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Former police detective Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub) has suffered from
intensified obsessive-compulsive disorder and a variety of phobias since the
murder of his wife, Trudy, in 1997.
Despite his photographic memory and his amazing ability to piece tiny clues
together, he is now on psychiatric leave from the San Francisco Police
Department. Aided by his friend and practical nurse, Sharona Fleming (Bitty
Schram), Monk works as a freelance detective/consultant, hoping to convince
his former boss, Captain Stottlemeyer (Ted Levine), to allow him to return to
the force. Stottlemeyer wavers between admiration for Monk and annoyance
at his eccentricities. Moreover, he harbors serious doubts about the wisdom
of allowing Monk to carry a gun. Stottlemeyer's second-in-command, Lieutenant
Disher (Jason Gray-Stanford), also has his doubts about Monk but seems to be
developing a reluctant admiration for the "defective detective."