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
1:10 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Sisters And Brothers And A Holiday TV Quiz

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This week's show, featuring a visit from our pal Kat Chow, kicks off with a Thor-inspired discussion of the sometimes fraught world of sibling relationships. We talk about where we come from in our own sibling worlds, and then check in with fictional siblings and real-world siblings. (Stephen has concerns regarding the Jonas Brothers.)

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Monkey See
11:31 am
Fri November 8, 2013

A Complete Curmudgeon's Guide To 'The Sound Of Music'

Evening Standard Getty Images

NBC has released the first trailer for its live version of The Sound Of Music, airing December 5.

Now, some have chosen to focus on the negative; on the nostalgic sense that to remake this show — or, more precisely, to remake the movie version, as they may well do, at least in part, owing to its ubiquity — is a mistake. No matter the talent involved, like Audra McDonald (as Mother Abbess) and Laura Benanti (as the Baroness), it will be an NBC remake.

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Monkey See
9:50 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Miss Universe's National Costume Show Raids International Feather Supply

This photo of Brenda Gonzalez, Miss Argentina, is my prototype national costume. If you grew up wanting to be Miss Universe, this is why. Feathers, metallic bustier: this is it.
Darren Decker Miss Universe Organization

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 10:33 am

Two years back, we noted that Miss USA's costume at the Miss Universe National Costume Show was a mashup of tradition and vulgarity: "like crossing the Delaware to go to Hooters."

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Monkey See
9:40 am
Mon November 4, 2013

That'll Always Be The Dream: National Novel Writing Month

iStockphoto.com

Did you know November is National Novel Writing Month?

It isn't by order of Congress, but it is on the internet, where you'll see this combination of letters — NaNoWriMo — all over the place, making absolutely no sense and sounding to the uninitiated like a species of caterpillar or a ship on Star Trek. Amusingly enough, even that is too long for participants trying to pound out a book in a month, so they call it, very often, "NaNo."

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Monkey See
9:32 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Making Toddlers Into Nerds

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It's been more than two and a half years since we last did a show packed with recommendations of pop culture (and other culture) for kids. We figured it was about time to do it again, for reasons we'll get into in the episode, so here we are.

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Monkey See
12:44 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Attention, Neighborhood Children! A Halloween Invitation

These aren't my actual neighborhood children. These are just examples of how happy my neighborhood children could be.
iStockphoto.com

Welcome, all you ghosts and goblins! Welcome, all you cats and princesses! Welcome, Iron Man Under That Down Jacket! Welcome, Werewolf Whose Mom Is On The Phone!

I am pleased to see you at my door. I welcome always the young people in whose vicinity I reside, provided they are not so old that they pause before picking up their candy to put down a lit cigarette, which really happened to my parents once. (I will be using that anecdote in my upcoming book, Signs That You Have Outgrown Trick-Or-Treating.)

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Monkey See
9:49 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Present Tense: Allie Brosh, Donald Glover, And Hurting Right Now

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 5:58 pm

There is much to praise about Allie Brosh's wonderful blog Hyperbole And A Half, perhaps the greatest gift the crude, blocky graphics of MS Paint have ever given us. Brosh's posts are hugely evocative, gut-bustingly funny, and startlingly inventive in using simple drawings in ways that allow for pauses and comic timing, not to mention things like blur effects that represent ... well, sugar-fueled madness.

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Monkey See
9:22 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: '12 Years' And Rites Of Passage

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On this week's round-table podcast, Glen Weldon and I are joined by the marvelous Gene Demby and Kat Chow of NPR's Code Switch project. We're always happy to see Gene and Kat, who bring their very own brand of thinly veiled, sibling-like hostility, which is something we can fully relate to.

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Monkey See
9:43 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Time Untied: Why We'd All Be Better Off Without Release Date Myopia

iStockphoto.com

It makes all the sense in the world to cover new things — the movies opening this weekend, the TV shows premiering right now, the books that have just been released — to the degree people are asking the questions (1) What's interesting about this new thing? (2) Is this new thing good? and (3) What new things are there? Those are important parts of cultural coverage, and they always will be.

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Monkey See
10:29 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Famous People Eat Weird Stuff, And Other Provincial Annotations

This was listed as "atmosphere" from the Johnnie Walker event.
Charlie Gallay Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 10:39 am

Every now and then, my random wanderings through file photos from the previous 24 hours bring me to something that makes me pause.

This is apparently the menu from an event referred to in the photo captions as Christina Hendricks Toasts Johnnie Walker Platinum. (It is at least a list of food posted there.) The event was held at the Santa Monica Museum Of Art on Tuesday night.

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Monkey See
8:56 am
Mon October 21, 2013

'Homeland' And The Delicate Art Of Withholding

Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison in Homeland.
Kent Smith Showtime

[Be aware that this post contains information about Sunday night's episode of Homeland. Consider yourself forewarned.]

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Monkey See
9:31 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Pop Culture That Makes Us Cry And Somali Pirates

NPR

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 11:44 am

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This week, forced to make do without a vacationing Glen Weldon, we happily called upon our pal and periodic PCHH contributor Chris Klimek. We also happily called upon the reckless and ruthless display of emotion for a show about crying. You'll hear some of the songs, movie scenes, and more songs (seriously, it's pretty song-heavy) that get us every time, and perhaps you'll cry a little bit, too.

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Monkey See
9:19 am
Thu October 17, 2013

'Project Runway': A Season Of Tim Gunn Faces

"Did you want to rethink anything? Hair? Shade of yellow? Glasses? Path in life? No? Nothing?"
Barbara Nitke Lifetime

Tim Gunn is the best reason to watch Project Runway, always. Gentle and supportive, dismayed and concerned, he's the uncle, stylist, and influential teacher you never had.

And so, with nothing but love, as the season comes to an end Thursday night, we present a parade of our favorite Tim Gunn faces, together with our magic mind-reading technology that has discerned exactly what he was thinking. It's foolproof, you see.

Monkey See
1:26 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

'Burton And Taylor': The Hollywood Romantic Legend, Take 2

Dominic West and Helena Bonham Carter in Burton And Taylor.
BBC

We can wonder how BBC America's Burton And Taylor might have been received in the absence of Lifetime's Liz And Dick, which, almost a year ago, did not quite rehabilitate Lindsay Lohan's career in the way she was hoping. Perhaps we'd have been able to see this biopic, with Dominic West and Helena Bonham Carter, purely as its own project.

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Monkey See
11:35 am
Wed October 16, 2013

'Nature' Is Back To Show You Both Adorable Otters And Sad Science

Baby otter. AWWWWW.
PBS

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Monkey See
3:52 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Why You, Yes You, Might Enjoy A Superhero Documentary

Christopher Reeve in Superman: The Movie.
Courtesy Everett Collection PBS

Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle, a documentary in three hour-long segments that will premiere back to back (to back) tonight on many PBS stations, begins with a curious image: Vincent Zurzolo of Metropolis Comics explains that a recent copy of Action Comics #1, which contained the first appearance of Superman, recently sold for over $2 million. He shows us Action Comics #1, and then ... he locks it in a safe.

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Monkey See
11:53 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Smug Life: Why Is 'Catfish' So Dumb When It Doesn't Have To Be?

Max and Nev, probably thinking about how terrible Internet liars are.
MTV

If you're not in the habit of watching MTV's Catfish, which ends its second season Tuesday night with a new episode and a reunion special, you might be surprised by how many interesting questions it raises.

Of course, you might be even more surprised by how blithely it ignores them.

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Monkey See
8:36 am
Tue October 15, 2013

What, Exactly, Is James Franco Doing?

James Franco has big plans, always.
Andrew Medichini AP

What is James Franco doing?

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Monkey See
9:51 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Gravity' And The Thrill Of The Fiasco

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I cannot lie: I love this week's podcast very much, and only partly because I got to include a song I probably haven't heard in over 20 years and got our special guest Gene Demby to reveal one of those little things that makes him apoplectic.

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Monkey See
9:10 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Virtual Strangers: A 'Journey' With Anna

A screenshot from Journey.
thatgamecompany

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 11:00 am

Not long ago, when I got a PlayStation 3, the recommendations started rolling in: play this, play that, play my favorite game.

But a bunch of people said, with a sort of excited urgency — particularly people who know me — "Play Journey."

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