Monk: Season 7, Episode 16

Mr. Monk Fights City Hall (20 Feb. 2009)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Drama
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 225 users  
Reviews: 4 user

Desperate to save the parking lot where Trudy was killed from demolition, Monk enlists the help of a sympathetic councilwoman. But when she goes missing, Monk may be forced to deal with her hapless and incapable assistant.



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Title: Mr. Monk Fights City Hall (20 Feb 2009)

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Episode credited cast:
Maria Scheter
Paul Crawford
George Gionopolis
Eileen Hill
Jill Arrington ...
TV Newswoman
Michael O'Hara ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hotdog vendor


Monk is desperate to keep the parking garage where Trudy was murdered so many years ago from being demolished for a playground which has huge citywide support. He thinks he has a councilwoman behind his efforts but when she suddenly vanishes, he must deal with a ditsy assistant to the councilwoman. When a vacationing couple turn up dead, Monk begins to think their murders have to do with the missing councilwoman. But do they? And is Tudy's place of murder a rightful reason to stop a good community development project for neighborhood children? Written by

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Comedy | Crime | Drama | Mystery

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Release Date:

20 February 2009 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


While chained to the parking garage, Monk tells Councilwoman Hill that he had attended the City Council vote that had condemned the garage. Four days later, when he is in City Hall for the re-vote with Natalie, neither of them know where City Council meetings are held. See more »


Adrian Monk: Eileen Hill was a well educated, professional woman. She was an adult. This woman
[pointing to Maria Scheter]
Adrian Monk: on the other hand is a dolt! Adult - dolt - adult - dolt - adult -dolt - adult - dolt...
Natalie Teeger: [sideways to Monk] Mr. Monk she is right here!
Adrian Monk: She knows she's an idiot. She can't even answer a phone. Have you ever tried talking to her? It's torture. Question: why would Eileen hire a moron like that?
See more »

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User Reviews

Season 7: Barely hangs together with some good episodes but an equal number of awful ones and the rest all so-so
1 March 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Monk returns for a seventh season and proves that without doubt the decision to end the show after the next season is perhaps the best one. Season 5 was awful, season 6 was an improvement and season 7 is essentially showing how difficult it is to make a winning formula work over as long a run as this. Let it be a warning to similar shows like Psych because now even when Monk is hitting formula bang on the money, it perhaps doesn't provide the joy and sense of fun that it once did. This is understandable because it isn't fresh and it is not easy to make "the same thing" feel different once you've done it so many times.

Season 7 does hit formula though and for fans this will be good news. OK it is not "new" but we still have some great episodes here, the one in the submarine being one of my favourite ones and a good example of when the writers stick to formula and find a way to make feel fresh (shame that episode also has some of the worst "backdrop painting" I've seen for quite some time). There are also a good crop of "solid" episodes that do the formula but don't make it feel as fun and fresh as it once did. Again, this is perhaps fine after such a long run and I wasn't too upset by that and still enjoyed those – even if a lot of them are pretty contrived in how they make the plot happen.

The ongoing problem sees us back in "season 5" territory where there are some weak episodes that are caused by the way the plot is made to happen. So much effort is put into the making the plot work that it stands out and takes away from the fun of Monk being Monk. Similar to Randy inheriting a farm, this time we get things like Stottlemeyer becoming a monk, only for about 30 minutes and only to make a plot work. Likewise we have the usual ones where the formula is changed just to try and make it feel fresh. These ones mostly stink the place up as we get "average" ones like Monk falling in love but also awful ones, specifically the one where Monk acts like a child due to hypnotism or some other rubbish. Oh, or the one where he "has ANOTHER brother" but really I should have seen this coming since the first episode sees Monk moving house just to set up a simple gag/plot. The show just about still has enough wit and charm about it to keep the fans happy though but the weaker episodes test even that loyalty. It doesn't help that it frequently wheels out the spectre of Trudy when it needs to make things a bit more serious or to create a plot for an episode. At one point her death felt like a part of the show, then it started to feel like a bit of a plot device, now it feels like nothing other than a plot device. This has come about of years of using the death rather than making it part of the life of Monk – this will hurt them because undoubtedly Trudy's murder will be pulled back into the final season but I suspect it is too late and its misuse and non-use has done the damage now.

The cast struggle because of things like this – weak episodes, no development, a lack of quotable lines and so on. Shalhoub perhaps deserves a bit more criticism for the quality since he has claimed a producer credit but in terms of his performance he always does what is required of him and his actual performance is s good as the material allows him to be (which is not that great as praise goes I agree). Howard continues to be OK but she is a bit bland for the majority of the season with only one or two episodes giving her a bit of colour in her character. Gray-Stanford is starting to get a bit too daft, he has some good lines but when his material is weaker he tends to overplay. Levine steps down in quality here and he seems a little tired at times, like he is going through the motions but not putting too much effort in. Elizondo steps into Kamel's shoes and does more of the same, with the submarine episode the only one where he is really well used.

Overall Monk retains some of what made it popular and it has managed to sort of stop things getting worse after a terrible season 5 was followed by a rocky season 6. However, it is hard to escape the feeling that it is all being held together. The occasional good episodes are matched by an equal number of awful episodes and the rest are so-so at best. This is not really the way to retain an audience. I will of course return for season 8 but on the evidence of the last three seasons, things do not look good and it will be lucky to make it to the finish line before the wheels totally fall off.

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