And it’s better than “Monk” was. Sacrilege, you say? Tough. Monk was one character I could not get behind. But Mary Shannon? Totally. It helps — considerably — that she’s played by Mary McCormack, who’s good in everything and cute as the proverbial button. She deserves plaudits that her cable peers regularly get for work that’s not as strong. (I’m looking at you, Kyra Sedgwick.)

With season four headed our way May 1, you have time to catch up with season three on DVD. The crime drama carries an ever-so-slight comedic edge. McCormack is Mary Shannon, a U.S. Marshal nursing a bullet wound from last season who relocates federally protected witnesses, with the help of her pretty-boy partner, Marshall (get it? — played by Frederick Weller), allowing for a rotating door of guest stars. (Between this and “Breaking Bad,” it’s been good to see Tess Harper back in action.)

But what makes the show worth watching is Mary's private life, particularly in her dealings with her bad-girl sister, played by the effervescent Nichole Hiltz. Now there’s a girl who deserves her own show. (No offense, Mary.) —Rod Lott


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