Great, as if going to the dentist weren't stressful enough already, this Monk episode came along and made me megaparanoid. (And I thought Steve Martin in Little Shop of Horrors was bad). Jon Favreau made a great dastardly DDS, although he looks like he's been eating a few too many Dinners for Five. Sorry Jon, I love ya, but you really need to take a cue from Kirstie Alley. Brooke Langton, of Melrose Place fame, looked fabulous as his assistant. Those two must enjoy working together: This is their third collaboration since Swingers and The Replacements. The supporting players got to do a lot of fun stuff this time around, particularly the perennially goofy Jason Gray-Stanford as Lt. Randy Disher. Loved that he quit the force and re-formed his high-school band (I've been thinking of giving that a try myself). The Randy Disher Project was hilariously cheesy. And if you thought that video clip of "Don't Need a Badge" was funny, check out the entire opus complete with a Tawny Kitaen-like babe in reflective shades on the USA site. But I think my favorite thing about Monk this season is Ted Levine as Captain Stottlemeyer. Here's an actor who came to fame as a cross-dressing cannibal. But he didnt let that Silence of the Lambs role limit his career. Hes been doing great work on Monk every week and hes not just funny, hes heartbreaking, too. After Disher quit, you could see Stottlemeyer's sadness and loneliness pierce his gruff exterior. And when he went to Disher and asked him to come back (and ended up sitting through pathetic lyrics like "I don't need your moustache, don't you condescend to me"), you could see Stottlemeyer fighting the urge to throttle him. Thank god for Monk. Where else would character actors like Levine, Gray-Stanford and Tony Shalhoub get such good material?
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