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.

Pages

Monkey See
1:12 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Yippee-Kai-Yay, Mr. President: 'White House Down' Looks Very Familiar

Channing Tatum stars in White House Down.
Reiner Bajo Sony Pictures

Look, I like Channing Tatum. I like Jamie Foxx. And heaven knows, I love Die Hard.

Read more
Monkey See
12:07 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

If Jeff Probst Were President

Jeff Probst, seen here in the summer of 2012, is a TV host, and is not actually the president.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 1:38 pm

Note: It is 100 percent true and 51 percent relevant that this entire story was written inside my brain while I was in the dentist's chair under the influence of anesthesia. I began to think, "Jeff Probst [the host of Survivor] will not be happy until he is more important than tribal council. Until he is king of CBS. Until he is President of the United States. President Jeff Probst." So the entire thing is numbness-induced in so many ways. Make of that what you will.

President Jeff Probst's State Of The Union Address, delivered Feb. 2 [xxx]

Read more
Monkey See
2:15 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

At The Met Ball, Those Are Some Crazy Dresses

Beyonce, complete with thigh-high boots to match.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Monday night was the big night for unusual dresses (you may remember a previous post about Madonna's bunny ears): the Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, known as the "Met Ball." It had a loose punk theme (because the costume exhibit it's celebrating is punk-centric), but everyone got up to quite a bit of her own thing.

Read more
Monkey See
12:54 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

These Dogs, Cats And Robots Have A Few 'Tiny Confessions'

Penguin

Let me tell you a quick story from NPR's move from our old headquarters to our new one.

When I was emptying out my old desk and workspace, in addition to all the shoes under my desk and an alarming number of vessels designed to keep coffee warm, I had quite a lot of books lying around. Some were upcoming books, most were old books, and a few were books I neither had any use for nor could bear to get rid of. One of the tests I applied was that if I picked up a book and the first page I opened to made me laugh, it survived.

Tiny Confessions survived.

Read more
Monkey See
11:16 am
Tue May 7, 2013

So Much For Bowling Scenes: What Is And Isn't Wrong With Number-Crunching Scripts

iStockphoto.com

The words "grossed out" evoke enough of a watery 1980s vibe that they need to be saved for the times when they really apply: movie scenes where somebody sticks something in somebody else's eye, sewage spills, and so forth.

Read more
Monkey See
8:30 am
Tue May 7, 2013

MTV's Musical Legacy: How 'Unplugged' Sold The Radio Star

Kurt Cobain of Nirvana during the taping of MTV Unplugged at Sony Studios in New York City in November 1993.
Frank Micelotta Getty Images

It's generally understood that something about MTV was revolutionary. Perhaps it was the music video, perhaps it was the short attention span, perhaps it was The Real World, but something about MTV had enough cultural permanency that it made for a fine oral history from Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum, called I Want My MTV, in late 2011.

Read more
Monkey See
11:55 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Entirely Real Photos: Greetings From These ABBA Puppets

Puppets of the ABBA members await you at what is, believe it or not, the world's first permanent ABBA museum.
Jonathan Nackstrand AFP/Getty Images

Of all the museums opening tomorrow that are devoted to supergroups of the 1970s, surely none is more hotly anticipated than ABBA The Museum.

You can dance. You can jive. You can visit the gift shop.

And you can see these puppets, which also appeared in a video in which you can see them in action. Are these more or less creepy than wax museum figures? It's a toss-up.

Read more
Monkey See
9:53 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Shut The Door, Have A Suite: 'Mad Men' Steps It Up

Jon Hamm as Don Draper in Mad Men.
Michael Yarish AMC

[CAUTION: This is all about Sunday night's Mad Men. Obviously, if you haven't seen Sunday night's Mad Men and you still intend to, you might hold off.]

It's reductive to conclude that on far too many episodes of Mad Men, nothing happens. Of course something always happens: someone feels something, or learns something, or is locked in a continuous internal struggle with something. A dynamic continues to simmer, a memory comes to the surface, angels and demons battle for somebody's soul.

Read more
Monkey See
8:10 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Armor And Anxiety: Tony Stark Is The New Captain America

Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark in Iron Man 3.
Marvel/Walt Disney Pictures

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 10:37 am

Meet Tony Stark at the opening of Iron Man 3: insanely wealthy, possessed of every toy, and traumatized by an attack on New York that has left him restless, anxious, belligerent, and given to both hunker-down security measures and fate-tempting swagger. He declares his total lack of fear, then builds the fortress walls higher.

Let's step back.

Read more
Monkey See
10:46 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: The Retail And Science Edition

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

Happy Friday, PCHH-ers. This weekend brings us all Free Comic Book Day, and we take that opportunity in this episode to talk about how changes in brick-and-mortar retail are affecting pop culture. Do you need a bookstore guy to tell you what to buy? Do you need a bookstore so you can be around other book people? And what happens to in-store events without stores?

Read more
Monkey See
9:55 am
Fri May 3, 2013

'Two Chips': Anatomy Of A Drunk Joke

A screenshot from Adam Patch's "Two Chips."
Screenshot

One more quick item for this morning.

Filmmaker/designer/animator Adam Patch has posted this video to Vimeo, in which his wife, while somewhat drunk, tells him a joke about two corn chips. He created the animation to go with it.

Read more
Monkey See
9:39 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Entirely Real Photos: Steven Tyler And His Animated Alter Ego

Steven Tyler poses with character Nim Galuu, the character he voices in the upcoming film Epic.
Graham Denholm Getty Images

It's Friday, and that means it's time for a photo of Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler clowning around with a guy dressed up like a monster wearing essentially the same shiny housecoat as Steven Tyler.

It's a new tradition, but I'm hoping it will catch on.

Read more
Monkey See
1:45 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Discovery's 'Big Brain Theory': Not That Kind Of Nerd TV

Alison Wong, a contestant on Discovery's new The Big Brain Theory, does the math.
Jason Elias Discovery

Perhaps the most revolutionary thing about Discovery's nifty new science series The Big Brain Theory, hosted by Kal Penn, is how ordinary it is.

Read more
Monkey See
10:19 am
Wed May 1, 2013

How 'New Girl' Got Smarter, Sexier, And A Lot Less Annoying

Jess (Zooey Deschanel) and Nick (Jake Johnson) have one of their many chats on Fox's New Girl.
Adam Taylor Fox

In the early days of New Girl, Jess Day (Zooey Deschanel) was a toddler-sized tutu made flesh: cute, affected, hard to actually dislike, but earning grins largely by doggedly evoking childhood's clumsy and doomed attempts at grace.

Read more
Monkey See
8:27 am
Tue April 30, 2013

A Banana With Dreadlocks: A Study In Misery

The banana with dreadlocks featured in a local story from the news in Boston.
Screenshot

If this guy actually lost his life savings playing "Tubs Of Fun," that's sad. And if the game was rigged, that's fraud! Also, I think that banana is offensive.

But I find it almost entirely impossible to believe this is actually a dude who carries this item around with him all the time, perched on top of a baby stroller. This comes from the local news in Boston, and it appears to be presented seriously, but it looks like a segment from a satirical news broadcast, no?

Read more

Pages