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109 of 114 people found the following review helpful
Monk Collection 1-8: neat, but lacking
on 17 November 2011
I am not going to comment on the program itself; I am sure there are enough reviews out there telling you either to love or hate Monk. I have always loved it, and bought the collection in order to share the joy.
I am focussing mainly on the quality of the product itself as I am not just a Monk fan but also deaf and took the risk with buying this pack.
S1: English SDH, French
S2: English SDH, French
All additional features are in English language (mostly 2.0 stereo) and without subtitles (all of them).
The Special Features are worth it if you are a fan, otherwise some features might be interesting. They include lots of interviews with the cast and producers, as well as some writers, profiles of the characters, behind the scenes, life as a writer, and video commentaries of a few episodes.
The first two seasons come with some additional languages, mostly French, sometimes German, sometimes Dutch. It is completely random and from season3 on, English mostly.
S1: 1:33:1 Full Frame
S2: 1:33:1 Full Frame
S3: 1:33:1 Full Frame
S4: 1:78:1 Anamorphic
S5: 1:78:1 Anamorphic
S6: 1:78:1 Anamorphic
S7: 1:78:1 Anamorphic
S8: 1:78:1 Anamorphic
Season 1&2 are PAL 2,4; the rest is PAL 2,4,5.
The sound quality overall is OK, but I have to say that especially episodes taking place outside (Mr.Monk takes Manhattan and the like) are sometimes difficult to understand, even for my partner whos hearing is fine.
If you download subtitles from the internet, you will find it is very hard to get them aligned with the DVD's, as most subtitles on the internet are optimized for TV recordings. I am talking some 40 seconds delay (even a pain with VLC player). So if you depend on subtitles, make sure to invest extra time! Googling for transcripts didn't help me much, either.
Overall 3/5 Stars.
Thumbs up for additional content, easy-to-handle DVD menus, compatibility with remote-controlled language/subtitle switch.
Thumbs down for the lack of subtitles- why not even English language subtitles are included is a mystery to me. Also, aspect ratio and language seems to split between the "old" seasons with Sharona, and the "new" seasons with Natalie. There is no apparant reason for it, and I am considering selling the set and buy each season seperately.
It is a fantastic TV Show in my opinion, however the lack of English Subtitles, which I believe to be essential (compared to additional languages) not just for deaf persons but also for those with fine hearing, as well as randomly changing additional languages and aspect ratios as well as audio (2.0 stereo, 5.1, surround) gives the impression that this product was thrown together to make money out of the "all seasons in one" appeal, with no regard to the buyer/viewer.