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 โ€” 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
7:02 am
Wed June 20, 2012

Silverdocs: 'The Imposter' And The Mystery Of The Nervous Laughter

This is not Nicholas Barclay.
Silverdocs

They really give it away in the title, don't they?

In 1994, a 13-year-old boy named Nicholas Barclay disappeared in Texas. In 1997, a man showed up in Spain and claimed to be the 16-year-old Nicholas. He wasn't โ€“ he was a 23-year-old con man โ€“ but he managed to get himself brought to the United States with a passport in Nicholas' name. He moved in with Nicholas' family. They accepted him as Nicholas.

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Monkey See
8:15 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Silverdocs: How Journey Found A New Lead Singer And Made Friends In Manila

Arnel Pineda became the lead singer of Journey in late 2007.
Silverdocs

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 11:49 am

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Monkey See
9:13 am
Mon June 18, 2012

Silverdocs 2012: Documentaries Galore

Detropia is one of the films on this year's slate at the Silverdocs documentary festival.
Silverdocs

It's that time again.

As I did last year at this time, I'll be spending this week at the Silverdocs documentary festival in Silver Spring, Md. If you've been reading the blog for a while, you're very familiar with this project, as it was the first place I saw a couple of fairly high-profile documentaries including Being Elmo and Buck, but also where I saw a couple of smaller movies that became favorites, including Resurrect Dead: The Mystery Of The Toynbee Tiles. (Available on Netflix streaming! Do it!)

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Monkey See
11:03 pm
Sat June 16, 2012

Can Men And Women Be Friends?

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 7:41 am

It's a question that kicks around endlessly without resolution: Can men and women really be just friends? On Weekend Edition Sunday, NPR's Rachel Martin talks to Faith Salie and Mario Correa, hosts of WNYC's RelationShow, about this very topic.

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Monkey See
11:32 am
Sat June 16, 2012

Cheap Date Saturday: 'Operation Cupcake' Versus 'Piranhaconda'

Dean Cain, left, in Operation Cupcake. The Piranhaconda, right, in Piranhaconda.
Hallmark/SyFy

Summertime, and the television is cheap as all get out. It's a time of reality shows and burned-off episodes and barely-publicized imports.

And it's a time of TV movies.

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Monkey See
4:08 am
Sat June 16, 2012

Explaining Muppet Theory: Are You An Ernie Or A Bert?

Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie in the 2005 Tournament of Roses Parade. They even look like a clash between Order and Chaos, don't they?
Matthew Simmons Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 12:22 pm

Most of the time, Slate's Dahlia Lithwick covers the Supreme Court. She's been doing that for the last 13 years. But recently, you may have seen her name floating around in connection with the piece she recently wrote that she discusses with Scott Simon on Saturday's Weekend Edition.

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Monkey See
10:14 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Pop Culture Happy Hour: A Week In Theater And A Day To Appreciate Dads

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Monkey See
7:54 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Let's Rush To Judgment: 'Pitch Perfect'

Well, I am clearly going to see this movie.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Monkey See
2:11 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Neil DeGrasse Tyson Investigates The Space Science Of Summer Movies

There's plenty of starfield action going on in Prometheus.
Twentieth Century Fox

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 8:56 am

If you make movies that have anything to do with science, please note: Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium, pays attention.

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Monkey See
10:44 am
Wed June 13, 2012

The Absolute Unvarnished Truth About The New And Rebooted 'Dallas'

Larry Hagman, as he must, returns to play J.R. Ewing in the rebooted version of Dallas.
Zade Rosenthal TNT

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 10:49 am

There is a certain honesty with which I believe critics must exist โ€” a willingness to look yourself in the eye. A willingness to say, "This is the absolute truth as I experienced it."

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Monkey See
7:48 am
Wed June 13, 2012

How We Talk About A Bacon Sundae

This is the bacon sundae.
Noel Barnhurst AP

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 1:32 pm

I come not to praise the Burger King bacon sundae, nor to bury it. I come merely to point out that sometimes, the particular flavor of contempt with which you choose to address something is as important as the contempt itself.

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Monkey See
9:57 am
Mon June 11, 2012

'Bunheads' Doesn't Need To Be Studied, Just Enjoyed

Sutton Foster stars in Bunheads, premiering Monday night on ABC Family.
Adam Taylor ABC Family

The advent of serious, thoughtful, artistically ambitious television has brought us many marvelous shows: Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Good Wife. And the growth of comedies with strong points of view has allowed oddball projects like 30 Rock and Community to emerge and earn praise.

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Monkey See
10:53 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Pop Culture Happy Hour: An Exploration Of Strange Creatures

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It's Prometheus week, and you know what that means: extraterrestrials. Specifically, the many different kinds of extraterrestrials you meet in the movies and on television. We generally divide them into a few categories, based on their levels of malevolence and evil.

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Monkey See
8:23 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Television Critics Association Nominees: 'Homeland' Comes Up Big In Its First Year

Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison in Homeland.
Kent Smith Showtime

The Television Critics Association (which I'm part of) has announced the nominees for its annual awards, which will be handed out during press tour in late July.

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Monkey See
8:56 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Why Every '70s Game Show Must Bow Down To 'Match Game'

The participants on an early episode ofร‚ Match Game, including Richard Dawson in the lower center position.
GSN

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Monkey See
7:27 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Lindsay Lohan As Elizabeth Taylor: Trying Again To Transform

Lindsay Lohan and Grant Bowler as Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.
Richard McLaren Lifetime

Lindsay Lohan has tried a lot of things to escape her own image, which has been battered for years by her legal, personal, and substance difficulties. You may remember that in 2008, she sat for a series of photos in New York Magazine specifically calling back to a Marilyn Monroe shoot six weeks before her death. (Some of those, by the way, are topless photos, so use your judgment if you look at them.)

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Monkey See
7:58 am
Mon June 4, 2012

'Push Girls': A Fresh Take On Women Riding On '26-Inch Rims'

Angela Rockwood has a photography shoot as she tries to get back into modeling on Sundance's Push Girls.
Diane Bondareff Sundance

Let's say this first: Popular television is bad at lots of things, and one of them is representations of people with disabilities. Even where they're present โ€“ Artie on Glee, or Walter, Jr. on Breaking Bad โ€“ they tend to be in isolation. When there's more than one person in a wheelchair, for instance, like when Jason Street was in rehab on Friday Night Lights, the story is usually about the disability itself.

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Monkey See
6:54 am
Sun June 3, 2012

What The MTV Movie Awards Get Right That The Oscars Don't

Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart accept the MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss (really!) at the 2010 ceremony.
Christopher Polk Getty Images

I admit it's a bold statement, suggesting that the most glamorous and prestigious awards ceremony Americans watch all year could learn something from an event that once had a category called "Biggest Badass Star." Certainly, I wouldn't want to see the Oscars replaced with the MTV Movie Awards, given that the first Twilight movie won five of them.

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Monkey See
4:43 am
Sat June 2, 2012

For Impressionist Jim Meskimen, The Voice Is 'A Sample Of Who We Are'

Jim Meskimen arrives at the premiere of Frost/Nixon in November 2008.
Vince Bucci Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 2, 2012 9:50 pm

Jim Meskimen is the only person I've ever heard open an interview with NPR's Scott Simon in the voice of NPR's Robert Siegel.

In fairness, he's the one most likely to do so, since he is a noted impressionist. He acknowledges "you don't see people doing their Robert Siegel in nightclubs much," though he's noted what he calls Siegel's "bemused kind of delivery."

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Monkey See
11:44 am
Fri June 1, 2012

John Edwards: Once More With (Or Without) Feeling, He Takes Full Responsibility

Former U.S. Sen. John Edwards addresses the media alongside his daughter Cate Edwards and his parents Wallace and Bobbie Edwards yesterday after the conclusion of his trial on campaign finance charges.
Sara D. Davis Getty Images

Yesterday, after being acquitted of one of six campaign finance fraud charges against him and seeing the jury deadlock on the other five, John Edwards held a brief press conference in which he said this:

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Monkey See
10:55 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Take Our Quiz On Truly Crazy Upcoming Summer Television

iStockphoto.com

On this week's episode of Pop Culture Happy Hour, our pop-culture roundtable podcast, I administered to my co-podcasters a quiz about summer television that explores not only how weird summer television is, but โ€” arguably โ€” how weird my brain is, since it required me to make up a lot of imaginary summer television that was designed to seem like it might be real.

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Monkey See
10:53 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Character Makeovers And Our Summer TV Quiz

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Monkey See
7:22 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Let's Rush To Judgment: 'Les Miserables'

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 10:44 am

Well, this is certainly not a timid way to put out your first trailer.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

'Huntsman': Into The Woods, With Nary A Hi-Ho

Dressed To Kill: Charlize Theron is a pointedly wicked Queen Ravenna in Snow White and the Huntsman.
Universal Pictures

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 10:03 am

What Charlize Theron does for Snow White and The Huntsman in her role as the Wicked Queen is a bit like what Godzilla does for a Godzilla movie: She gives you something big and distracting to look at while a lot of thinly defined victims run around frantically trying to avoid a grisly death at her hand.

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Monkey See
6:58 am
Thu May 31, 2012

It's The Day Of The National Spelling Bee Finals, A.K.A. Know-Nothing Thursday!

Kitty Shortt spells a word correctly during the third round of the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee yesterday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 9:39 am

The Scripps National Spelling Bee is down to the 50 semifinalists. Today at 10:00 Eastern, they'll compete in the semifinals (broadcast on ESPN2), and then tonight at 8:00, they'll hold the finals (broadcast on ESPN). You can also follow an online streaming version at ESPN online, but to be honest, it's an extremely cumbersome process that I haven't yet gotten to work for me.

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Monkey See
9:28 am
Tue May 29, 2012

'Mad Men': Ruminations On The Buying And Selling Of Something Beautiful

Joan (Christina Hendricks) had a tough week on Mad Men.
Jordin Althaus AMC

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 10:15 am

It probably speaks to the complexity of Mad Men that the same episode can be a highlight of the series for some and a lowlight for others. Sunday night's episode, "The Other Woman," instantly became a favorite of a lot of observers and writers, but for me, it was a rarity on Mad Men: a serious and profound misstep.

I would hope it's obvious that if you haven't seen Sunday's episode and plan to watch it, you should stop reading.

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Monkey See
2:03 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

'Route 66': A Country-Crisscrossing Series Comes To Home Video

Shout! Factory

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 3:24 pm

When you've seen a lot of movies where Toronto plays the part of New York, you come to appreciate location shooting. And on today's All Things Considered, you'll hear from the star of one of television's more ambitious series when it comes to location shooting: Route 66, which followed two guys around the country in a cool Corvette as they looked for a place to settle.

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Monkey See
10:59 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Pop Culture Happy Hour: On Endings And Road Trips

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On this week's show, we start with endings โ€” because we're ironic that way. Various shows have ended this spring, and we thought it was a good time to talk about how you wrap up a TV show, a book series, or whatever needs closure. The "visceral need for narrative closure"? We're on it. Whether it "satisfies you upon reflection"? We're on that, too.

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Monkey See
9:55 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Let's Rush To Judgment: Baz Luhrmann's 'The Great Gatsby' In 3-D

This week, we got our first look at the trailer for The Great Gatsby, the Baz Luhrmann 3-D extravaganza starring Tobey Maguire as Nick, Carey Mulligan as Daisy, and Leonardo DiCaprio as ... well, you know. It will come out at Christmas, so that gives us more than six months to make semi-informed predictions about its quality.

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