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Review: Monk – No Longer Missing Sharona

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When last season of Monk started, I honestly thought I would hate it. The minute I found out Sharona was gone, I all but knew the show was completely doomed. She was so integral to the formula of the show–both its comedic and dramatic elements, and the relationship she had with Adrian Monk was so great to watch and grow with. Upon finding out that the reason Bitty Schram (Sharona) left the show was because she was apparently “disenchanted with the role”, according to Tony Shaloub, I was even more upset, because I don’t understand how she could possibly be disenchanted with the spunky, firecracker Sharona, when the happy viewing public felt exactly the opposite.

I vowed to never watch the show again. This new (Pfft) Natalie girl could never live up to my Sharona (no pun intended). But one lonely night in my basement, I found myself watching a re-run of Monk because it was midnight and there was nothing else on besides last night’s episode of Degrassi and After The Show w/ Oprah. I watched the entire episode, and realized the show was just as good as it was with Sharona. Natalie was different…she wasn’t the spunky, firecracker, but she still filled the void in the formula that left with Bitty Schram. And over the course of the season, I’ve come to realize, I actually like Natalie a hell of a lot more than I ever liked (Pfft) Sharona. She added more drama and more comedy to the show, and had great chemistry with Tony. I loved her personal backstory and how she identified with Adrian’s pain of losing a loved one.

Monk is better than ever and when I leave for college in NYC, I will not only buy all of the seasons on DVD, I will make sure Monk is ALWAYS set to be recorded on Tivo.

Ed/Pub:LM

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About Chris Evans

  • http://childoftelevision.blogspot.com/ Tony Figueroa

    I have a great affection for characters (like Sharona)who say what you are thinking or have the guts to say what you want to say but can’t. The best part is that these characters can get away with it like we wish we could. We tend to forget that there is a team of talented writers who spend many hours creating these spontaneous lines for them to say.

    My singing Bitty Sharam’s praises is in no way shape or form is an attack on Traylor Howard (Natalie Teeger). When someone deserves the Dick Sergeant award I will say so. It can be a very risky career move to replace a beloved character on a show, especially a character with very big pumps to fill.

    I’m glad the show has yet to “Jump the Shark”

  • http://sussfr.blogspot.com Matthew T. Sussman

    Traylor Howard usually fills bubbly female roles. She’s nowhere near that in this character, and that she can pull off a bit of the female deadpan delivery it proves she has dimension.

  • http://draven99.blogspot.com Chris Beaumont

    I think I still prefer Sharona, but I still love the show. Traylor has done a fine job filling a big slot.

  • MissingBitty

    Although Traylor Howard’s character is better this season than last and Monk is better than it was last season, it is still not as good as when Bitty Schram was there. Monk was perfection with Bitty’s portrayal of Sharona. It was a hilarious show that was intelligently humorous. It’s not funny anymore. I see bits and pieces of Monk as I surf for well written, well acted programs (The 4400 and ER are all that’s left); However, I don’t watch it anymore. And I wouldn’t be so quick to take Tony Shaloub’s word at face value when he says Bitty Schram was disenchanted with the role. I’m waiting to hear from Bitty herself.

  • http://breathoffreshink.blogspot.com Chris Evans

    I disagree, I think the show is even funnier now. I find myself laughing out loud way more often, and I love Traylor’s more subtle, smart comedy.

  • Alan

    I disagree. After a full year, Natalie cant even call Adrian by his first name, its always Mr. Monk

    She is as anticeptic as Monk’s hand wipes

    Sharona lives ! bring her back

    Although I will say Natalie has a much cuter tush

  • Samuel Peeps

    I just can’t take to Natalie – she gets on my nerves something chronic.

  • Mudder

    Personally, I prefer Sharona better than Natalie, but not by that much. It would be an interesting episode if Sharona came back to check on Adrian and meet Natalie. It would be a more humorous episode than some of the others. The only thing I don’t like about Natalie is that she calls Adrian “Mr. Monk”. It’s a bit annoying.

  • parttime Monk

    I am not an original Monk fan, but was turned onto it from a friend, and began to enjoy the show. Sharona was THE single most important character that defines Monk, aside from Monk, in terms of relationships and understanding. And the fact that she had a strong character only helped the viewer understand Monk’s inner demons. The other characters are written primarily for comedic touches. I find the Traylor Howard’s character a very weak, very passive character, and is a poor substitute for Sharona. I have stopped watching, because the Monk series is now exclusively about Monk, and that gets boring fast. I miss Bitty Sharom’s Sharona, and her acting chops

  • Etheldra Frederick

    Oh my gosh, I wish I saw this site before. I am a great Sherona fan and was very upset when I found out that she was gone. She made the show (besides Monk). I love characters liker that, who are outspoken, a slight attitude, and spunk. She had it all. I have not taken to Natalie yet, and have not really watched a full episode of the show since. I get annoyed with watching Natalie. I am trying to like Natalie, but have not warmed up as yet. I feel so bad that I feel that way, because she is just trying to build her career. I can’t believe that Shrona did not like the role.

    Maybe we can do a “Bring Sherona back” campaign.

  • Monkfan

    Sharona (Bitty Schram) was very annoying!!! She was trying to be too sexy….nothing to look at anyway!…I mean if you are an assistant of a detective do you wear short skirts and boots? Like a hooker! She had an attitude that made us nausious! Just a relief she is gone!!! Natalie is a world of improvement!!!! Thank you Tony for being smart and getting rid of Bitty Schram….now it is the best show for sure!!!

  • Tat

    I’m neutral.

  • ENF

    I think that I was finally getting used to Natalie. Unfortunately, Monk is in it’s last season. I will miss him greatly. Thank GOD for re-runs. :-)

    PS: I still prefer Sharona (Bitty Schram).

  • Mungo

    Sharona was the main reason I watched Monk, great personality & of course very attractive. I never could stand Monk, he portrays people with OCD very poorly. The one episode when he tried medication was completely unrealistic. That from my psychiatrist and therapist.

    So, unless I see Sharona in reruns this will be my last episode. And she is still HOT

  • Viewpoint

    Sharona was disgusting. I have fast forward through her scenes when watching an episode from the first two and a half years of the show. She looks like a hooker and her voice makes you vomit.

  • Guy

    I like them both, but would like to know exactly why Bitty left

  • TJlover

    I found Sharona to be completely aggravating, adding little value to the show. I was happy to see that she was replaced.

  • Monk mania

    I have watched every season on Netflix recently and watching Sharona was like nails on a chalkboard. Natalie was way better and classier. Betty’s character was so crass and it was hard to get past the tacky clothes. She also seemed to be so annoyed and impatient with Monk all the time, when all his quirks are what made him so lovable! Natalie was way more patient and accepting of Monk’s issues and that shown through no matter what. If I research I’m starting on Season 3 Episode 10!

  • Bree

    I MISS SHARONA (BITTY SCHRAM)- THE SHOW ISN’T THE SAME WITHOUT HER. SHE PLAYED THE ROLE SO NATURALLY. THE OTHER ASSISTANT SEEMS FORCED – NOT AS NATURAL. I LOVE WATCHING THE MONK’S WITH SHARONA IN IT!!! SHE WAS A MAJOR PART OF THE SHOW AND IT’S JUST NOT THE SAME WITHOUT HER!!!

  • Kelly

    Bull. It was a directors decision to put a younger girl in the role. Bitty has humor and a believable personality. Love her son too.