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This first episode of "Monk" and the next ("Part 2," originally released together with it as "MONK: The Premiere Movie") are essentially everything that television should be. As close to perfection as I have ever seen on American TV.
From here, the show could have gone up ever so slightly to be one of the greatest television series in the airwaves' history. Heck, I'll nominate it for that honor on Season One's merits alone. Alas, "Mr. Monk and the Candidate" is still the show's best episode. Directly after it comes "The Psychic," a huge step down. From there the series rose again for most of it's first season, but never as high as at its inception.
Season Two was still amiably enjoyable, but hardly great. Season Three pained me to watch. I am, of course, being harsh; but in fairness, I am being so out of the tremendous expectations this fine mystery-cop-comedy show gave me. But I can still most heartily recommend Season One to anyone I meet, and most particularly recommend this fantastic episode. It should be required viewing for anyone desiring the title 'well-rounded human being.'