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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Movies
4:36 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

'The Breakfast Club' At 30: '80s Classic Still Relatable Today

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 6:07 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE BREAKFAST CLUB")

ANTHONY MICHAEL HALL: (As Brian Johnson) You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Monkey See
4:03 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Small Batch Edition: Talking 'X-Files' With Kumail Nanjiani

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson (pictured above) are both returning to The X-Files.
Getty Images

Kumail Nanjiani is a standup comedian, the co-host of the comedy show The Meltdown With Jonah And Kumail for Comedy Central, an actor (including a regular gig on HBO's Silicon Valley), and a popular Twitter presence.

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Monkey See
10:43 am
Tue March 24, 2015

Here Comes 'The X-Files,' Back For More Mulder, More Scully, And More

Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny will reprise their roles as Dana Scully and Fox Mulder in The X-Files limited series.
Fox Broadcasting Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 10:58 am

Everything old really is new again. Even aliens.

Fox announced today that The X-Files, which ran on television from 1993 until 2002 and was accompanied by feature films in 1998 and 2008, will be back as a six-episode "event series," with production beginning this summer. Creator and Executive Producer Chris Carter will be in charge once again, and yes, Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) will be, too.

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Monkey See
6:46 am
Fri March 20, 2015

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Nick Hornby's 'Funny Girl' And Adapting Books

NPR

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 9:23 am

While our pal Stephen Thompson is in Austin, Glen Weldon and I are happy to be spending the week talking to our pals Barrie Hardymon and Chris Klimek about the latest Nick Hornby novel, Funny Girl. It follows the life cycle of a British sitcom born in the 1960s, from its inception through its period of popularity, right through its fade and its status as a piece of nostalgia.

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Monkey See
7:39 am
Thu March 19, 2015

The 'Empire' Touch: A Cookie By Any Other Name

Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) has been the highlight of the first season of Empire.
Chuck Hodes Fox

Empire closed out its remarkable first season on Wednesday night with a two-hour finale that proved once again one of the fundamental lessons brought to you by this show: whether this is your cup of tea or not, the people who make Empire really know what they're doing.

In the finale (and if this needs saying, we're about to talk about the finale, so don't claim you weren't warned), we finally got the answers to some of the questions asked in the pilot, while at the same time, it was only entirely clear what was going on about half the time.

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Monkey See
11:55 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Small Batch Edition: On Loving Romance With Sarah Wendell

NPR

Sarah Wendell is the wrangler and editor and general mischief-maker at the site Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, which reviews and discusses romance novels and serves as a home for many devoted romance fans. She's also a fascinating speaker and writer, so when she was in town recently, we had her into the studio. First up is this Small Batch, in which Sarah and I talk about romance readers, e-reading, rating sexy books with numbers of hot peppers, and why there's an optimism at the heart of reading romance.

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Monkey See
10:36 am
Wed March 18, 2015

'The Jinx' And The Challenges of Public Curiosity

Robert Durst was the subject of the six-part HBO documentary series The Jinx.
HBO

It was hard not to compare HBO's six-part miniseries The Jinx to the hit podcast Serial. Both featured serialized storytelling from reporters unafraid to be part of the stories they were telling; both were very well received. But the similarities dissipated as the conclusions approached.

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Monkey See
9:21 am
Tue March 17, 2015

'Community': No Longer A Broadcast Show, But Still A Lovable Weirdo

Joel McHale as Jeff Winger on Community.
Trae Patton Yahoo

Community, producer Dan Harmon's increasingly self-aware sitcom, has become less and less about a band of community-college misfits and more and more about being a television show. Perhaps it's fitting that a show about being a show continues its odd life with a move from NBC to Yahoo Screen, where the first two episodes are now available.

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Monkey See
1:31 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

In 'I Hate Christian Laettner,' ESPN Explores The Belly Of The Beast

Duke's Christian Laettner stretches during a news conference in Indianapolis in March 1991.
Bob Jordan AP

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Monkey See
8:20 am
Fri March 13, 2015

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Cultural Anniversaries And Great Things For Kids

NPR

Back in February, when it was terribly icy, we were scheduled to record our Oscars Omnibus live in Studio 1 at NPR HQ. Unfortunately, the weather interfered, and we had to push the show forward. While this meant we didn't have people live in the room to react with glee or horror as Stephen and Glen nearly came to blows over Boyhood, it also meant we got to gather for our rescheduled show with our pal Guy Raz, of the TED Radio Hour, to talk about time.

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Monkey See
5:01 am
Fri March 13, 2015

A Girl, A Shoe, A Prince: The Endlessly Evolving Cinderella

Cinderella and her fairy godmother in the 1950 Disney cartoon.
Courtesy of Disney Princess

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 9:47 pm

"Woman gives birth to a gourd."

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Monkey See
11:33 am
Wed March 11, 2015

A Travel Show For Your Favorite Weird-Museum And Dance Enthusiast

Courtesy of Ovation

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 2:23 pm

When we get to talking about HBO and Sling, about cord-cutting and the future of television, we tend to focus on the advantages of being able to pick out only the core channels you watch most; the ones you know you love. Now and then, though, I'm glad for the vast array of channels that are trying different things with different people, serving audiences smaller than the ones for football and Cutthroat Kitchen.

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Monkey See
7:54 am
Wed March 11, 2015

Pop Culture Happy Hour, Small Batch Edition: 'King Of The Nerds'

Raychelle, Ben, Lily and Kaitlin are among the nerds in tight competition on TBS's King Of The Nerds.
Trae Patton TBS

In something of a companion piece to our earlier segment on nerd culture, Stephen and Glen sit down in this edition to chat about the social dynamics at work and at play on TBS's surprisingly charming competition show King Of The Nerds. Glen carefully distinguishes it from its predecessor Beauty And The Geek, then wonders whether when nerds act like reality show contestants, they're using the tactics of the enemy.

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Monkey See
10:15 am
Tue March 10, 2015

An Interview With A Regular Watch

Not necessarily the watch being interviewed, as it chose to remain anonymous.
iStockphoto

Ever since we interviewed the Monopoly iron in 2013, we have occasionally published fever-dream interviews with newsworthy inanimate objects. In light of yesterday's Apple announcement of its smart watch — and in light of the fact that it is neither the first nor the last such watch to be developed — we thought we would check in with a regular, ordinary watch.

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Monkey See
8:02 am
Fri March 6, 2015

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Focus,' Con Men And Rock And Roll

NPR

On this week's show, we sit down with our good pal Gene Demby for a wide-ranging chat about movies and music.

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Monkey See
8:57 am
Thu March 5, 2015

'American Crime': An Ambitious And Inventive Drama With Miles To Go

Felicity Huffman and Timothy Hutton star in American Crime.
Felicia Graham ABC

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 6:09 pm

American Crime opens as a bedraggled, initially almost unrecognizable Timothy Hutton takes the worst possible middle-of-the-night phone call: The police need him to identify the body of what they believe is his murdered son.

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Monkey See
11:22 am
Wed March 4, 2015

'Mindy' And The Little Story That Just Might Work

Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling) is preparing for some big changes.
Patrick McElhenney Fox

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 5:25 pm

My reaction to the initial revelation that Mindy Lahiri, the heroine (?) of Mindy Kaling's The Mindy Project, was pregnant was the same one I think a lot of people had: Oh, brother.

This was the case for two reasons. First, baby stories are notoriously difficult to make interesting, and adding babies to comedies often leads to awkwardness, as people who didn't set out to write stories about babies often like writing about birth and do not like writing about parenting, so after a while, it's like the baby never happened.

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Monkey See
11:01 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Of Con Men And Dames: How Margot Robbie Gets Robbed In 'Focus'

Margot Robbie in Focus.
Frank Masi Warner Bros.

Focus, starring Will Smith as a smoothie con man with a heart of gold, is trying very hard to be a kind of film that only works when it seems effortless. Specifically, it seems to be engineered to be a close relative of Steven Soderbergh's 2001 Ocean's Eleven, in which beautiful people participate in tricky schemes dressed in cool clothes in gorgeous surroundings, surprising even the audience with their cleverness.

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Monkey See
6:59 am
Mon March 2, 2015

'Downton' Wraps Another Season Of Marriage And (Sigh) Muuuuuurder!

Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) made the acquaintance of Henry Talbot (Matthew Goode) on the season finale of Downton Abbey.
Nick Briggs Carnival Films 2014 for MASTERPIECE

When Downton Abbey, which wrapped up its fifth-season run on PBS Sunday night, is fun, it's so much fun. And when it's not good, it's usually talking about Mr. Bates and Anna and somebody getting murdered.

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Monkey See
11:09 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Small Batch Edition: 'The Sculptor' And Other Grand Graphic Novels

Petra Mayer of NPR Books sat down with our regular panelist Glen Weldon to chat about the massive graphic novel The Sculptor, by Scott McCloud. They talk about what the book does and what they wanted from it, and from there, they go on to recommend some other good reads.

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Monkey See
5:36 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Parks And Rec' And 'Better Call Saul'

NPR

Well, now that we're past the Oscars (whew!), this week's show takes us into some quality television, both departing and arriving. It also brings to the table our pal Barrie Hardymon to join me, Stephen Thompson and Glen Weldon for this smaller-screen chat.

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Monkey See
9:54 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Not Just Eating Bugs For Money! A Story Of 'Survivor' And Strategy

The "Blue Collar" tribe assembles on the premiere of Survivor, season ... 30.
Monty Brinton CBS

The most famous scene in the first season of Survivor, back in the summer of 2000, involved the castaways, who were very hungry indeed, catching and cooking a rat, then tentatively picking meat off the bones. There was also a challenge that involved eating grubs as quickly as possible. This pretty much sealed the fate of the show's reputation early on among people who didn't watch it: it was essentially one big show called Eating Bugs For Money, and its pleasures were purely exploitative, so low of brow that nothing was visible except the bottom of the barrel.

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Monkey See
9:03 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

'Parks And Recreation' Sets Off Into The Future

Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope.
Colleen Hayes NBC

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 7:49 am

After seven seasons, NBC's gently acerbic, lovingly rendered Parks and Recreation ended its run Tuesday night with an extension of the final season's voyage to 2017. In further flashes to a few years or even decades later, we learned about April and Andy's kids, Garry's future as a beloved eternal mayor with an ageless wife, Tom's many hustles to come, Donna's educational foundation, the park Ron will run, Leslie's brilliant career and the true partnership of equals that is her marriage to Ben.

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Monkey See
11:23 pm
Sun February 22, 2015

'Birdman' Wins Big On A Soggy Night At The Oscars

Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu accepts the Academy Award for best picture for Birdman.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 7:53 am

The rain that fell on Hollywood as the hours of red-carpet coverage wore on may have provided one of the evening's best visuals: actual people running around wearing plastic bags as they guided famous people out of limos, under umbrellas and to the waiting microphones of interviewers who wanted to know who made the dress, the shoes, the jewelry. It was literally the packing up and encasing of humanity to keep reality out: What could be more Oscars than that?

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Monkey See
9:01 am
Sun February 22, 2015

Watch The Oscars With Us

Preparations continue for the 87th Annual Academy Awards at the Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, CA.
Gabriel Olsen Getty Images

The nominees are in, the arguments have been had, and the ceremony is all that's left of Oscar season. (Well, and the griping over what should have won.)

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Monkey See
4:21 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Our Oscars Omnibus 2015

In Birdman, Michael Keaton (a real-life former Batman) plays a former movie superhero who's trying to get a grasp on his career.
Atsushi Nishijima/ Fox Searchlight

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 8:29 am

We didn't get to tape our Oscars Omnibus live the way we planned (stay tuned for a make-up date for ticketholders), but we did get to sit down with our friend Bob Mondello to talk about all eight contenders in the Best Picture race.

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Monkey See
3:06 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

The Oscars Are Coming, With 1 Big Hit And Few Close Contests

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 8:43 pm

On today's All Things Considered, NPR film critic Bob Mondello and I have a chat with Audie Cornish about the inevitable, inscrutable Oscars.

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Monkey See
10:45 am
Tue February 17, 2015

Making Peace With Peace: Snow Days And Seasons

iStockphoto

So here we are, many of us in the D.C. area, doing what many in the Northeast — particularly New England — have been doing lately: looking out the window.

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Monkey See
8:21 am
Fri February 13, 2015

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Jupiter Ascending' And On-Screen Chemistry

NPR

You might be able to still find Jupiter Ascending at your local multiplex, if it's not entirely occupied with screenings of The Spongebob Movie and Fifty Shades Of Grey (USA! USA!). It made modest money last weekend despite (?) being a big and splashy production from the Wachowskis, who made The Matrix and, well, not really The Matrix again after that.

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Monkey See
12:23 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

The Morning After 'The Daily Show' Began To Look To The Future

It took us a few hours to gather our thoughts, but Stephen Thompson and I sat down this morning for a talk about what might come next once Jon Stewart leaves The Daily Show. To promote from within or to try something more emphatically new? And are they wishing right now that the John Oliver timing had been different? We catch up about these questions and take a moment to remind each other that with a stable of strong writers comes the potential for a strong future, no matter who's in the host chair.

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