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Big change coming for ‘Monk’

Fri., July 18, 2008

Tonight’s must-see

“Monk” season opener, 9 p.m., USA Network. The man who hates change is about to make a drastic one. Impulsively, he buys a house and moves.

This hour will fuel everyone’s worst homeownership nightmares; it also may stop Monk from ever attempting a change again.

Brad Garrett is the villain, but one of the key people is Stanley Kamel, who is only there indirectly. He died (of a heart attack at 65) in April after years of playing Monk’s much-needed therapist.

That loss fuels Monk’s sudden desire for change. And the search for a new therapist (Hector Elizondo) demonstrates the show’s ability to juggle humor and warmth.

Tonight’s might-see

“Psych” season opener, 10 p.m., USA Network.

Nothing seems to shake Shawn. He views even this job – helping Gus’ doubting boss – with calmness and a smoking jacket.

Now, however, comes something to unsettle him: His mom is back.

As played by Cybill Shepherd, she’s a therapist who works with cops. (There are some brief bursts of humor there.) What she doesn’t realize is that she created a gap between her son and her ex-husband.

There are moments when the humor gets too broad and the drama is too blah. Still, “Psych” is entertaining enough to be half of a solid Friday block.

Other choices include

“The Animal” (2001), 8-10 p.m., Fox. Did you ever wonder what would happen if you were transplanted with lots of animal parts? Rob Schneider stars in the movie.

“Ghost Whisperer,” 8 p.m., CBS. A recently deceased person gets way too pushy about his request. Now Melinda feels her life is in danger.

“Fatal Attraction” (1987), 8-10:30 p.m., AMC. Here’s the movie that reminded us why it’s important to not have a weekend fling when a spouse is away, even if we meet a really sensual stranger. Glenn Close’s brilliant performance gave a bad name to cheating; Michael Douglas made us feel for (and with) the guy.

Mike Hughes covers television for the Lansing State (Mich.) Journal and Gannett News Service. Reach him at


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