Monk (2002–2009)
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Mr. Monk and the Critic 

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After a critic pans Julie's performance in a play, Natalie tries to convince Monk that he committed a murder during the show.


Jerry Levine


Andy Breckman (created by), Hy Conrad





Episode cast overview:
Tony Shalhoub ... Adrian Monk
Traylor Howard ... Natalie Teeger
Jason Gray-Stanford ... Randall Disher
Ted Levine ... Captain Leland Stottlemeyer
Dylan Baker ... John Hannigan
Bernie Kopell ... Gilson
Emmy Clarke ... Julie Teeger
Keith Robinson ... Officer Darden
Erin Cahill ... Callie Esterhaus
Kathe Mazur ... Diana Phelps
Christina Ferraro ... Miranda
James Babson ... Pretentious Actor
Linda Bisesti ... Theatre Manager
Tracy Weisert ... Soldier's Daughter


Natalie's daughter Julie appears in a play. When a critic give her a bad review, Natalie sets out to prove that he didn't watch her performance. At the same time Monk is investigating the death of a woman who died not far from the theater. And they eventually learn both cases might be linked. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Crime | Drama | Mystery








Release Date:

18 September 2009 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


Ted Levine and Dylan Baker both appeared in the episode "For Miles and Miles" in the mini series "From the Earth to the Moon" See more »


When Natalie walks into the police station, she puts her purse down on the table twice. See more »


Natalie Teeger: He did it! I don't know how he did it, but he did it.
Lt. Randall Disher: [points to Monk] That's what he always says.
See more »


Written by Andy Breckman (uncredited)
Sung by Emmy Clarke
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User Reviews

Theatre critic murder
29 September 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

'Monk' has always been one of my most watched shows when needing comfort, to relax after a hard day, a good laugh or a way to spend a lazy weekend.

While better than the previous episode "Mr Monk Takes a Stand" and especially "Mr Monk and the UFO" (up to this point of Season 8 the only near-outstanding episode was "Mr Monk and the Foreign Man"), "Mr Monk and the Critic" could have been much better and is vastly inferior to the other theatre-based 'Monk episode, Season 2's "Mr Monk Goes to the Theater". That was classic 'Monk', a show high-point, this was worth watching but very middling with great character moments but a bland mystery.

It's the mystery that brings things down. Just far too obvious from the start (and it's not just the very distinctive voice of the killer and the actor playing him, the looking at the watch gave it away too) and not much of one. The solution is weak and something that can be seen from miles away, this is hardly the first episode to do what this killer did in order to commit the perfect crime which made it very easy to suspect that was what happened. Plus it was hard to swallow considering the frequency of Natalie looking up where they were sitting and that she didn't see what was done. How it's proved borders on the ridiculous and comes close to being against the law.

Elsewhere there is not much wrong, but after seeing a more likable and back-to-classic Monk so far in Season 8 compared to Season 7, the cheque scene saw an unnecessary return to the mean for no reason Monk seen in some of the previous season. While it was nice for somebody to jump to conclusions other than Monk, that Natalie did it due to bias and not tangible evidence felt a little overdone.

However, there are some delightful character moments. The biggest delight is Monk being in heaven with the restrooms, now that was classic but also refreshing Monk. For a Natalie-centric episode, even with her conclusion jumping she was the most charming and most interesting she's been in a while, while Julie (played with likable maturity by Emmy Clarke) similarly brings a lot of charm to the episode.

Disher and Stottlemeyer are also not without moments, Disher with his reaction to Natalie's repeated "he did it" and Stottlemeyer's exchange with Natalie regarding Natalie sending Disher on a newspaper errand, both were very amusing. Love them all together.

Writing has a nice mix of humour and Monk-ish quirks, both of which also done well individually. There are more dramatic and emotional episodes but not every 'Monk' episode needed to have those to be good when the premise didn't necessarily call for it.

One of the best things about 'Monk' has always been the acting of Tony Shalhoub in the title role. It was essential for him to work and be the glue of the show, and Shalhoub not only is that but also at his very best he IS the show. Have always loved the balance of the humour, which is often hilarious, and pathos, which is sincere and touching.

As ever, Traylor Howard, Jason Gray-Stanford and Ted Levine give great support, and Dylan Baker also does a good job and makes the most of his material despite his character being on the slightly bland side. The rest of the cast are workmanlike.

Visually, the episode is slick and stylish as ever. The music is both understated and quirky. While there is a preference for the theme music for Season 1, Randy Newman's "It's a Jungle Out There" has grown on me overtime, found it annoying at first but appreciate its meaning and what it's trying to say much more now.

In summation, could have been much better but not bad. 6/10 Bethany Cox

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