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
10:01 am
Thu October 4, 2012

Careful, Frustrated 'Glee' People: 'The Break Up' Might Suck You Back In

Emma (Jayma Mays) and Will (Matthew Morrison) are only one of the challenged couples in tonight's Glee.
Jordin Althaus Fox

Every high-school show deals with the same problem — even if with Beverly Hills, 90210-like leisure — if it lasts long enough: What now?

Most often, as on 90210, everyone mysteriously goes off to the same college that doesn't exist. Sometimes, as on Friday Night Lights, the show follows some of the kids further but also toughens up and freshens the cast.

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Monkey See
1:35 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

ESPN's 'Broke' Looks At The Many Ways Athletes Lose Their Money

Andre Rison is one of the athletes who speaks about money in the new ESPN documentary Broke.
ESPN

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 1:49 pm

Broke, the documentary that brings ESPN's outstanding "30 For 30" back tonight, begins with this pair of statistics, courtesy of Sports Illustrated: "By the time they have been retired for two years, 78 percent of former NFL players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress; within five years of retirement, an estimated 60 percent of former NBA players are broke."

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Monkey See
9:24 am
Tue October 2, 2012

When It Comes To Character Detail, 'Pitch Perfect' Nails It

Anna Kendrick in Pitch Perfect.
Peter Iovino Universal Pictures

Pitch Perfect, the new comedy that opened in some cities last Friday and goes wider this Friday, is set in a world very close to my own heart: college a cappella.

I know, I know — it's dorky, it's silly, you hated those people at your school — I get it. But I loved it when I did it, and even now, I carry around a few of these compilations on my phone.

But as much as I enjoyed all the singing (and I did), it's not how the film won me over. What won me over was Beca's raggedy manicure.

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Monkey See
6:07 am
Sat September 29, 2012

Damian Lewis On The Conflicts And Complexities Of 'Homeland'

Damian Lewis as Nicholas Brody in Showtime's Homeland.
Bob Leverone Showtime

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 3:17 pm

There weren't a whole lot of upset winners at last Sunday's Emmy Awards, but one of the few was Homeland star Damian Lewis, who beat out, among others, Mad Men's Jon Hamm and three-time winner Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad to take home the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. Lewis' co-star, Claire Danes, won for her lead performance as well, and the show ended a four-year Mad Men streak when it was named Outstanding Drama Series.

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Monkey See
11:44 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Pop Culture Happy Hour: The State Of Television And The Tweed Set

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Monkey See
12:47 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Women, Men And Fiction: Notes On How Not To Answer Hard Questions

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 1:32 pm

Nothing is more vexing than a question where 10 percent of the public discussion is spent trying to answer it and 90 percent is spent arguing about whether it matters.

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Monkey See
10:07 am
Tue September 25, 2012

'The Mindy Project' And Why Comedy Pilots Are Like Dogs

Mindy (Mindy Kaling) is an OB/GYN in Fox's new comedy, The Mindy Project.
Beth Dubber Fox

Watching comedy pilots is a little bit like trying to adopt a dog. There are dogs that you meet that are clearly not for you and never will be. There are dogs you meet that crawl up into your lap and go to sleep, that could not be more clearly meant for you if they held up a sign that said, "I LOVE YOU, I NEED A HUG, WOOF, PLEASE BE MY MAMA."

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Monkey See
9:14 am
Mon September 24, 2012

A Dull Night At The Emmys, But A Big One For 'Homeland' And 'Modern Family'

Claire Danes and Damian Lewis hold up their Emmy Awards for Showtime's Homeland.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 10:53 am

Let us say this first: As an actual determination of the utmost merit in television, the Emmy Awards are ridiculous and have been ridiculous for quite some time. Naming shows that the Emmys failed to take seriously is easy: The Wire, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, most of the run of Friday Night Lights and so forth. If you look to the Emmys to actually anoint the best show or the best performance, you will bawl your eyes out over and over, and also, anyone who watches very much television will make fun of you as a rube and a dupe. Is that blunt enough?

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Monkey See
7:03 pm
Sun September 23, 2012

Live-Blogging The 2012 Emmy Awards

Jimmy Kimmel attends the Emmy Awards Red Carpet Rollout Sept. 19. Sunday night, beginning at 7:30, we'll be chronicling his hosting effort at the ceremony.
Matt Sayles AP

Originally published on Sun September 23, 2012 7:29 pm

Beginning at 7:30 p.m., I'll be here with Stephen Thompson to cover the Emmys live. We invite you to join us for the hosting (Jimmy Kimmel), the boasting (everybody), and the toasting (us, and you, and probably them, too). We generally find that leaving commenting on in the chat box gets totally hectic and baffling and we can't keep up, so we'll be taking your comments right down below the post where comments usually go. We will be reading them, and we'll be sharing some of them, too, so don't hold back.

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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

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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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