Linda Holmes

Linda Holmes writes and edits NPR's entertainment and pop-culture blog, Monkey See. She has several elaborate theories involving pop culture and monkeys, all of which are available on request.

Holmes began her professional life as an attorney. In time, however, her affection for writing, popular culture and the online universe eclipsed her legal ambitions. She shoved her law degree in the back of the closet, gave its living-room space to DVD sets of The Wire and never looked back.

Holmes was a writer and editor at Television Without Pity, where she recapped several hundred hours of programming — including both High School Musical movies, for which she did not receive hazard pay. Since 2003, she has been a contributor to MSNBC.com, where she has written about books, movies, television and pop-culture miscellany.

Holmes' work has also appeared on Vulture (New York magazine's entertainment blog), in TV Guide and in many, many legal documents.

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Monkey See
3:41 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

The Challenges Of War At A Distance

Ethan Hawke and January Jones in Andrew Niccol's Good Kill.
Lorey Sebastian Clear Skies Nevada LLC/IFC Films

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 4:32 pm

The opening moments of Good Kill, a new drama starring Ethan Hawke and written and directed by Andrew Niccol (who also directed Hawke in Gattaca), almost eerily resemble the opening moments of American Sniper. A man watches and tries to interpret the movements of a woman and child who don't see him, deciding whether to kill them. This man, however, isn't concealed nearby. The woman and child are in Afghanistan and the man is piloting a drone from an air conditioned trailer on a military base in Nevada.

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Monkey See
8:47 am
Thu April 16, 2015

Is There Anything Left To Say About 'Saturday Night Live'?

Live From New York
Edie Baskin Tribecca Film Festival

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 10:33 am

Why open a film festival whose reputation is for independent voices with a documentary salute to Saturday Night Live?

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Monkey See
10:37 am
Mon April 13, 2015

The Hapless 'Veep' Staff Trips Itself Up As Selina Ascends

Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer on HBO's Veep.
Patrick Harbron HBO

Originally published on Mon April 13, 2015 1:02 pm

One of the central conceits of the first season of HBO's Veep was the carnival of humiliations suffered by Selina Meyer, played so brilliantly by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, in her capacity as vice president. She battled for relevance while waiting for the phone to ring, surrounded by a staff even more determinedly clinging to shreds of power and significance than she was. Later, Selina wound up battling primary opponents in her own bid to become president — a path that proved to have its own endless frustrations.

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Monkey See
10:13 am
Fri April 10, 2015

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'The Comedians' And Cameo Appearances

NPR

This week, paired with the return of Louie, FX introduced a comedy series called The Comedians, which features Billy Crystal and Josh Gad as ... well, as Bizarro Billy Crystal and Josh Gad, forced to work together on a fictional FX sketch comedy show.

Does that make sense?

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Monkey See
3:12 pm
Mon April 6, 2015

Small Batch: The March Madness Of Friends On Opposite Sides

This is the Duke Blue Devil, which is here because Linda chose the photo rather than Stephen.
Andy Lyons Getty Images

I've written before about how I became a fan of Duke basketball. Stephen Thompson has talked before about being from Wisconsin (and, yes, even attending the University Of Wisconsin). As you can imagine, Monday night's men's final between our basketball teams will put us in a very tricky situation.

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Monkey See
11:38 am
Mon April 6, 2015

The Times Grow Messier As The Last Chapter Of 'Mad Men' Begins

Maliabeth Johnson as Audrey and Jon Hamm as Don Draper in the latest episode of Mad Men.
MIchael Yarish /AMC

Originally published on Mon April 6, 2015 12:38 pm

["Spoiler" alert: This review of the season premiere of Mad Men discusses the season premiere of Mad Men.]

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Monkey See
10:11 am
Fri April 3, 2015

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Kimmy Schmidt' And Derivative Culture

NPR

Originally published on Fri April 3, 2015 10:28 am

Those of you with Netflix may have had a chance by now to catch up with Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, a show created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock (of 30 Rock) that was originally intended for NBC before winding up at its online home. We spend some time with the first 13-episode run this week, joined by our friend Kat Chow, of NPR's Code Switch.

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Monkey See
4:06 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

Small Batch Edition: 'Furious 7'

NPR

Chris Klimek has appeared on Pop Culture Happy Hour a number of times, including the time he was our fourth chair for a chat about the Hugh Jackman robot-boxing movie Real Steel. Despite the fact that he's very knowledgeable regarding a number of non-punching fields (he's a theater critic!

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Monkey See
1:11 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

Jokes, Fights And Controversy In A Frictionless Void

Fer Gregory iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 7:58 pm

There's a saying about lawyers in court, which is that you never ask a question you don't know the answer to. I'm going to warn you now that this is not court, and that at the heart of this piece are a bunch of questions I don't know the answers to.

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Monkey See
1:08 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

The Ups And Downs Of 'Younger' Life

Hilary Duff and Sutton Foster in Younger.
TV Land

It remains a sore point in my TV-watching heart that ABC Family's fabulous comedy-drama Bunheads lasted only one season, so I was particularly pleased to see that its star, Tony winner Sutton Foster, was coming back to television. Specifically, she's in a comedy called Younger on TV Land, which premieres Tuesday night but the pilot of which is already available to preview online.

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Monkey See
10:31 am
Mon March 30, 2015

5 Thoughts On Trevor Noah Taking Over 'The Daily Show'

Seen here in 2012, Trevor Noah was announced Monday as the new host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central.
Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 12:03 pm

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Movies
5:58 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

'The Breakfast Club' At 30: '80s Classic Still Relatable Today

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 8:07 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE BREAKFAST CLUB")

ANTHONY MICHAEL HALL: (As Brian Johnson) You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Monkey See
6:03 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Small Batch Edition: Talking 'X-Files' With Kumail Nanjiani

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson (pictured above) are both returning to The X-Files.
Getty Images

Kumail Nanjiani is a standup comedian, the co-host of the comedy show The Meltdown With Jonah And Kumail for Comedy Central, an actor (including a regular gig on HBO's Silicon Valley), and a popular Twitter presence.

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Monkey See
11:57 am
Thu March 26, 2015

The End Of The Estate: 'Downton Abbey' Is Officially Saying Goodbye

Masterpiece and Carnival Films announced today that Downton Abbey will end after its sixth season.
Nick Briggs Carnival Films/PBS

Recent reports were officially confirmed today — the upcoming sixth season will be the last for the very successful drama Downton Abbey, according to an announcement Thursday from Carnival Films and Masterpiece. Executive producer Gareth Neame had this to say:

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Monkey See
12:56 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Here Comes 'The X-Files,' Back For More Mulder, More Scully, And More

Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny will reprise their roles as Dana Scully and Fox Mulder in The X-Files limited series.
Fox Broadcasting Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 12:58 pm

Everything old really is new again. Even aliens.

Fox announced today that The X-Files, which ran on television from 1993 until 2002 and was accompanied by feature films in 1998 and 2008, will be back as a six-episode "event series," with production beginning this summer. Creator and Executive Producer Chris Carter will be in charge once again, and yes, Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) will be, too.

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Monkey See
8:46 am
Fri March 20, 2015

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Nick Hornby's 'Funny Girl' And Adapting Books

NPR

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 11:23 am

While our pal Stephen Thompson is in Austin, Glen Weldon and I are happy to be spending the week talking to our pals Barrie Hardymon and Chris Klimek about the latest Nick Hornby novel, Funny Girl. It follows the life cycle of a British sitcom born in the 1960s, from its inception through its period of popularity, right through its fade and its status as a piece of nostalgia.

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Monkey See
1:55 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Small Batch Edition: On Loving Romance With Sarah Wendell

NPR

Sarah Wendell is the wrangler and editor and general mischief-maker at the site Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, which reviews and discusses romance novels and serves as a home for many devoted romance fans. She's also a fascinating speaker and writer, so when she was in town recently, we had her into the studio. First up is this Small Batch, in which Sarah and I talk about romance readers, e-reading, rating sexy books with numbers of hot peppers, and why there's an optimism at the heart of reading romance.

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Monkey See
12:36 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

'The Jinx' And The Challenges of Public Curiosity

Robert Durst was the subject of the six-part HBO documentary series The Jinx.
HBO

It was hard not to compare HBO's six-part miniseries The Jinx to the hit podcast Serial. Both featured serialized storytelling from reporters unafraid to be part of the stories they were telling; both were very well received. But the similarities dissipated as the conclusions approached.

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Monkey See
11:21 am
Tue March 17, 2015

'Community': No Longer A Broadcast Show, But Still A Lovable Weirdo

Joel McHale as Jeff Winger on Community.
Trae Patton Yahoo

Community, producer Dan Harmon's increasingly self-aware sitcom, has become less and less about a band of community-college misfits and more and more about being a television show. Perhaps it's fitting that a show about being a show continues its odd life with a move from NBC to Yahoo Screen, where the first two episodes are now available.

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Monkey See
3:16 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

In 'I Hate Christian Laettner,' ESPN Explores The Belly Of The Beast

Duke's Christian Laettner stretches during a news conference in Indianapolis in March 1991.
Bob Jordan AP

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 3:31 pm

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