If you’ll indulge us for a minute in an observation that has nothing to do with New York: What’s up with the USA Network’s ceaseless ads for the holiday episode of Monk? Have you seen them? In the most confounding gimmick on television since someone green-lighted Joey, the December 22 episode of Monk, which the network has already been plugging for weeks, will be broadcast in black-and-white. Then, immediately thereafter, it will be broadcast in color. No alternate ending. No change of cast. No live transmission. No nothing. The audience is invited to watch both and decide which version is “more Monkish.” We’re not sure who watches Monk in the first place (a quick survey of friends and relatives turned up no one), but, please, don’t ruin things by telling viewers that the same nostalgic frisson is attainable by setting hue saturation to zero. Next up: A very special muted-unmuted episode.
Monk [USA Network]