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Thursday June 15, 2006 3:29 pm

Does OCD Really Help Solve Crime? “Monk” Tells Us Yes, But “The Closer” Proves Otherwise

Posted by Abby Rose Dalto Categories: Prime Time, Cable, Editorial,

MonkI’ve been watching a lot of reruns lately (hey, it’s summer) and I’ve come across two great shows that I may have overlooked in the past. USA’s Monk and TNT’s The Closer. Both shows focus on solving crimes – those most baffling ones – but that’s nothing new to TV.

What really draws you in to these shows are their respective main protagonists: Tony Shalhoub’s Adrian Monk, a retired San Francisco police officer turned private investigator, and Kyra Sedgewick’s Brenda Johnson, deputy chief of the LAPD’s priority homicide division.

What struck me about these two shows was the differences (and similarities) of these two characters. Monk suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder and a plethora of phobias, conditions that have proven to be both a gift and curse. Getting through the day is a struggle, however his attention to detail and unconventional thinking help him to figure out the cases that no one else can crack.

Johnson, on the other hand, has what I would (unscientifically) call the opposite of obsessive-compulsive disorder. While Monk is overly organized to the point of addiction, Johnson is a mess. She can never find her glasses – or anything else for that matter – in her purse full of junk; she is always getting lost; she is never on time. She has her own neuroses of course, specifically centered on food and men, but for the most part she is the anti-Monk. However, she too manages to solve those “unsolvable” cases. While Monk’s forte is noticing the clues that no one else sees,  Johnson’s gift is interrogation (or more specifically, getting a confession).

These shows pose the question: “Does having a mental illness actually make you smarter?” My only current obsession is catching up on both of these shows and anxiously awaiting new episodes.

Read More | ABC News

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