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
8:23 am
Fri August 29, 2014

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

NPR
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  • Listen to the Abject Humiliation Of It All

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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Monkey See
10:19 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Small Batch Edition: Undressing 'Project Runway'

Heidi Klum remains with Project Runway, where she's been since it began.
Lifetime
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On this Small Batch Edition of NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast, Glen and I are always up for a little chat about fashion and people's skill and lack of skill at the making of sick burns, so we sat down for a catch-up chat about Project Runway, which is part of the way through its 13th season, now on Lifetime after an earlier history on Bravo.

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Monkey See
11:15 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

The Emmys: Past Winners Trump New Shows; 'Breaking Bad' Takes A Bow

Julia Louis-Dreyfus won her third consecutive Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for HBO's Veep. It was a big night for people who had already won.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 4:14 pm

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[Note: The audio above is a conversation about the Emmy Awards I had today with Stephen Thompson, my co-panelist on NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast.]

The Emmys are known for one thing more than any other, and that's repetition. Shows winning four times, actors winning three times — the most likely Emmy winner is always the guy who's already won.

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Monkey See
3:33 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

5 Things To Watch For On Monday's Emmy Awards

Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson play partner detectives Rustin Cohle and Martin Hart in HBO's True Detective, nominated in several major categories Monday night.
Michele K. Short HBO

Sure, some of the coverage so far has been about the fear that holding the Emmys on a Monday — and forcing the attendees to compete with weekday traffic — will create havoc. But one way or another, Seth Meyers is hosting the Emmy Awards on Monday night, and there are a few races that will be interesting to watch.

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Monkey See
2:41 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

At The VMAs, Beyonce And Nicki Minaj Play With Personas

Beyonce performs on stage at the MTV Video Music Awards.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images
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Sunday night, women gave the most memorable performance at the MTV Video Music Awards, and Stephen Thompson and I got together to chat about the provocations of Nicki Minaj, the royal Beyonce and more.

You can check out the video of all the performances for yourself, from the triple threat of Ariana Grande, Jessie J and Nicki Minaj to the 16-minute Beyonce-stravaganza that closed the show.

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Monkey See
9:23 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Live From The Bell House

NPR
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We had an absolutely fantastic time Tuesday night at the Bell House in Brooklyn doing the first-ever Pop Culture Happy Hour from New York. Everyone was wonderful, everyone was hugely supportive, and we were joined by our producer emeritus Mike Katzif for our roundtable discussion of the things we've loved this summer and the things we're excited about for fall.

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Monkey See
11:29 am
Thu August 21, 2014

'Let's Be Cops,' But Then What?

Duuuuuuude! Damon Wayans Jr. and Jake Johnson explore the whimsical fun of petty tyranny in Let's Be Cops.
Frank Masi, SMPSP Twentieth Century Fox

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 2:52 pm

[This piece contains plot details from Let's Be Cops. It is not a movie about its plot details, but there you have it.]

The word is out on the buddy comedy Let's Be Cops, starring Damon Wayans Jr. and Jake Johnson — both enormously charming actors on Fox's New Girl. And what is the word? That the movie is not good, and the movie is rather atrociously timed, given that we are not in a place in the news cycle where people are enormously amused by stories about goofball police officers threatening people with nonfunctioning guns.

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Monkey See
8:48 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Rating The Ratings And Whither The Weather Movie

NPR
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When Stephen and I talked about Boyhood, one of our side conversations was about our bafflement that it was rated R, and this week, joined by Code Switch's Kat Chow, we dig a little deeper into that question. Are ratings really information for parents, or are they still judgments on the morality of your creation? Is there anywhere to go past what a past documentary already explored?

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Monkey See
10:45 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Lauren Bacall And The 'Sex? What Sex?' Kind Of Movie Sex

Lauren Bacall in a 1944 photo.
AP

Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 11:16 am

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Monkey See
1:40 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Remembering The Big-Hearted Comedy Of Robin Williams

Robin Williams, seen here at the Emmy Awards in September 2013, died Monday at the age of 63.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 12, 2014 1:56 pm

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Stephen Thompson and I took a few minutes today to talk about the comedic work of Robin Williams, who passed away Monday (preliminary reports suggest suicide, though the investigation is ongoing) and whose TV comedies, standup specials and movie roles we have watched and loved for many years.

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Monkey See
9:06 am
Mon August 11, 2014

What Can You Say? Folks Love Turtles

He's wearing a mask, but this is a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle under there.
Paramount Pictures

There's a run on turtle puns and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle references this morning as we settle into a reality where a new adaptation of the old franchise took in $65 million in domestic box office this weekend. Although it's nowhere near Guardians Of The Galaxy's opening a week ago (more like $94 million), it was good enough to kick Chris Pratt and friends out of first place by much more than a hare. (Don't get up, I'll fire myself.)

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Monkey See
8:24 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' And So Bad It's Good

NPR
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We're settling back into our regular schedule post-lots of travel and post-Comic-Con, and we find ourselves in the studio this week with Chris Klimek to talk about the runaway success of Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy. We talk about the movie's shaggy charms, its savvy development, and why it gives me joyful reason to gloat over past avowals of loyalty.

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Monkey See
11:17 am
Thu August 7, 2014

When All Your Steaks Have Hot Sauce: A Case Against 'Nebraska' In Color

David (Will Forte, left) and his father, Woody (Bruce Dern, center), take time out of their quixotic journey to stop in Woody's small Nebraska hometown — where Woody's old business partner, Ed (Stacy Keach), is still nursing a grudge.
Merie W. Wallace Paramount Pictures

The latest indignity seemingly imposed by commerce upon art is the news that the cable movie channel Epix would air, in addition to the original black-and-white version, a color version of Alexander Payne's Nebraska, which was nominated for Best Picture earlier this year and stars Bruce Dern and Will Forte as a father and son on a somewhat discursive road trip nominally aimed at retrieving a cash payout to whi

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Monkey See
10:27 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Brand Extension Theater Presents: 'Top Chef Duels'

Richard Blais gets it done — if by "it" you mean "the making of steam" — in Top Chef Duels.
Nicole Wilder Bravo

Have you ever heard a cheerleading squad do one of those call-and-response bits where they say, "Seniors yell it!", and then the seniors yell, "Fight! Fight", and then they say, "Juniors yell it!", and so forth? Top Chef brand extensions are kind of like that: All-Stars yell it! Dessert chefs yell it! Veterans yell it! Healthy chefs yell it! Former contestants yell it!

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