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
11:32 am
Wed July 10, 2013

A Sunny 'Camp' Kicks Back For Summer

The promotional art for NBC's Camp tells you all you need to know.
John Tsiavis NBC

We have to begin with a discussion of how Camp, NBC's new summer comedy-drama series premiering Wednesday night at 10, begins.

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Monkey See
11:32 am
Tue July 2, 2013

'Big Brother' Isn't Just A Terrible Show, It's A Wasted Opportunity

Houseguest Judd makes a toast during the season premiere of Big Brother.
Cliff Lipson CBS

Here's how Big Brother works.

Producers throw a bunch of people into a house, where they're stuck for about three months. All day and all night, they're watched by cameras, and they can be watched online — these are the so-called "live feeds," which are sort of like watching the security cameras in the most boring juice bar in Los Angeles. (I wrote about touring the house in 2010; it's very creepy.)

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Monkey See
9:02 am
Tue July 2, 2013

To The Dump, To The Dump, To The Dump Dump Dump: Write Us A Lone Ranger Joke

Milos Luzanin iStockphoto.com

This morning, as I perused the headlines, I saw a few items about the new Lone Ranger movie, and rather than being struck by interesting thoughts about the racial politics of Johnny Depp's Tonto, I abruptly remembered this joke: "Where does the Lone Ranger take his trash?" "To the dump, to the dump, to the dump dump dump." You know, because of the music?

And then I thought, "Who built the Lone Ranger's luxury apartment building?"

"Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump Trump Trump."

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Monkey See
12:58 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Let Us Now Have A Heated Argument About Plinko. I'll Start.

Carlos Santiago and his daughter, Jasmine, play Plinko as show host Drew Carey and model Manuela Arbelaez on a special Father's Day episode of The Price Is Right. (Plinko is terrible.)
Greg Gayne CBS

There are people who believe that Plinko is the best game on The Price Is Right. I have a name for these people. I call them "Wrongety Wrong Wrong." They are the leaders of Wrongitania. They are the Doctors Of Wrongology. They are the Wrongtown Rats.

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Monkey See
8:52 am
Fri June 28, 2013

'The Heat' Is Absolutely Revolutionary, For Being Mostly Ordinary

Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock in The Heat.
Gemma La Mana Twentieth Century Fox

The date: June 14, 2013. The writer: me, in despair, without a single non-art-house movie with a female lead playing anywhere near me. The piece: "At The Movies, The Women Are Gone."

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Monkey See
10:59 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Why Paula Deen Can't Be A 'Food Network Star'

Seen here in 2009, Paula Deen recently lost her ongoing deal with Food Network.
Katy Winn AP

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 6:17 am

It's not the least bit surprising that Paula Deen lost her gig on The Food Network — and you don't have to believe she's a terrible person to know it. All you have to do is watch Food Network Star, the competition show that seeks a new network personality and sometimes finds one.

That's where they got Aarti Sequeira, who now hosts the Indian food show Aarti Party. It's where they got Aaron McCargo, Jr., who hosts Big Daddy's House. And Melissa d'Arabian, who hosts Ten Dollar Dinners, and Jeff Mauro, who calls himself "The Sandwich King."

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Monkey See
8:52 am
Tue June 25, 2013

The Seven Ways To Write About Television

iStockphoto.com

Perhaps it's the combination of Sunday night's Mad Men finale and the flurry of Sopranos discussion that followed the death of James Gandolfini, but it's hard not to be struck by the explosion of writing about television that's occurred in the last 15 years or so, facilitated (of course) by the ability to go from rolling credits to publication in an hour (if necessary). After any major episode, there will be a flurry of commentary, and even after minor episodes of minor shows, there are write-ups here and there.

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Monkey See
9:02 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Illusions Of Grandeur: Why Don Draper Will Never Get To California

Jon Hamm as Don Draper on Mad Men.
Jaimie Trueblood AMC

What makes Don Draper dashing is the suit, especially. And the hat, the jaw, the hair, the voice, the way he fixes his attention on a woman. But what makes Don Draper seductive as a person and not just a sexual partner is that he is perpetually a whisper away from being a better man. If he were just dashing, he would be harmless; it's that he's seductive that makes him dangerous. It's how close he seems to becoming better that makes him toxic.

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Monkey See
8:07 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Watch: Stephen Colbert Thanks And Remembers His Mom

Seen here in May 2012, Stephen Colbert last night gave a tribute to his mom, who passed away recently.
Charles Sykes AP

Stephen Colbert's mother Lorna died recently at 92, and on last night's Colbert Report, he offered her a funny, sweet, warm tribute that really requires no additional comment.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Monkey See
10:03 am
Wed June 19, 2013

The 25 Movies To Which 'World War Z' Is A Sequel, Probably

Brad Pitt is Gerry Lane, Abigail Hargrove is Rachel Lane, and Mireille Enos is Karin Lane in World War Z.
Jaap Buitendijk Paramount Pictures

World War A (in which Isaac Newton is bonked on the head and still bravely figures out gravity)

World War B (spun off from a VH1 reality show)

World War C (in which two dudes hit each other with cellos for 2.5 hours)

World War D (part of The Great Report Card Skirmish Of 1998)

World War-E (in which a tiny robot rolls around and watches Hello Dolly and then smashes the doubloons out of everything in sight)

World War F (the [bleep]ing best war ever)

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Monkey See
8:47 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Bait And Twitch: Vice Magazine, Suicide Glamour, And Not Staying Quiet

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 2:48 pm

This week, Vice magazine unveiled a fashion spread featuring images based on famous female writers who killed themselves. To call it merely tasteless would be to understate how calculated it was, as well as how revolting it was — it literally created an image based on a real writer who really hanged herself with a pair of stockings, and then it told you where to buy the stockings.

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Monkey See
11:36 am
Mon June 17, 2013

In Slight Defense Of Miss Utah USA, A Little Bit, With Reservations

Television personality and host Giuliana Rancic looks on as Miss Utah USA Marissa Powell answers a question from a judge during the interview portion of the 2013 Miss USA pageant on Sunday night.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

Look, Miss Utah USA, Marissa Powell, gave a pretty unimpressive answer to a question about income inequality at the Miss USA pageant. Let's all agree on that.

But what, exactly, did the circumstances call for?

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Monkey See
8:59 am
Mon June 17, 2013

The NFL To Your Purse: Drop Dead

Nichols iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 11:45 am

Last Thursday, the NFL announced a policy change in which only clear plastic bags would be allowed into stadiums — one per person. Nothing they can't see through. The league says that the change is meant to ensure safety while speeding up security checks and preventing gate backups, which sounds good enough at the outset.

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Monkey See
9:51 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Let's Rush To Judgment: 'The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug'

Sir Ian McKellen in The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug.
Warner Brothers Pictures

Well, here it is: the trailer for the next Hobbit movie in the series of three Hobbit movies that will be made out of a single medium-length book.

The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug doesn't come out until December, but you can already delve into the dragons and mountains and birds (oh my).

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Monkey See
10:27 am
Wed June 12, 2013

MTV Promises To Be About Music For An Entire Half Of A Day

Very excited child who does not work for MTV. He's just as surprised as the rest of us. (Probably.)
iStockphoto.com

Well, this is news.

MTV, VH1, and CMT sent out a press release this morning announcing that on July 4th, which they're calling "Music Independence Day" (!) (!!), they will "dedicate their channels exclusively to music."

ALL DAY LONG. If by "all day long," you mean "from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern and Pacific." (Hey, what's a day, right? 12 hours, 24 hours, these are semantics.)

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Monkey See
9:04 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Theater Of The Absurd: Have Audiences Lost Their Manners?

Scott Griessel - Creatista iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 9:58 am

If you woke up this morning thinking, "I really need to hear NPR's Linda Wertheimer say the words 'noisily unwrapping her Twizzlers,'" have I got good news for you.

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Monkey See
4:57 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Shoes, Romance, And Art: A Reader Walks With The Books She Loves

Rudi's shoes.
@rudi_bee

Longtime readers know that one of my favorite pop-culture blogs ever invented is Smart Bitches Trashy Books, which offers a home for romance readers (who are legion) to both love their books and laugh at their books.

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Monkey See
8:23 am
Mon June 10, 2013

The Tony Awards: Is This The Greatest Awards Show Opening Ever?

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 09: Host Neil Patrick Harris and casts of Broadway shows perform onstage at The 67th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 9, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
Andrew H. Walker Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 10:57 am

Unless you've seen every awards show since the dawn of time (which would make you The Unluckiest Person In The World), you can't really answer the question of whether last night's opener of the Tony Awards, hosted for the fourth time by Neil Patrick Harris, was the best opening ever.

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Monkey See
7:03 am
Sun June 9, 2013

When Your Data Is Currency, What Does Your Privacy Cost?

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 10:59 am

There was considerable mouth-dropping from publications such as The New York Times at initial reports this week that NSA programs are gathering both telephone records and information gleaned from large tech companies like Google and Microsoft. But as those reports have settled in, reactions have gotten more complex.

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Monkey See
8:56 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Jon Stewart Signs Off For The Summer With A Shove From John Oliver

Comedy Central

As you may have heard, Jon Stewart is taking a hiatus from The Daily Show to, among other things, work on his first feature film, Rosewater. He'll be gone 12 weeks, and eight of those weeks will include new episodes of the show hosted by correspondent John Oliver.

Last night was Stewart's sendoff for the summer — the math suggests you'll see him again in early September — and Oliver wasted no time in making it clear that he's in charge now.

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