill's characters. Hill in particular has shown a flair for physical comedy that is a delightful surprise after all his dramatic work on The West Wing, while Roday's overacting has been thankfully toned down since he doesn't have to do all the work. In my opinion, the show has been the superior of the Monk-Psych combo most weeks this summer (not that ... read more

Monk I solved tonight's mystery...

MonkI solved tonight's mystery at precisely 10:07 pm, a new record for me. This was based on my previously outlined theory: recognizable guest star — in this case Nicky Katt — equals guilty. But that meant I could sit back and enjoy the show, which was particularly amusing tonight, despite the serious story line about Stottlemeyer's faltering marriage. Stottlemeyer's stint in anger-management class had more laughs than that awful Jack Nicholson-Adam Sandler flick. When the teacher gave him a yo-yo because "no one can stay mad when they play with a yo-yo," I thought Stottlemeyer was going to find a way to use it as a deadly weapon. Other favorite gags included Monk going nuts because the loose change in a fountain equaled $10.03, and the homeless guy whose pet read more

Battlestar Galactica "Save the...

Donald Faison, Scrubs

Battlestar Galactica "Save the attitude for someone who cares," Starbuck says to Kat — right before Kat's cannon explodes. Yeah, and save the "fracking," too, OK? I just want to say once again that I hate the whole "frack" thing. It's a distracting holdover from the original show, and it's not even a necessary one, no matter how many other fans insist on using it. There. Rant over. Just that rant, I mean. You guys know I love this show, and this was yet another great episode: Roslin's memories of Baltar making out with Number Six, the whole Baltar-Number Six drama in the present, Sharon's baby being a hair away from being aborted and then Baltar's discovery that its blood could be used to cure Roslin's cancer, etc. But the best thing about Galactica is that it's always avoided the trap other sci-fi shows fall into: that of so much going on that there's no room for character developmen read more

Battlestar Galactica "Save the...

Donald Faison, Scrubs

Battlestar Galactica "Save the attitude for someone who cares," Starbuck says to Kat — right before Kat's cannon explodes. Yeah, and save the "fracking," too, OK? I just want to say once again that I hate the whole "frack" thing. It's a distracting holdover from the original show, and it's not even a necessary one, no matter how many other fans insist on using it. There. Rant over. Just that rant, I mean. You guys know I love this show, and this was yet another great episode: Roslin's memories of Baltar making out with Number Six, the whole Baltar-Number Six drama in the present, Sharon's baby being a hair away from being aborted and then Baltar's discovery that its blood could be used to cure Roslin's cancer, etc. But the best thing about Galactica is that it's always avoided the trap other sci-fi shows fall into: that of so much going on that there's no room for character developmen read more

Monk Is it lame of me to continue...

MonkIs it lame of me to continue mourning the loss of Bitty Schram, aka Monk's original sidekick, Sharona? Traylor Howard as Natalie just doesn't do it for me (honestly, few things pronounced "trailer" thrill me.) The tears she wept when she found out Monk had disappeared were so annoying. If he had gone missing on Sharona's watch, she wouldn't have called Stottlemeyer weeping. She would have gone out and found Monk herself! Also, I'm a little over the six-fingered man who supposedly killed our OCD hero's wife. I think creator Andy Breckman watched The Princess Bride one too many times (although it would be cool if the murderer ended up being played by Christopher Guest in the finale). OK, let me stop whining and talk about wh read more

Wow, it seems like yesterday ...

Question: Wow, it seems like yesterday that I enjoyed the season premiere of Monk, and now here's the season finale. I know I have to wait until the beginning of 2006 for new Monk episodes, but I would like to know how you think this season is progressing. I still miss Bitty Schram (Sharona), but I feel that Traylor Howard (Natalie) is doing a great job. Answer: I'm not a constant watcher of the show anymore, but I watched some of the highlights of the summer season — the John Turturro episode, the one where Monk thought his dead wife had returned — and still find it diverting but hardly essential entertainment, boosted by a great lead performance and character but hindered by routine plotting. I still miss Bitty Schram, too, and think the new sidekick is doing as well as possible under the diminished circumstances. The change certainly hasn't ruined the show, which was always uneven but still has its modest pleasures ... read more

Monk Fans Trash Traylor


When Traylor Howard replaced Bitty Schram on Monk, fans had fits. "We knew devotees would be [upset]," says USA Network executive vice president Jeff Wachtel. "But we also knew Traylor could win them over."

Half a season later, that hasn't happened. "I hate her!" one wrote on Monk's message board. "She brings nothing to the show," ranted another. But ratings remain the same for Monk's Schramless episodes (about 3.4 million viewers), so it looks like Howard's here to stay.

Producers tapped her to play Monk's new girl Friday because she and star Tony Shalhoub clicked during her audition. That chemistry may build next season as writers toy with the idea of a Monk-Natalie romance. Until then, Howard will keep fighting to win fans. "I know some people are still resistant," she concedes. "People don't like change. God knows, I hate it! I think it is sweet [that they read more

Monk Says: Bye, Sharona!

Some irate Monk fans vowed to wash their hands of USA Network's quirky germaphobic-sleuth series when it was announced that Bitty Schram would not return as Sharona for the second half of the season. The decision to split was apparently mutual. Schram, who played the feisty Watson to Tony Shalhoub's Holmes, declined to be interviewed; manager Scott Zimmerman said her departure was "too painful and she still had friends" on the set. Zimmerman confirmed Monk executive producer David Hoberman's claim that the split was due to "creative differences," contractual issues (usually code for wanting more money) and Schram's desire to do feature films. Sources close to the show say Schram, who earned a Golden Globe nomination for the role last year, was more ditz than diva but had become more difficult this year, causing "strain" on the set and delaying production with "sick-outs." When the show returns January 21, new cast m read more

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