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
10:20 am
Fri March 13, 2015

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Cultural Anniversaries And Great Things For Kids

NPR

Back in February, when it was terribly icy, we were scheduled to record our Oscars Omnibus live in Studio 1 at NPR HQ. Unfortunately, the weather interfered, and we had to push the show forward. While this meant we didn't have people live in the room to react with glee or horror as Stephen and Glen nearly came to blows over Boyhood, it also meant we got to gather for our rescheduled show with our pal Guy Raz, of the TED Radio Hour, to talk about time.

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Monkey See
7:02 am
Fri March 13, 2015

A Girl, A Shoe, A Prince: The Endlessly Evolving Cinderella

Cinderella and her fairy godmother in the 1950 Disney cartoon.
Courtesy of Disney Princess

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 11:47 pm

"Woman gives birth to a gourd."

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Monkey See
1:33 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

A Travel Show For Your Favorite Weird-Museum And Dance Enthusiast

Courtesy of Ovation

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 4:23 pm

When we get to talking about HBO and Sling, about cord-cutting and the future of television, we tend to focus on the advantages of being able to pick out only the core channels you watch most; the ones you know you love. Now and then, though, I'm glad for the vast array of channels that are trying different things with different people, serving audiences smaller than the ones for football and Cutthroat Kitchen.

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Monkey See
9:54 am
Wed March 11, 2015

Pop Culture Happy Hour, Small Batch Edition: 'King Of The Nerds'

Raychelle, Ben, Lily and Kaitlin are among the nerds in tight competition on TBS's King Of The Nerds.
Trae Patton TBS

In something of a companion piece to our earlier segment on nerd culture, Stephen and Glen sit down in this edition to chat about the social dynamics at work and at play on TBS's surprisingly charming competition show King Of The Nerds. Glen carefully distinguishes it from its predecessor Beauty And The Geek, then wonders whether when nerds act like reality show contestants, they're using the tactics of the enemy.

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Monkey See
12:15 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

An Interview With A Regular Watch

Not necessarily the watch being interviewed, as it chose to remain anonymous.
iStockphoto

Ever since we interviewed the Monopoly iron in 2013, we have occasionally published fever-dream interviews with newsworthy inanimate objects. In light of yesterday's Apple announcement of its smart watch — and in light of the fact that it is neither the first nor the last such watch to be developed — we thought we would check in with a regular, ordinary watch.

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Monkey See
10:02 am
Fri March 6, 2015

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Focus,' Con Men And Rock And Roll

NPR

On this week's show, we sit down with our good pal Gene Demby for a wide-ranging chat about movies and music.

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Monkey See
10:57 am
Thu March 5, 2015

'American Crime': An Ambitious And Inventive Drama With Miles To Go

Felicity Huffman and Timothy Hutton star in American Crime.
Felicia Graham ABC

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 8:09 pm

American Crime opens as a bedraggled, initially almost unrecognizable Timothy Hutton takes the worst possible middle-of-the-night phone call: The police need him to identify the body of what they believe is his murdered son.

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Monkey See
1:22 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

'Mindy' And The Little Story That Just Might Work

Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling) is preparing for some big changes.
Patrick McElhenney Fox

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 7:25 pm

My reaction to the initial revelation that Mindy Lahiri, the heroine (?) of Mindy Kaling's The Mindy Project, was pregnant was the same one I think a lot of people had: Oh, brother.

This was the case for two reasons. First, baby stories are notoriously difficult to make interesting, and adding babies to comedies often leads to awkwardness, as people who didn't set out to write stories about babies often like writing about birth and do not like writing about parenting, so after a while, it's like the baby never happened.

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Monkey See
1:01 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Of Con Men And Dames: How Margot Robbie Gets Robbed In 'Focus'

Margot Robbie in Focus.
Frank Masi Warner Bros.

Focus, starring Will Smith as a smoothie con man with a heart of gold, is trying very hard to be a kind of film that only works when it seems effortless. Specifically, it seems to be engineered to be a close relative of Steven Soderbergh's 2001 Ocean's Eleven, in which beautiful people participate in tricky schemes dressed in cool clothes in gorgeous surroundings, surprising even the audience with their cleverness.

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Monkey See
8:59 am
Mon March 2, 2015

'Downton' Wraps Another Season Of Marriage And (Sigh) Muuuuuurder!

Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) made the acquaintance of Henry Talbot (Matthew Goode) on the season finale of Downton Abbey.
Nick Briggs Carnival Films 2014 for MASTERPIECE

When Downton Abbey, which wrapped up its fifth-season run on PBS Sunday night, is fun, it's so much fun. And when it's not good, it's usually talking about Mr. Bates and Anna and somebody getting murdered.

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Monkey See
8:57 am
Sun March 1, 2015

Will Forte Is 'The Last Man On Earth'

In the year 2020, a deadly virus has swept Earth. Phil Miller (Will Forte) is the only survivor.
Jordin Althaus FOX

Originally published on Sun March 1, 2015 10:41 am

Even were it not a strong show out of the gate, you'd have to give Fox's new comedy The Last Man On Earth, premiering Sunday night, at least this much: they know how to save on hiring extras.

Will Forte, a flexible and talented performer who's been looking for just the right thing since he left Saturday Night Live, did what a lot of people do now when they aren't getting the right opportunities: he wrote himself a television show.

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Monkey See
1:09 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Small Batch Edition: 'The Sculptor' And Other Grand Graphic Novels

Petra Mayer of NPR Books sat down with our regular panelist Glen Weldon to chat about the massive graphic novel The Sculptor, by Scott McCloud. They talk about what the book does and what they wanted from it, and from there, they go on to recommend some other good reads.

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Monkey See
7:36 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Parks And Rec' And 'Better Call Saul'

NPR

Well, now that we're past the Oscars (whew!), this week's show takes us into some quality television, both departing and arriving. It also brings to the table our pal Barrie Hardymon to join me, Stephen Thompson and Glen Weldon for this smaller-screen chat.

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Monkey See
11:54 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Not Just Eating Bugs For Money! A Story Of 'Survivor' And Strategy

The "Blue Collar" tribe assembles on the premiere of Survivor, season ... 30.
Monty Brinton CBS

The most famous scene in the first season of Survivor, back in the summer of 2000, involved the castaways, who were very hungry indeed, catching and cooking a rat, then tentatively picking meat off the bones. There was also a challenge that involved eating grubs as quickly as possible. This pretty much sealed the fate of the show's reputation early on among people who didn't watch it: it was essentially one big show called Eating Bugs For Money, and its pleasures were purely exploitative, so low of brow that nothing was visible except the bottom of the barrel.

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Monkey See
11:03 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

'Parks And Recreation' Sets Off Into The Future

Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope.
Colleen Hayes NBC

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 9:49 am

After seven seasons, NBC's gently acerbic, lovingly rendered Parks and Recreation ended its run Tuesday night with an extension of the final season's voyage to 2017. In further flashes to a few years or even decades later, we learned about April and Andy's kids, Garry's future as a beloved eternal mayor with an ageless wife, Tom's many hustles to come, Donna's educational foundation, the park Ron will run, Leslie's brilliant career and the true partnership of equals that is her marriage to Ben.

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Monkey See
1:23 am
Mon February 23, 2015

'Birdman' Wins Big On A Soggy Night At The Oscars

Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu accepts the Academy Award for best picture for Birdman.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 9:53 am

The rain that fell on Hollywood as the hours of red-carpet coverage wore on may have provided one of the evening's best visuals: actual people running around wearing plastic bags as they guided famous people out of limos, under umbrellas and to the waiting microphones of interviewers who wanted to know who made the dress, the shoes, the jewelry. It was literally the packing up and encasing of humanity to keep reality out: What could be more Oscars than that?

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Monkey See
11:01 am
Sun February 22, 2015

Watch The Oscars With Us

Preparations continue for the 87th Annual Academy Awards at the Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, CA.
Gabriel Olsen Getty Images

The nominees are in, the arguments have been had, and the ceremony is all that's left of Oscar season. (Well, and the griping over what should have won.)

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Monkey See
6:21 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Our Oscars Omnibus 2015

In Birdman, Michael Keaton (a real-life former Batman) plays a former movie superhero who's trying to get a grasp on his career.
Atsushi Nishijima/ Fox Searchlight

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 10:29 am

We didn't get to tape our Oscars Omnibus live the way we planned (stay tuned for a make-up date for ticketholders), but we did get to sit down with our friend Bob Mondello to talk about all eight contenders in the Best Picture race.

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Monkey See
12:45 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Making Peace With Peace: Snow Days And Seasons

iStockphoto

So here we are, many of us in the D.C. area, doing what many in the Northeast — particularly New England — have been doing lately: looking out the window.

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Monkey See
10:21 am
Fri February 13, 2015

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Jupiter Ascending' And On-Screen Chemistry

NPR

You might be able to still find Jupiter Ascending at your local multiplex, if it's not entirely occupied with screenings of The Spongebob Movie and Fifty Shades Of Grey (USA! USA!). It made modest money last weekend despite (?) being a big and splashy production from the Wachowskis, who made The Matrix and, well, not really The Matrix again after that.

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