TV review by
Lucy Maher, Common Sense Media
Monk TV Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Witty crime drama too highbrow for most kids.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 20 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 124 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Crimes are solved through smart (albeit quirky) detective work. Death, widowhood, and OCD are also strong themes here.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The main character suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder and is easily rattled by germs, chaos, and changes in routine, but overall he's a kind, smart, and effective detective.


In each episode, a murder is committed and the crime scene -- including the dead body -- is featured.


Mild ("son of a bitch") and infrequent.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this series includes subtle references to sex and drugs, as well as mildly violent scenes in which a murder is committed. The main character suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder and is easily rattled by germs, chaos, and changes in routine, a fact that is sometimes played for laughs (albeit sympathetic ones).

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byGracesbigsis July 14, 2010

Great show, may be too much for little kids but fine for tweens

Monk is one of my favorite shows. It's not gory or graphic. The actors are some of the best I've ever seen. The writing is extremely clever and witty.... Continue reading
Adult Written byJennie Whitcomb April 9, 2008

Quirky characters who care for each other

While the opening "set up" scene often involves a violent crime, the heart of this show is the affection and empathy the characters have for one anoth... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byWazzara December 31, 2020

My Favorite Show!

I think this is great for kids! Me and my younger sister are obsessed with it! It has the greatest characters and it's hilarious, and I think it's gre... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old August 29, 2012


I am 11 and my brother is 7. The show is TV-14, and that makes sense. But I think it could get away with being PG. Parents need to know that yes, there is cursi... Continue reading

What's the story?

MONK is the story of Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub), a brilliant but quirky detective armed with a photographic memory and the ability to piece together even the weakest of clues. Monk, who suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), lost his job with the San Francisco Police Department when he couldn't get a handle on the phobias he developed after his wife's death. Now, with the help of his assistant, widow Natalie Teeger (Traylor Howard), Monk works as a private consultant, helping solve cases the police department can't. In doing so, he hopes to convince his former boss, Captain Leland Stottlemeyer (Ted Levine), to allow him to return to the force.

Is it any good?

Monk is a thinking-person's television show thanks to fresh, intelligent writing and well-nuanced characters. Shalhoub's tender portrayal of his character's subtle idiosyncrasies is nothing short of amazing (he has won two Emmys and a Golden Globe for his work on the show), and he easily wins viewers' affection. However, that very subtlety may make the show a little difficult for tweens and young teens to enjoy. They may have fun figuring out "whodunit," but the understated, Seinfeldian humor laced throughout will be lost on them.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how detectives solve crimes. What kind of methods do they use to find the perpetrator? Another good discussion topic would be Monk's OCD. Can kids imagine what it would be like to have the disorder? How does Monk balance his OCD with his work? Do kids think they'd be able to do the same in his position?

TV details

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