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
11:35 am
Wed October 16, 2013

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

Baby otter. AWWWWW.
PBS

In the last couple of years, there's been a surge of what you might call "cool PBS," by which I just mean social-media-friendly stuff like Sherlock and Downton Abbey that sort of expands people's ideas of what public television is and especially what its relationship to pop culture is.

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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

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

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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Monkey See
10:38 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Breaking Bad,' Bad Boys, Bad Choices

This guy and his dog are doing all they can to contribute to the world of Grand Theft Auto V.
AP
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

First things first: FEAR NOT. This is a non-spoilery Breaking Bad discussion. If you don't believe me, consider that even two of the people in the room haven't seen the whole run of the series, so if there were spoilers, we'd know (and get punched). Instead, we try to put the themes of the series in the context of a bigger discussion about what kinds of protagonists we can and cannot root for, what kinds of television are growing and shrinking, and what kinds of conversations we want to have about the shows we love.

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Monkey See
9:35 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Fitz That Time Again: The Consolidated Rules Of 'Scandal'

Kerry Washington (Emmy nominee!) plays Olivia Pope on Scandal.
Danny Feld ABC

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 9:40 am

Scandal returns Thursday night on ABC after two seasons of delicious, ridiculous, addictive total nonsense that made it a pop-culture preoccupation. (OK, obsession. But hey, we can quit any time we want.)

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Monkey See
8:11 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Stainless Steel Waters Run Not-So-Deep On 'House Hunters'

I have a confession.

I cannot resist House Hunters. And, of course, House Hunters International. They're not good. But I can't resist them.

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Monkey See
9:03 am
Mon September 30, 2013

'Breaking Bad' Lands Its Finale A Little Too Cleanly

Bryan Cranston wrapped up his run Sunday night as Walter White in Breaking Bad.
Ursula Coyote AMC

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 3:27 pm

[Hopefully, we don't have to point out that a piece about the Breaking Bad finale contains information about the Breaking Bad finale. But here we are.]

Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan signaled in interviews leading up to Sunday night's series finale that those who craved some redemption for Walter White were the ones most likely to leave happy.

"We feel it's a satisfying ending," Gilligan told Entertainment Weekly. "Walt ends things more or less on his own terms."

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Monkey See
11:08 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Who Are You Calling A One-Hit Wonder?

Seen here in 2005: Ladies and gentlemen, The Click Five.
Brad Barket Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 11:53 am

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On this week's Pop Culture Happy Hour, we start by breaking down last weekend's very somber Emmy ceremony, from the repeated death announcements to the perplexing dance routines to a couple of welcome victories that put a more positive spin on the whole thing. Did the host impress? What about poor Shemar Moore? And who will defend interpretive dance?

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Monkey See
8:31 am
Thu September 26, 2013

'Survivor' Politics: Blood, Water And Walking The Plank

Rupert Boneham, seen without his tie-dye, on Survivor: Blood vs. Water.
Monty Brinton CBS

[Information follows about Wednesday night's episode of Survivor.]

HA HA HA HA HA.

Wait — let's step back.

In recent seasons, Survivor has silently changed its entire approach to casting with very little comment. Where it once would send a whole group of new people to a new environment, it now seeds every season with anywhere from a sprinkling to a deluge of old contestants. Not just notorious old contestants, like your typical All-Star season, but contestants nobody cares about. Contestants who were terrible at Survivor.

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Monkey See
9:17 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Another Day, Another Reminder That Jimmy Fallon Will Make Your Day

It's been a while since we just started off by making our morning with some assorted Jimmy Fallon greatness (and I just got my cable hooked up at my new place yesterday, meaning my ability to watch late-night shows over my morning coffee is much enhanced).

So here's some good stuff from Tuesday night's show.

First, Fallon gave the follow-up to his "touchdown dance" bit with Justin Timberlake.

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Monkey See
8:36 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Stephen Colbert Gets Jon Stewart's Blessing To Keep Being Awesome

Sunday night, Stephen Colbert and The Colbert Report broke a 10-year Emmy streak by Jon Stewart and The Daily Show.
Michael Buckner Getty Images

On last night's The Daily Show, Jon Stewart took the opportunity to earnestly assure everyone that he doesn't mind that over the weekend, The Colbert Report ended his 10-year streak of Emmy Awards for Outstanding Variety Series.

Stewart called Colbert's Emmy "overdue," and said his only regret was not being there to participate in all the rejoicing. He also went on to underline that his staff doesn't mind not getting Emmys, because after all, lots of great people don't get Emmys at all, like Bob Newhart.

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Monkey See
9:08 am
Mon September 23, 2013

A Sloppy Emmy Telecast Does The Wrong Song And Dance

Neil Patrick Harris hosted the Emmy Awards on Sunday night.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 10:26 am

Awards shows aren't easy. That's partly because they're fundamentally unsympathetic affairs in which rich pretty people give each other trophies, and partly because there are only a few real things on which they can be judged: the opening by the host, the montages and features, the speeches, the assorted intangibles and — oh, right — who wins.

By almost any of these measures, Sunday night's Emmy Awards were not only merely bad but really most sincerely bad, or at best (particularly in the case of winners) a bag that's very much mixed.

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Monkey See
12:10 am
Sun September 22, 2013

On TV's Big Night, Can Netflix Crash The Emmy Party?

Neil Patrick Harris will host the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards Sunday on CBS.
Nino Munoz CBS

It might seem like the only TV serious viewers are paying attention to right now is Breaking Bad, but on Sunday night, just as Walter White's penultimate episode is unfolding on AMC, we'll be finding out over on CBS whether his show, his portrayer Bryan Cranston, or other personnel will be taking home Primetime Emmy Awards.

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Monkey See
9:18 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Autumn Leaves, Cumberbatches, And More Fall Amusements

Martin Freeman as the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug.
Mark Pokorny Warner Brothers Pictures
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

This week's show finds me, Stephen, Trey and Glen together again in the studio, but due to a scheduling tweak, finds us in Historic Studio 45 instead of Historic Studio 44, so we hope you can all still follow the conversation.

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Monkey See
9:14 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Morning Shots: Michel Gondry Does The NFL To A Beat

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 2:15 pm

I cannot understand how I missed the news that Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones are about to open as Beatrice and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, but this charming list of past pairings makes me want to watch the play ... a lot. (David Tennant and Catherine Tate!

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Monkey See
12:23 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

True Love, Book Fights, And Why Ugly Stories Matter

The cover of Eleanor and Park

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 1:06 pm

Regular Monkey See readers know that I've been a fan for some time of Rainbow Rowell, whose first book, Attachments, was a thoughtful romance that utterly charmed me. (Full disclosure: It was after I began reading her books that I got to know Rowell a bit, enough that we actually met in person for the first time Tuesday night for dinner, ahead of her Wednesday night event at Politics & Prose in Washington, where she'll be talking about her new book, Fangirl.)

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Monkey See
12:50 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Fox's 'Dads': If It Weren't Giving Offense, It Wouldn't Be Giving Anything At All

Brenda Song and Seth Green in Fox's Dads.
Jennifer Clasen Fox

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