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
10:18 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Death And Dyeing: Five Thoughts About The Return Of 'Mad Men'

Jon Hamm as Don Draper on Mad Men.
Michael Yarish AMC

1. The symbolism was a bit heavy-handed. It's frustrating that Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner doesn't trust viewers of the show enough to allow symbolism to live in an episode as suggestion and not insistence. The Mad Men audience is small and self-selecting; it is made up of people who choose to watch a show that requires attention and rewards patience.

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Monkey See
11:03 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Let's Rush To Judgment: 'Grown Ups 2'

Tracy Bennett Sony Pictures

This is an experiment with a minimalist approach to the Let's Rush To Judgment post.

Presumably, the jokes in this trailer are the best jokes in the movie.

That is all.

Monkey See
9:46 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: In The Long Run

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On this week's extremely punchy round-table podcast, once we cover our most important landmark of the week, Stephen Thompson gets through some preposterous claims loosely connected to this video and we get on the topic of

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Monkey See
4:03 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Remembering Roger Ebert

Film critic Roger Ebert, seen here in 2009, died Thursday.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 7:37 am

There's always been Roger Ebert. And when I read that he had died Thursday, that's what caught in my throat. Not just sadness, but bafflement. I don't understand. There's always been Roger Ebert.

This will be the first night in my life I go to bed and he's not out there thinking about movies. And perhaps it's an odd description of sadness, but: It's weird.

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Monkey See
8:43 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Putting Late Night In Perspective: Under The Massive Boot Of Judge Judy

Judge Judy Sheindlin, seen here in 2006, presides over a case as bailiff Petri Hawkins Byrd listens.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 12:36 pm

While we go on about the Johnnys, Jimmys, Daves, Jays, Conans, and additional Jimmys of the late-night wars, where was Joe? Specifically, where was the enormous media coverage of the end of Judge Joe Brown?

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Monkey See
6:21 am
Thu April 4, 2013

'Arrested Development' Comes Back On Netflix On May 26, So Get Extra Sleep Now

Jeffrey Tambor, left, and Jason Bateman appear in a scene from the comedy Arrested Development, which returns with new episodes on Netflix on May 26.
AP

Netflix has announced that the new "anthology" season of Arrested Development will arrive — all 15 episodes at once — on May 26. The show, which ran on Fox from 2003 to 2006 and won an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series, will bring back its entire cast, including Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, Jeffrey Tambor, Michael Cera, David Cross, and many, many more.

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Monkey See
10:17 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Viewer Discretion: Deciding When To Look Away

The Louisville Cardinals huddle up on the court after teammate Kevin Ware injured his leg in the first half against the Duke Blue Devils on Sunday.
Streeter Lecka Getty Images

I was out of the house, as it happens, for most of the first half of yesterday's Louisville-Duke game, and when I got home and looked at Twitter, before I turned on the TV, there was a huge stack of stuff to read, and the first thing that caught my attention about the game was this.

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Monkey See
10:20 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Moody Mysteries And More Punching Bags

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On this week's show, Glen and I are joined not only by our producer Jess Gitner, but also by a new face for PCHH: NPR Books editor Petra Mayer, whom you may very well know as much of the voice of our books team on social media.

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Monkey See
6:37 am
Thu March 28, 2013

The Good News Is That We Know 'Idol' Is Really Live Now

Michael Becker Fox

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 8:56 am

Last night on American Idol was Motown Night, when we all learned that Motown songs (like "I Heard It Through The Grapevine") should all be sung as seriously as possible, wearing a scowl, with all the fun sucked out. (And that was a performance that was pretty good.) It's in keeping with this season, in which melodramatic ballads have dominated even more than usual.

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Monkey See
9:14 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Kickstarter TV And Comedy Contests

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On this week's show, the regular band is back together, and I am a rock. I am an island.

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Monkey See
9:48 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Here We Go Again: Leno, Fallon, And Why The Late-Night Wars Are So Boring

Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon pose in the press room during the Golden Globe Awards in January.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

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Monkey See
9:48 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Men Are From Mars, Women ... Love Cup Holders?

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 10:37 am

When you read the words of Clotaire Rapaille, a "French-born psychiatrist-turned-marketer" quoted in yesterday's interesting Slate article about the marketing of cars to women, it's hard not to read them in a voice that's sultry and French and not entirely serious, as if he's some kind of sales expert crossed with Pepe Le Pew (despite the fact that this doubtless has no basis in reality).

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Monkey See
10:41 am
Mon March 18, 2013

'The Simpsons' Better Than 'Cheers'? It Is To Laugh

Ted Danson, playing the role of bartender Sam Malone, keeps Rhea Perlman, playing waitress Carla Tortelli, under control as Shelley Long, portraying Diane Chambers, left, returns to the set of Cheers during taping of the final episode in 1993.
Mark Terrill AP

For the last couple of weeks, Vulture has been running a "Sitcom Smackdown," a contest between 16 sitcoms of the last 30 years to determine an eventual champion.

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Monkey See
9:48 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Are Romantic Comedies Dead?

Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant in Bringing Up Baby.
AP

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 6:45 am

The March issue of The Atlantic features an essay from Christopher Orr called "Why Are Romantic Comedies So Bad?"* In it, Orr asserts that romantic comedies have been "lackluster for decades." Decades.

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Monkey See
11:43 pm
Sun February 24, 2013

The Oscars Broadcast, Zooming Way Past Cheeky To Land Squarely On Crass

Adele performs the theme song to "Skyfall."
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 2:36 pm

If you like Argo (which won Best Picture), the movie Chicago (which made a couple of appearances) and jokes about women (which just kept coming), you probably had a substantially better night than the average viewer, who was subjected to Seth MacFarlane's delivery of one of the worst hosting performances in Oscar history.

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Monkey See
8:16 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Our Oscars Omnibus

The tiger shows his toughness in Ang Lee's Life Of Pi.
20th Century Fox

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 9:27 am

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In an instance of truth in advertising, this week's NPR round-table pop-culture podcast offers almost a full hour of mostly Oscars analysis. All four of us saw all nine Best Picture contenders, so we'll be covering everything from what happened when Stephen Thompson finally sat down to watch Les Miserables after quoting the featurette for months to Glen's surprising theories about Amour. (Very surprising.)

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Monkey See
7:42 am
Thu February 21, 2013

'Argo' Is The Best Picture Frontrunner, But Why?

John Goodman, Alan Arkin and actor-director Ben Affleck in Argo.
Claire Folger AP

Programming Note: Sunday night, we'll be live-blogging the Academy Awards here at NPR.org, and the Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me! team will be covering the red-carpet fashions, so be sure to join us to share your thoughts and see whether Affleck, Argo, and Daniel Day-Lewis have the big nights predicted for them.

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Monkey See
8:12 am
Fri February 15, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Justin Timberlake, LL Cool J And The Presidency

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This week's show was taped while Stephen and I were still recovering from live-blogging the Grammy Awards on Sunday night, so that was still fresh in our minds. Trey and Glen saw the show as well, so we spend some time this week talking about the awards, the performances, and whether we learned anything. You will experience my new way of tormenting Stephen, and perhaps you'll want to join in!

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Monkey See
10:59 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Rubio's Water Bottle And The Authenticity Craving

In this frame grab from video, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio takes a sip of water during his Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday.
AP

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Monkey See
9:08 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Ten Clues That The Zombie Outbreak Being Announced On Your Television Is Not A Hoax

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 12:25 pm

As reported on Tuesday's Morning Edition, KRTV in Great Falls, Mont., was apparently the victim of hackers who broke in and broadcast a warning of attacking zombies. The station now says that it was a hoax, fortunately.

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Monkey See
9:26 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Halftime Shows And Love Stories

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When it's early-mid February, the mind naturally turns to those fundamentals of the good life: love and football.

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Monkey See
8:15 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Remembering Central Park Birder Starr Saphir: 'Time Has A Different Meaning'

Starr Saphir, seen here at an HBO event in 2012, died on Tuesday.
Michael Loccisano Getty Images/HBO

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Monkey See
8:55 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Get Severance: Interview With An Iron

The Monopoly iron token that was replaced by the new cat token.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 4:07 pm

Wednesday, Hasbro announced that it was welcoming a new member of the Monopoly-token family. And because it asked the Internet, it wound up with a cat. (For whatever reason, the Internet was not offered Gotye or a bacon cupcake.)

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Monkey See
6:56 am
Mon February 4, 2013

That Was A Great Blackout Last Night

Kicker David Akers of the San Francisco 49ers waits during a power outage that occurred in the third quarter that caused a 34-minute delay during Super Bowl XLVII.
Ezra Shaw Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 9:38 am

Great blackout last night, right?

It's been clear for some time that substantially more people watch the Super Bowl than have the slightest interest in watching the actual football game. That's why there's such hubbub over the halftime show and the commercials — it gives non-football types something to pay attention to instead of football.

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Monkey See
6:23 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Choosing Sides: How To Pick Between The Ravens And The 49ers

Sourdough Sam, the mascot for the San Francisco 49ers, looks on in January 2012.
Doug Pensinger Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 8:13 am

Headlines were circulating last week about how, as Slate put it, "almost everybody" is rooting for the San Francisco 49ers over the Baltimore Ravens in Sunday's Super Bowl. Of course, it turns out that what this actually meant was more like "substantially more than half of the area of the country is included within counties in which more people like the 49ers on Facebook than like the Ravens on Facebook."

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Monkey See
9:59 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: '30 Rock,' Getting Meta, And The PCHH FAQ

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In case a thousand thousands of internet words haven't informed you, last night was the final episode of 30 Rock, and in addition to taking a moment to appreciate the show itself, we decided to use it as a jumping-off point for a discussion of "meta" humor — what it is, when it works, and when it just comes off like a crutch. You might be surprised to hear meta traced all the way back to childhood, but hey, that's what we're here for.

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Monkey See
7:15 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Morning Shots: Lois Lane Has An iPad, And Linda Gray Has A Story About Her Leg

iStockphoto.com

Does Lois Lane's iPad mean that Zack Snyder's approach to Superman will be fresher and more modern than people are expecting? [The Guardian]

Too much? Too little? How much information are you supposed to hand out in a movie trailer anyway? [The New York Times]

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Monkey See
10:04 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Doing The Work: What '30 Rock' Meant For Women On Television

Tina Fey as Liz Lemon.
Ali Goldstein NBC

I have never considered Liz Lemon a feminist icon of any kind, nor have I ever considered 30 Rock especially strong when it comes to gender politics.

I don't care for the obsessive joke-making about how Liz is ugly/mannish/old/awkward, and I haven't always been comfortable with the way some of the "she's baby-crazy!" or "she's relationship-crazy!" comedy has played. I was ambivalent about the way the Jezebel parody and the "women aren't funny" storylines were executed.

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Monkey See
7:55 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Coastal Snobbery, 'The Masses,' And Respecting The Lowest Common Denominator

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 10:03 am

There are three phrases that are almost always bad news for a piece of cultural writing.

They are:

1. "The masses."

2. "Middle America."

3. "The lowest common denominator."

All three are ways to separate the writer and her sensibility — which are presumed to be congruent with the reader and her sensibility — from invisible and undefined others, for whom bad cultural content is produced and by whom it is unquestioningly gobbled up.

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Monkey See
10:04 am
Tue January 29, 2013

How '30 Rock' Found Its Tone When Liz Lemon Didn't Marry Her Cousin

Tina Fey as Liz Lemon on NBC's 30 Rock.
Ali Goldstein NBC

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 12:49 pm

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