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
8:51 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: A Fall Films Preview And Betting On New Television

NPR

We've had a lively summer on PCHH, full of live events and quizzes and special guests and even Stephen hosting episodes (!) (kidding!), but this week, we've got our pal Bob Mondello in the studio for some good old-fashioned movie and TV chatter.

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Monkey See
10:27 am
Wed September 17, 2014

'Red Band Society': The Gooey Teen Drama Every Generation Deserves

Nolan Sotillo and Ciara Bravo play two of the teenagers who live in the hospital on Fox's new Red Band Society.
Annette Brown Fox

When Fox presented its new drama Red Band Society to critics over the summer, creator Margaret Nagle stressed that it was not a derivative of any particular story of sick teenagers that has perhaps permeated the culture in the last five years. Instead, it was inspired by the story of her own brother, Charlie, who was in a coma for a long time and later explained that he could hear what was going on the whole time.

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Monkey See
1:45 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

'Mindy' And 'New Girl' Navigate Their Worlds Of Crazy Love

Danny (Chris Messina) and Mindy (Mindy Kaling) find themselves in a new position in the premiere of The Mindy Project.
Isabella Vosmikova Fox

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 3:48 pm

[This post contains information about where main characters stand relative to each other at the opening of the new seasons of The Mindy Project and New Girl. Be advised.]

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Monkey See
1:18 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

More Sparkles! More Fake Tans! More Dancing And Stars, Kind Of!

Dance pro Tony Dovolani and his partner, designer Betsey Johnson, are on Monday's premiere of Dancing With the Stars.
Craig Sjodin ABC

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 4:52 pm

Well, it's that time again: Monday night brings the premiere of the 19th season — NINETEENTH SEASON — of ABC's Dancing With the Stars, a show that has had some ratings struggles in recent years but has managed to keep on plugging for ... well, 19 seasons.

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Monkey See
11:47 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Kids, Pants, Booze, Music: Trouble In River City And Always

Robert Preston and Shirley Jones in the film version of The Music Man.
AP

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 12:07 pm

Perhaps the most static conversation in American culture is the one about its constant decline. Today's music, today's actors, today's movies, today's media, today's food, today's habits, today's language — it's all going to hell, all of it, and it's taking us with it, no matter when today is.

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Monkey See
8:26 am
Wed September 10, 2014

Toronto, Day 6: Jennifer Aniston, Jon Stewart And Earnestness

Gael Garcia Bernal in Jon Stewart's Rosewater.
TIFF

Cake: Jennifer Aniston plays Claire, a woman we first meet as she's shocking her chronic pain support group with her barbed reactions to the recent suicide of a group member named Nina. Claire's face and body are crisscrossed with scars, and she moves uncomfortably at every moment — which is why she gobbles pain pills and has to constantly invent new methods for getting more. Her marriage has recently broken up, despite the fact that she and her husband (Chris Messina) clearly still care about each other.

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Monkey See
8:39 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Toronto, Day 5: A Different Steve Carell And The Sad Tale Of Alan Turing

Keira Knightley, Matthew Beard, Matthew Goode, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Allen Leech star in The Imitation Game.
Jack English TIFF

Steve Carell is not unrecognizable in Foxcatcher, from director Bennett Miller (who also made Moneyball and Capote) but it's instantly clear that his transformation is meant to be substantial. Carell plays the very rich and very strange (and very real) John du Pont, who in 1996 killed Dave Schultz (played here by Mark Ruffalo), an Olympic wrestler who was working as a coach in the elite wrestling program du Pont operated on his enormous estate.

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Movies
4:16 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Oscar Buzz Builds At Toronto Film Fest

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 6:40 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Monkey See
7:07 am
Mon September 8, 2014

Toronto, Day 4: Pop Stars, Chess Prodigies And Battling Science

Gugu Mbatha-Raw as a pop star and Minnie Driver as her controlling mother in Beyond the Lights.
Suzanne Tenner TIFF

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 10:27 am

Beyond the Lights: Gina Prince-Bythewood wrote and directed the terrific 2000 romance Love & Basketball, and here, she looks at the intersection of love and celebrity. Noni (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) is a rapidly rising pop star whose hard-driving mother (Minnie Driver) has been pushing her hard all her life. Career-wise, she's doing great. Personally, not so much. On a particularly bad night, Noni meets a cop named Kaz (Nate Parker), who winds up knowing more than she (or her mom) would like about her state of mind.

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Monkey See
8:03 am
Sun September 7, 2014

Toronto, Day 3: Reitman, Costner, Kendrick, Race, Gender And Euthanasia

Jeremy Jordan and Anna Kendrick in The Last Five Years.
Thomas Concordia TIFF

Men, Women & Children: If you can't get enough alarmist local news segments about how all the kids are sexting and everyone is giving up their families for free online pornography that's infected with malware, you'll love Jason Reitman's Men, Women & Children, a cautionary tale about fighting the real enemies: the internet and terrible mothers.

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Monkey See
8:29 am
Sat September 6, 2014

Toronto, Day 2: Franco And Faulkner, Love, And A Steely Patricia Clarkson

Patricia Clarkson tends to a bleeding Scott Speedman in October Gale.
TIFF

The idea of a James Franco-directed adaptation of William Faulkner's The Sound And The Fury sounds like the setup for a bit on Funny Or Die, or maybe for the thing you'd have someone mention offhand in our satire about Hollywood. Franco does so many different things that he's almost killed any specific image he could possibly have, but you can say this for him: he tries things.

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Monkey See
8:25 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Toronto, Day 1: David Cronenberg, Drumming, 'The Judge' And Serendipity

David Gulpilil stars in the drama Charlie's Country, the best find on our first day at the Toronto International Film Festival.
TIFF

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 3:13 pm

Critics all have our idiosyncratic ways of handling the scheduling of a film festival like Toronto. There are planners, improvisers, pragmatists and poll-takers, all counting on some combination of research, serendipity, instinct, word of mouth and logistics to put them in the right rooms at the right times to see the right things.

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Monkey See
1:56 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

It's That Time Again: The Toronto International Film Festival

Gugu Mbatha-Raw stars in Beyond The Lights, from Gina Prince-Bythewood, who also directed Love & Basketball.
Suzanne Tenner TIFF

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 2:45 pm

It's that time again, and by "that time," I mean "Canadian time." Because beginning Thursday, NPR's own Bob Mondello and I, along with Bilal Qureshi of All Things Considered,, will be spending a week seeing movies at the Toronto International Film Festival, which your movie-nerd friends call "TIFF."

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Monkey See
8:23 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Live From The Bell House, Part 2

NPR

Last week, we brought you the first half of the live show we recently held at the Bell House in Brooklyn, featuring producer emeritus Mike Katzif and a conversation about what we'll take away from this summer and what's to come this fall. This week, we have the second half, packed full of special guests and good pals and quizzes that are, in some cases, very difficult, apparently.

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Monkey See
2:51 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Lifetime Promises To Bring Out The 'Strong Black Woman' In White Women

Beauty pro Tracy Balan, fashion maven Tiffiny Dixon, home/sanctuary guru Nikki Chu and soul coach Tanisha Thomas host Girlfriend Intervention, which is a real show, believe it or not.
Richard Knapp Lifetime

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 2:56 pm

Lifetime's new show Girlfriend Intervention is not subtle about its message. Its premise is four black women giving a makeover to a white woman on the theory that, as they put it, "Trapped inside of every white girl is a strong black woman ready to bust out."

They don't even have to say "weak white girl" or "lame white girl" or "ugly white girl" or "unfashionable white girl" or "boring white girl," because all those things are, before long, implied.

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