We became irregular watchers of Monk after season five--it seemed that every story line was too predictable (or the fact that he would solve the case in a bizarre, unpredictable fashion became predictable!). But, since we owned the first five seasons, and I wanted to know how the show ended without skipping to season eight, I started purchasing the other seasons--and we have been delightfully surprised. I don't know if it is because we had been away for so long, or because the story lines really are fresher, but we have really enjoyed picking up where we left off. There have been many new developments in Monk's character, and the others on the show. We are enjoying it all over again, and savoring every episode.