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
5:52 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

10 Absolutely True Stories About Writing For Television Without Pity

Tubey, the Television Without Pity mascot, rendered as a plush toy.
NPR

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 8:13 pm

[What follows is a personal reflection. Please indulge me.]

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Monkey See
10:11 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Essie Davis: On Playing A Sexually Liberated 'Superhero' Without Apology

Essie Davis has read about how Phryne is a "hussy." She doesn't mind.
Ben King Acorn.TV

In the first-ever episode of the Australian series Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, the central figure, Phryne Fisher, has to explain to her young, extremely Catholic new maid Dot what exactly is in the round, plastic case that Dot is holding in her hands. "Family planning," she says casually.

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Monkey See
9:13 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Divergent,' Getting Personal, And Jesse Thorn

NPR

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 4:16 pm

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There's no one better to — as Stephen terms it — put the Y in YA than our youngest regular contributor, Code Switch's Kat Chow. So Kat sits in for our discussion this week of Divergent, which is not at all The Hunger Games, but ... sort of is. We spend a little time on the world of Tris Prior and her family, chat about the things that we didn't understand about this particular divided dystopia, and hear from Kat about how it changes your perspective if you (gasp!) read the book on which the film is based.

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Monkey See
9:50 am
Thu March 27, 2014

'Tell Me Two Things Good': A Happiness Experiment

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 4:16 pm

One of my old pals used to come walking into a room at the end of a long day, sigh, look around, and say, "Tell me two things good." They could be big things, small things, anything — he had to hear two things, and they had to be good things, and you had to think of them right away.

Wednesday night, I asked Twitter this crucial question. Here are some of the responses.

Monkey See
9:58 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Not So 'Divergent': The Cookie-Cutter Nonconformist

Shailene Woodley and Theo James in Divergent. Can you see the rebellion?
Jaap Buitendijk Summit Entertainment

Divergent, the new film starring Shailene Woodley based on the popular YA novels by Veronica Roth, describes a dystopian future in which everyone belongs to one of five "factions": Erudite (cold-blooded intellectuals), Amity (hippie farmers), Abnegation (plain-dress public servants), Candor (people who tell the truth all the time) (?), and Dauntless (bad-ass fighters).

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Monkey See
8:54 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Ugh: 'Good Wife,' Bad Idea

Josh Charles as Will Gardner and Archie Panjabi as Kalinda Sherma on The Good Wife. In a word, "Ugh."
CBS

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 5:13 pm

[CAUTION: Do not, under any circumstances, read any farther unless you want to know what happened on Sunday night's The Good Wife. Do not say you were not warned.]

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Monkey See
10:27 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: The Authenticity Business And A Colorful Quiz

NPR

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 11:40 am

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On this week's episode, our pal Gene Demby is with us for a discussion of the recent Between Two Ferns episode in which the President of the United States chatted about the Hangover movies. What does this kind of appearance accomplish? What is the meaning of "keeping it real" in current popular culture? And what does this all have to do with mayonnaise? Oh, you'll find out.

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Monkey See
9:12 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Would You Order The Grande Soy Oprah?

Howard Schultz, left, chairman and CEO of Starbucks Coffee Company, clinks tea cups with Oprah Winfrey, right, to announce their partnership to offer Teavana Oprah Chai tea.
Ted S. Warren AP

Say this to yourself: "I'd like a grande skim Oprah."

Let it roll off your tongue. Let it echo in your head. Let it burn itself into your brain. Really feel it.

On Wednesday, Starbucks announced that, in partnership with Oprah Winfrey, it had developed Oprah Chai Tea, which will be available either as regular tea or as a chai latte. When will it be here? "In time for Mother's Day."

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Monkey See
8:15 am
Thu March 20, 2014

'Mad Men' Reveals: In The New Season, People Will Wear Things

Jon Hamm as Don Draper in a publicity photo for the upcoming seventh season of Mad Men. This is pretty much all we know. If we told you more, we'd have to ... well, you know.
Frank Ockenfels AMC

Many of the more interesting shows on television have their little peculiarities: Community has Dan Harmon going on for thousands of words at a time about his feelings, Game of Thrones has fretting over the pace of the show versus the books, and Mad Men has creator Matthew Weiner coming out ahead of every season and giving a bunch of interviews to promote it in which he doesn't say anything about it.

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Monkey See
12:54 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Step Right Up: 20 Very Silly Inventions Actually Pitched On 'Shark Tank'

The Moberi bike-powered smoothie stand is demonstrated for the investors of Shark Tank.
Michael Ansell ABC

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 4:55 pm

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Monkey See
8:41 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: The Naked And The Nerds

NPR
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A while ago, we devoted a segment to the matter of profanity, and now, as summer follows spring and spring (supposedly) follows winter, we are moving on to the issue of nudity. When is it decorative? When is it exploitation? And how would they see all of this from Europe?

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Monkey See
9:44 am
Thu March 13, 2014

A Peek At The New Season Of 'Orange Is The New Black'

Taylor Schilling in a scene from Netflix's Orange Is The New Black.
Jessica Miglio Netflix

We don't know a whole lot about the upcoming season of Orange Is The New Black, but Netflix put out three images today that might give you something to at least chew on. It certainly appears that we'll be picking up where we left off, in a very immediate sense.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Monkey See
9:22 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Hal Douglas, The Voice Of Many, Many Movie Trailers, Dies At 89

Movie trailers have changed a lot, and if you show a teenager now a trailer from (for instance) 1997, it will seem almost comedically anachronistic and corny.

But this is how, for many years, we got excited about the movies. And these growly narrations — which were recently the subject of Lake Bell's fine comedy In A World — were a big part of that excitement.

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Monkey See
10:03 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Every Reality Show Is A True Story, And Other 'Bachelor' Lessons

This is what "I didn't pick you" looks like, coming from Bachelor Juan Pablo. Sorry, Clare.
Rick Rowell ABC

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 8:10 pm

Every reality show is an entirely true story.

It is not the story that it claims to be — the story of two tribes building a new civilization, the story of America's search for its next superstar — but it is a true story nevertheless. It is, or at least it contains, the true story of the conception, creation, marketing, viewing, analyzing and evolution over time of a piece of entertainment that lives in the swampy, foggy, half-real version of the truth that it creates.

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Monkey See
9:53 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Part Beauty, Part Hooey: That's A Wrap On 'True Detective'

Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) had a lot to say about life, philosophy and beer on HBO's True Detective, which wrapped its first season Sunday night.
Lacey Terrell HBO

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 1:26 pm

[This piece contains a detailed discussion of Sunday night's True Detective finale. If you haven't seen it and you plan to see it and you don't want to know what happens, stop reading.]

[Seriously, information ahoy.]

Spoiler alert: The dirty-faced, crazy-talking, disheveled impoverished guy did it.

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Monkey See
8:45 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: The Oscars, 'Drag Race' And Shut-Ins Edition

NPR

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 11:11 am

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When we taped this show on Tuesday, we had all had quite a lot of the Oscars, to be honest. And we secretly suspect that with the all-out pile-on that continues for months before the ceremony, you might not require an all-out assault on the whole thing. So this week, you'll hear a quick wrap-up of how we felt about the hosting, some of the speeches, some of the great moments of Adele Nazeem-ing it up, and then we'll bid the entire thing farewell until next year. Next year, Oscars.

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Monkey See
10:40 am
Thu March 6, 2014

A First Look At Quvenzhané Wallis In The New 'Annie'

Quvenzhané Wallis in Annie.
Screenshot

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 12:23 pm

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Monkey See
9:05 am
Thu March 6, 2014

David Cameron Calls, And The Internet Answers

Patrick Stewart jumped into a quick-growing meme on Wednesday night.
@sirpatstew

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 12:25 pm

Oh, Internet.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Monkey See
9:33 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Yes, I Added A Pageant Coach To My Dream Team Of TV Advisers

Kim Gravel stars in Kim Of Queens on Lifetime, and also on the advisory board of my imagination.
Karolina Wojtasik Lifetime

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 2:29 pm

When you watch a lot of silly television, one of the things you learn is that there are all kinds of people who are theoretically Here To Help.

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Monkey See
10:14 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Oh, Donna: On Loving One Of Television's Great Women

Donna Meagle (Retta), seen with April Ludgate (Aubrey Plaza), is not a lady whose Mercedes you want to bump in a parking lot.
Colleen Hayes NBC

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 6:41 pm

Parks And Recreation features one of the most impeccable collections of characters ever assembled for one comedy. To a person, they are funny, human, beautifully realized, individual, and — perhaps most important — lovingly rendered.

But as much as I love everyone on that show, I will admit that I have a favorite, particularly when it comes to the characters on this particular show who are missing from practically every other show, and that's Donna Meagle, played by Retta.

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