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Tony Shalhoub on How ‘Mr. Monk’s Last Case’ Managed to Address a Dark Subject — Yet Still Make You Laugh

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Michael Schneider Variety Editor at Large “Monk” is the epitome of the classic blue-sky show. Its mysteries are gripping, but the show’s characters are inviting — always giving viewers a reason to laugh.

That’s still the case with Peacock’s reunion movie “Mr. Monk’s Last Case: A Monk Movie.” And yet, there’s something surprisingly dark about the state of obsessive-compulsive detective Adrian Monk when we catch up with him, post-pandemic. “At this point we find Monk is really in a in a dark, dark place,” star Tony Shalhoub tells Variety‘s Awards Circuit Podcast. “He’s in a deep hole.

His team is not really close by and he’s kind of lost his purpose. And (exec producer) Andy (Breckman) presented this idea that Monk was entertaining thoughts of suicide.

It hit us hard in the beginning. We thought, ‘geez, we’ve gone dark in the show before, but not this dark!'” But Breckman pointed out that one of the most beloved holiday movies of all time, “It’s A Wonderful Life,” manages to be about a man with thoughts of killing himself — yet it’s a classic. “When he framed it that way, it really made sense,” Shalhoub says. “Combine that with the research we had been doing about how since since the pandemic, even a year or so before, there has been an uptick in suicides among especially among American men of a certain age.

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