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
12:31 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

An Interview With The Bag On Shia LaBeouf's Head

Shia LaBeouf attends the 'Nymphomaniac' premiere during 64th Berlinale International Film Festival Sunday.
Clemens Bilan Getty Images

This is the second in a very occasional series of posts in which we interview inanimate objects during fever dreams. This particular interview is with a paper bag that actor Shia LaBeouf put over his head during the premiere of Lars Von Trier's Nymphomaniac: Volume I at the Berlin International Film Festival.

What's that written on you?

It says "I AM NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE."

Huh.

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Monkey See
10:24 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Why The 'Man's-Man Game' Is An Insult To Men

Michael Sam, seen here in November 2013, told The New York Times over the weekend that he's gay.
Joe Robbins Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 4:06 pm

Michael Sam, the SEC defensive player of the year out of Missouri, talked about being gay in an interview with The New York Times that ran Sunday, although his college coaches and teammates already knew. Sam was expected to be a solid NFL draft pick in May, making this a particularly intriguing time for him to come out. Assuming he's drafted, Sam would become the first active NFL athlete to be openly gay.

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Monkey See
11:52 am
Sun February 9, 2014

The Beatles, As America First Loved Them

It's been 50 years since The Beatles first appeared on Ed Sullivan, to an audience of screaming, hair-pulling, ecstatic (in the classic sense) teenage girls. Cutes in suits, you might call them, like (and, of course, nothing like) countless other bands of the time that wore skinny ties and shared microphones and said "oh" and "yeah" and "baby."

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Monkey See
6:44 am
Sat February 8, 2014

Jimmy Fallon Exits Stage (Just) Right

Jimmy Fallon hosts Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at Rockefeller Center on Jan. 28 in New York City. He'll be moving on to host The Tonight Show.
Jamie McCarthy Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 1:36 pm

It's hard to view Friday night's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon as a true farewell, since all Fallon is doing is getting the ultimate promotion to The Tonight Show. And he's taking everybody with him.

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Monkey See
12:06 am
Sat February 8, 2014

Navigating Kitsch and Controversy At The Opening Ceremonies

Dancers perform Dove of Peace during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.
Martin Rose Getty Images

One hopes, at an event of nebulous actual significance like the opening ceremonies of any Olympics, for a single moment that can tease out the specific weirdness of that event. You need something, some nut, some bit, that can demonstrate to people in a single flash what it was like for a bunch of people to pay attention to something even though arguably nothing happened.

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Monkey See
9:54 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Watching Sports, Philip Seymour Hoffman, And Poisoned Wells

NPR
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On this week's show, we turn to a topic near and dear to exactly half of our hearts: the wide world of sports. Glen explains how he came to feel the same way about sports that he feels about Fred Basset. Stephen envisions an actor breaking his leg and the play falling into a "clown show," and I wax rhapsodic about those great little Olympic stories about somebody's excited mom. It's the Super Bowl, the Olympics, and the nature of enthusiasm, all in one sportsy chat.

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Monkey See
8:57 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Here's Why You Should Hashtag Your #Olympics2014 Tweets

One of the best things about Twitter is the hashtag. Not the ironic, silly hashtag, but the functional hashtag. The hashtag that becomes a kind of metadata.

The hashtag, that is, that allows people to efficiently ignore you.

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Monkey See
10:46 am
Thu February 6, 2014

The Two Kinds Of Fairness, As Explained By 'Top Chef'

In the Top Chef finale, it was Nina versus Nick.
David Moir Bravo

Reality shows, at their best, give you little flashes of understanding, often in spite of themselves. A great example came around Wednesday night, as Top Chef crowned its winner.

[Hey: INFORMATION ABOUT THE FINALE AHEAD, in case that wasn't obvious. Stop reading if you're still planning on watching and you'd like to be surprised.]

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Monkey See
9:50 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Song And Dance: Of Course Clay Aiken Is Running For Congress

Clay Aiken, seen here in November, has announced that he's running for Congress.
Astrid Stawiarz Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 11:56 am

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Monkey See
8:33 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Bob And Linda Read Internet Movie Reviews, Part 1: 'American Hustle'

NPR

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 5:46 pm

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Monkey See
11:35 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Not-stalgia: Why I Don't Miss 'Seinfeld'

Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 12:34 pm

I remember laughing occasionally at Seinfeld. I'm pretty sure there's tape of me somewhere, probably on a podcast, acknowledging that it's good. Because of peer pressure.

I don't like Seinfeld, I don't miss it, and every time I'm asked to participate in some sort of acknowledgment of its greatness, or its place in the pantheon, I feel myself cringe and lie and say I understand, but I am here to tell you, and then never to be so cowardly again: I don't understand.

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Monkey See
10:03 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman And The Blessings Of Friction

Philip Seymour Hoffman, seen here in November, died Sunday.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 3:42 pm

It is already a cliche, born in the past 18 hours, for a writer to puzzle over the task of remembering Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died Sunday. It is indeed hard to figure out what to say about an artist quite so universally admired, and quite so kindly spoken of with such consistency.

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Monkey See
2:54 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Yes, Jesse Eisenberg Should Absolutely Play Lex Luthor

Jesse Eisenberg during a portrait session at the 70th Venice International Film Festival in September 2013.
Gareth Cattermole Getty Images

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Monkey See
10:09 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: A Grammys Postmortem And Reality TV In Middle Age

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We at PCHH have a long history with awards shows in general and the Grammys in particular, but this year's Grammys were a little different. Yes, Daft Punk took some big prizes, and Lorde took some big prizes, and Taylor Swift really played that piano super-hard, and Kacey Musgraves wore a dress that lit up.

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Monkey See
10:40 am
Thu January 30, 2014

I Like Big Trucks And I Cannot Lie: Cars, Trucks, And The Lady Brain

Try not to get too excited, ladies.
John Morris iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 3:26 pm

You know, when it comes to studies about how women think, I must admit that I always plunge in with great and girlish (!) excitement, because as much as the stereotyping may officially bother me, let's face it: there is part of me that thinks, "Oh, this is going to be good."

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