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
12:40 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

What Monkeys Eat: A Few Thoughts About Pop Culture Writing

iStockphoto

When I was first explaining what I wanted this blog to be like in 2008, I shared with some folks at NPR a theory I have had for some time about writing about popular culture. It goes like this: If you think monkeys are fascinating and you want to understand and be of value to them, it's not enough to be an expert on what monkeys should ideally eat. You have to understand what monkeys actually eat.

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Monkey See
10:48 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Remodeling With Canadians

'Property Brothers' Drew Scott and Jonathan Scott at the Scripps Networks Upfront in April 2013.
Donald Bowers Getty Images

My holiday break last week took an unexpected detour when a broken bone (not mine) changed our plans for a full family get-together. Thus, I was left with a few days of unanticipated free time on my own, which led me to the obvious conclusion: if I can't be fully relaxed and immersed in holiday joy the entire time, this is the perfect time to clean out my closets.

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Monkey See
1:31 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: A Smaug Problem And The Holiday Music Blues

NPR
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On this week's round-table podcast, featuring special guest Chris Klimek, we start with a conversation about The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug. We talk about the dragon, the dragon-izer, the walking, the absence of lengthy dishwashing sequences, and many, many other things. Can Glen continue to hold the line for hairy-foot fans? You'll have to find out for yourself. (You can also check out the Village Voice review Chris references.)

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Monkey See
9:18 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Love In The Time Of Hollering: The Age Of Enthusiasm

Mark Evans iStockphoto

There have been Ages of Innocence and Iron, of Jazz and Bronze and Ice. We've had Golden Ages of all kinds, though we note them less by experiencing them and more by debating whether they have started, whether they are over, and whether we will ever see their like again.

And now we are in the Age Of Enthusiasm.

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Monkey See
9:46 am
Thu December 19, 2013

'Duck' And Cover: What, Exactly, Is The Point?

This 2012 photo released by A&E shows Phil Robertson (from left), Jase Robertson, Si Robertson and Willie Robertson from the A&E series Duck Dynasty.
Zach Dilgard AP

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 2:51 pm

Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson has been suspended from filming by A&E after telling writer Drew Magary, for a new profile in GQ, about some of the views he holds that don't make it to air. Specifically, he spoke about not only how homosexuality is a sin but how it would naturally "morph out from there" into, among other things, bestiality.

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Monkey See
9:07 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Two Ways Of Seeing An iPhone Christmas

Screen shot

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 5:44 pm

Apple recently released a Christmas ad it calls "Misunderstood."

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Monkey See
9:44 am
Fri December 13, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Frozen' Princesses And Character Deaths

NPR

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 12:06 pm

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First of all: WOW. We did our live show at NPR HQ this week, and it was wonderful, and all of you who attended made a fantastic audience. You'll be hearing the live show in two segments over the holidays while we take a rest, but in the meantime, we've got a brand-new show to roll out.

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Monkey See
9:21 am
Thu December 12, 2013

I'm Your Lawyer, Mr. Grinch

The Grinch puts a scare into his dog, Max, in the 1966 CBS special How The Grinch Stole Christmas.
CBS/Photofest

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 3:58 pm

To: Mr. Grinch
From: Who Who & Who
Re: Possible defamation claim

Thank you for visiting our offices to explore the possibility of a defamation claim regarding statements recently made about you.

Potentially defamatory statements

We will first take some of the statements you mention in turn to explain their possible relevance to a successful claim.

You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch

Under the laws of defamation in effect in Whoville, this would most likely be considered a statement of opinion and not actionable.

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Monkey See
11:36 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Live Shows And The Return Of Regrettable Television

NPR
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  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour: Catching Fire And Gifts

Taped in the run-up to Thursday night's Sound Of Music performance, this week's round-table podcast is not a review of it, but a consideration of the live event in general. Are we all just performance ghouls, waiting around for people to fail? What is it fair to ask from a live performance? And what happens if a horse has an unfortunate moment in a theater?

Our second segment brings back one of our favorite things (har har), the Regrettable Television Pop Quiz. Thrill to extravagantly bleeped cursing! Wonder about the appropriate and safe temperature for raw chicken!

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Monkey See
9:34 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Needs More Alps: How Was 'The Sound Of Music Live'?

Carrie Underwood as Maria, with (back, from left) Ella Watts-Gorman as Louisa, Michael Nigro as Friedrich, Ariane Rinehart as Liesl, Joe West as Kurt and (front, from left) Grace Rundhaug as Marta, Sophia Ann Caruso as Brigitta and Peyton Ella as Gretl, in NBC's live production of The Sound Of Music.
Will Hart NBC

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 2:05 pm

Much like Sharknado and most presidential debates, NBC's The Sound Of Music on Thursday night caused Twitter to explode in a frenzy of arguing and counterarguing. It was charming! It was dreadful! It was liiiiiiiive!

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Monkey See
9:31 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Little Ditty About Lackin' Diane: Hug A Skeptic Today

iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 10:11 am

Perhaps while you were enjoying your Thanksgiving turkey (or, in my case, your hotel tub and your Hallmark movies), you heard the story of "Diane in 7A."

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Monkey See
9:31 am
Mon November 25, 2013

What Really Makes Katniss Stand Out? Peeta, Her Movie Girlfriend

Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson in Catching Fire.
Lionsgate

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 3:02 pm

[General Hunger Games/Catching Fire information below; no huge surprises revealed.]

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Monkey See
8:59 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: $#*! Profanity In Pop Culture And Outdated Tech

NPR
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This week's show features something you will very rarely hear from us: bleeping! By which I mean: actual, literal bleeps. Because we're kicking things off with a discussion of profanity, in movies including Anchorman and Die Hard, and in TV shows on cable and broadcast.

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Monkey See
9:36 am
Mon November 18, 2013

'The Best Man Holiday' And The Language Of Expectations

Sanaa Lathan and Taye Diggs star in The Best Man Holiday.
Michael Gibson Universal Pictures

The Best Man Holiday, made on an estimated production budget of $17 million, nearly doubled that on its first weekend, bringing in an estimated haul of more than $30.5 million.

As Lucas Shaw wrote yesterday for The Wrap, the film joins 12 Years A Slave, The Butler, and other films from black filmmakers that have somehow surprised people with their success.

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