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
11:10 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Star Trek, SNL, And Boldly Going To New Places

NPR
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On this week's show, we take advantage of the new Star Trek movie to chat about — well, to chat about Star Trek, yes, but also more generally to cover the whole problem of coming in fresh to a franchise other people know well. We approach this particular film from every level of knowledge from almost none to basically all, and we manage to link it not only to Star Wars (obviously), but also to Arrested Development and Before Sunrise.

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Monkey See
10:16 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Dear Tiny Desk: Miss You

The Lone Bellow performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 20, 2013.
Lizzie Chen NPR

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Monkey See
1:49 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Breakin' The Rules: 20 General Principles Suspended In 'Fast And Furious 6'

This little skeleton-of-the-Batmobile-y looking thing is actually one of the vehicles on display in Fast & Furious 6.
Universal Pictures

1. Newton's Laws Of Motion

2. The Reluctance Of Brilliant Criminal Masterminds To Freely Confess

3. The Inability Of Two Things To Coexist In The Same Physical Space

4. The Integrity Of Vending Machines

5. Gravity

6. Gina Carano's Ability To Snap Most Of These People Like Twigs Pretty Quickly, If We're Being Honest

7. The Hardness Of Cars, Which Are Actually Kind Of Uncomfortable To Land On From Great Heights

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Monkey See
12:26 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Really Most Sincerely Bad: Fox's Nasty 'Does Someone Have To Go?'

Employees argue over who's the worst in Fox's Does Someone Have To Go?
Chris Tomko Fox

The biggest problem with pretending all of reality television is categorically odious is that it denies us the opportunity to identify and hold accountable what is actually odious. To those who insist that it's all gross — that no matter the documentary aspirations or good-natured competitiveness of plenty of unscripted television, it all belongs in the same giant dumpster — I am your Crocodile Dundee of distaste: Those aren't destructive and grotesque and irresponsible. This is destructive and grotesque and irresponsible.

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Monkey See
8:42 am
Thu May 23, 2013

'Before Midnight': Jesse And Celine Are Older Now, And So Are We

Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke in Before Midnight.
Sony Pictures Classics

[Note: Before Midnight is an especially difficult movie to write about, simply because for some people, even what has become of Jesse and Celine since Before Sunset is information that they don't want. But it's impossible — absolutely impossible — to write about the movie without talking about where they stand and what the premise is. I did my absolute best to spoil as little beyond that as possible.

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Monkey See
8:57 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Reaction Saturation And Sunday Night Television

iStockphoto.com

Consider what goes on in your brain when you, for instance, you watch an episode of Mad Men.

First, you have a reaction. "That's weird" is a reaction. So is "yuck." So is "wow." "This doesn't make sense" is a reaction, "that's a great dress" is a reaction, and "WHAT?" is a reaction.

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Monkey See
10:24 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Cancellation Blues And Cultural Etiquette

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To mark network upfronts week, we talk in this episode about the cancellation of shows, including the ones that came and went that we honestly can hardly remember as well as the ones — like ABC's delightful, hilarious Happy Endings — that break our hearts.

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Monkey See
8:32 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Notes On A 'Scandal': Fitz Is The Most Dumpable Man On Television

Tony Goldwyn as Fitz on Scandal.
Randy Holmes ABC

If you watch Scandal, you know that there, Fitzgerald Grant is the President of the United States, and that he goes by "Fitz." Now "Fitz," let's face it, is already a pretty punchable name, given that combined with his personality, it makes him sound like somebody with a beanie and a lot of polo shirts grew up, got even richer, had a son, and taught him how to give swirlies to the math team. Fitz is involved, on and off (currently off, or possibly on, but maybe off) (maybe half-off, like end-of-the-season shoes), with Olivia Pope.

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Monkey See
2:11 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

While The Audience Turned Away, 'American Idol' Found Some Great Singers

Candice Glover competes Thursday night for the American Idol win.
Ray Mickshaw Fox

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Monkey See
12:39 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

A Farewell To 'The Office': The 10 Best Episodes

Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski in The Office.
Vivian Zink NBC

It really only hit yesterday: It's the end of The Office.

After nine seasons, Dunder Mifflin is going dark Thursday night, with an hour-long retrospective at 8:00 and a 75-minute episode at 9:00 that may or may not feature a cameo from Steve Carell. There have been denials of an appearance from him that could be read as emphatic or tiptoeing, depending on whether you focus on the obvious implications of those denials or the technicalities that might allow for wiggle room.

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Monkey See
11:31 am
Wed May 15, 2013

What's On TV This Fall? The Networks Roll Out Their New Shows

Betsy Brandt and Michael J. Fox star in NBC's The Michael J. Fox Show, coming this fall.
Eric Liebowitz NBC

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 12:26 pm

This was the week of the broadcast network "upfront" presentations, which are the splashy ads for new programming that networks show to advertisers to entice them into ignoring their fears that everybody is fast-forwarding through all the commercials anyway.

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Monkey See
12:21 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Why Angelina Jolie's Op-Ed Matters

Angelina Jolie, seen here in April, wrote in The New York Times about her double mastectomy.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 3:34 pm

Pop culture does not mean celebrity culture; I have perhaps said this more often than anyone you're going to meet. Who dates, who gets a divorce, who has a tantrum, who has surreptitious photos snapped of him by mangy, grim opportunists — these things are not culture of any kind, popular or otherwise, unless there is something else at stake. They are curiosities, and given that we are curious creatures, their pull is not surprising, nor is it new, nor was it invented by the internet, or television, or Americans.

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Monkey See
8:28 am
Mon May 13, 2013

'Space Oddity' In Space: Yes, Astronauts Are Still The Coolest Humans

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield sits in front of a mock-up of a Soyuz TMA space craft during his pre-flight preparation at the Cosmonaut Training Centre in Star City, outside Moscow, in November 2012.
Alexander Nemenov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 10:16 am

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Monkey See
8:05 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Watch The First Trailer For ABC's 'Avengers' Follow-Up

Screenshot

Over the weekend, ABC posted a trailer for Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., its fall show (time slot and premiere date to come) that jumps off from Marvel's Avengers universe, as seen in all kinds of movies that have made all kinds of money.

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Monkey See
5:30 am
Sat May 11, 2013

Christopher Guest Comes To HBO With A 'Family' Comedy That's Serious

Chris O'Dowd (left) stars in Family Tree, a new HBO show from Christopher Guest (right) and Jim Piddock.
Suzanne Tenner HBO

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 10:11 am

Christopher Guest has made so many people laugh since he started making mock documentaries with This Is Spinal Tap in 1984 that his fans might be surprised to hear his response to Scott Simon's question on Saturday's Weekend Edition about whether he ever thinks about making a serious movie.

Referencing Family Tree, his new show for HBO starring Chris O'Dowd as a man discovering his roots, Guest says that even with comedy, the emotional content can still be critical.

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