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
5:33 am
Sun September 23, 2012

On Television's Biggest Night, It's Antiheroes And Maggie Smith

Maggie Smith as Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham on Downton Abbey.
Nick Briggs PBS

Originally published on Sun September 23, 2012 12:43 pm

Just as you're trying to figure out what to watch during the new television season, they come at you with the Emmy Awards, ready to bestow the big prizes from the last television season. There are some big questions about this year's slate: What happens to Downton Abbey, the swooning British import whose distaste for antiheroes and gore sets it apart from its Outstanding Drama Series rivals? How big a splash will the thriller Homeland make in its first year of eligibility?

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Monkey See
9:24 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Breakup Culture And Fall Television Predictions

NPR
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Monkey See
10:55 am
Tue September 18, 2012

The Sophistication Problem: James Bond, Gene Kelly, And The Limbs We Live On

iStockphoto.com

In an excellent piece at the Press Play blog at Indiewire, Matt Zoller Seitz writes of a screening of From Russia With Love, where he found that much of the audience was too busy guffawing at the elements it found dated to engage the film on its own terms. While he writes eloquently and angrily about the phenomenon of ironic distance, the killer line is this one: "It's up to the individual viewer to decide to connect or not connect with a creative work.

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Monkey See
12:13 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

The 25 Magic Words Of American Television

iStockphoto.com

Tonight, two new fall shows premiere: Mob Doctor, which is about a doctor who works for the mob, and Revolution, which is about a devastating global power outage and — more than that — a revolution.

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Monkey See
10:30 am
Mon September 17, 2012

'American Idol' Picks New Judges And Makes A Surprising Grab For Relevance

Mariah Carey, Keith Urban, Ryan Seacrest, Nicki Minaj and Randy Jackson will work together on this season of American Idol.
Michael Becker FOX

Originally published on Mon September 17, 2012 3:20 pm

American Idol has always been a show with two audiences: the real one and the imagined one. The real one has a median viewer age of about 50, while the imagined one has a median age of about 15. You don't see the real audience frantically waving signs during the live show, but the imagined one. Idol enjoys presenting itself as a phenomenon for excitement-hungry teenagers, but in fact, it's just as much a phenomenon for their parents.

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Monkey See
12:13 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Pop Culture Happy Hour: O Canada!

NPR

Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 6:45 pm

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We taped this week's show with half of us in D.C. and half of us — me and Trey, plus NPR's own Bob Mondello — in a studio in Toronto. Why? Because of the Toronto International Film Festival, which provides the front half of the show. Trey, Bob and I talk about a bunch of the films we saw, many of which you can see covered on the blog's TIFF '12 section.

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Monkey See
8:04 am
Wed September 12, 2012

TIFF '12: 'To The Wonder,' A Pretty Film In Which A Woman Dances With A Rooster

Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams star in Terrence Malick's To The Wonder.
Mary Cybulski Toronto International Film Festival

For people who may have been baffled by the dinosaurs in Terrence Malick's The Tree Of Life, it may be a relief to hear that in his latest, To The Wonder, there's no such opaque sequence. There's nothing to "get," and there's nothing nearly so disorienting as all the business with the people on the beach, let alone all the business with the world being born.

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Monkey See
2:09 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

TIFF '12: Billy Bob Thornton's Film That Is Not About 'Jayne Mansfield's Car'

Billy Bob Thornton and Kevin Bacon star in Jayne Mansfield's Car.
Van Redin Toronto International Film Festival

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 2:30 pm

[Monkey See will be at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) through the middle of this week. We'll be bringing you our takes on films both large and small, from people both well-known and not.]

Here's a declaration for you: I haven't seen even ten percent of the films playing at the Toronto International Film Festival, but I am convinced that Jayne Mansfield's Car has the worst title.

Let's go back to the beginning.

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Monkey See
1:17 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

TIFF '12: 'Mr. Pip' And Literary Escape

Hugh Laurie and Xzannjah in Mr. Pip.
Toronto International Film Festival

[Monkey See will be at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) through the middle of this week. We'll be bringing you our takes on films both large and small, from people both well-known and not.]

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Monkey See
6:56 am
Tue September 11, 2012

TIFF '12: Strong Performances Highlight Paul Thomas Anderson's 'The Master'

Joaquin Phoenix plays a sailor very much at sea in Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master.
Phil Bray Toronto International Film Festival

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 3:37 pm

[Monkey See will be at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) through the middle of this week. We'll be bringing you our takes on films both large and small, from people both well-known and not.]

Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master probably came to Toronto with as much Oscar buzz as anything showing here. Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix in his first film since the 2010 experimental quasi-documentary I'm Still Here, The Master is emphatically a piece of award bait, but deservedly so.

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Monkey See
1:38 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

TIFF '12: Recovery Is The Watchword In 'Thanks For Sharing'

Mark Ruffalo and Gwyneth Paltrow in Thanks For Sharing.
Toronto International Film Festival

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 2:14 pm

[Monkey See will be at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) through the middle of this week. We'll be bringing you our takes on films both large and small, from people both well-known and not.]

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Monkey See
11:33 am
Mon September 10, 2012

TIFF '12: Bill Murray Plays Franklin Roosevelt In 'Hyde Park On Hudson'

Bill Murray in Hyde Park On Hudson.
Nicola Dove Toronto International Film Festival

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 2:15 pm

[Monkey See will be at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) through the middle of this week. We'll be bringing you our takes on films both large and small, from people both well-known and not.]

If there's one thing I wish I could tell Hollywood biographers and be sure they'd believe me, it would be this: you don't necessarily have to be interesting to get a famous person to have an affair with you, so having had an affair with a famous person doesn't make you a good subject for a biographical film.

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Monkey See
9:23 am
Mon September 10, 2012

TIFF '12: Robert Redford Is On The Run In 'The Company You Keep'

Robert Redford stars in The Company You Keep.
Doane Gregory Toronto International Film Festival

[Monkey See will be at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) through the middle of this week. We'll be bringing you our takes on films both large and small, from people both well-known and not.]

The Company You Keep features one of the most accomplished casts I've seen in an American film here: Robert Redford, Susan Sarandon, Julie Christie, Chris Cooper, Sam Elliott, Richard Jenkins, Stanley Tucci, Anna Kendrick ... there are a lot of people in it, not counting Shia LaBeouf, about whom I have mixed feelings generally.

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Monkey See
7:29 am
Mon September 10, 2012

TIFF '12: Joss Whedon's Marvelously Homemade 'Much Ado About Nothing'

Alexis Denisof and Amy Acker star in Joss Whedon's adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing.
Toronto International Film Festival

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 5:02 pm

[Monkey See will be at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) through the middle of this week. We'll be bringing you our takes on films both large and small, from people both well-known and not.]

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Monkey See
2:03 pm
Sun September 9, 2012

TIFF '12: 'Love, Marilyn' Tries Yet Again To Show Us Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe has been the subject of many documentary explorations, and the film Love, Marilyn takes a new approach.
Toronto International Film Festival

Will it ever end, the desire to understand Marilyn Monroe?

The film Love, Marilyn begins with the statement that an enormous number of books have already been written about her, that she's been the subject of study and fascination and florid prose. But, it says, some of her papers have been discovered, and maybe it is those papers — her own words — that can cast light on the woman herself.

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