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
7:05 am
Thu March 6, 2014

David Cameron Calls, And The Internet Answers

Patrick Stewart jumped into a quick-growing meme on Wednesday night.
@sirpatstew

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 10:25 am

Oh, Internet.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Monkey See
8:14 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Oh, Donna: On Loving One Of Television's Great Women

Donna Meagle (Retta), seen with April Ludgate (Aubrey Plaza), is not a lady whose Mercedes you want to bump in a parking lot.
Colleen Hayes NBC

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 4:41 pm

Parks And Recreation features one of the most impeccable collections of characters ever assembled for one comedy. To a person, they are funny, human, beautifully realized, individual, and — perhaps most important — lovingly rendered.

But as much as I love everyone on that show, I will admit that I have a favorite, particularly when it comes to the characters on this particular show who are missing from practically every other show, and that's Donna Meagle, played by Retta.

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Monkey See
9:54 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Stages Of Winter Rage

A man shovels snow. He's probably around the middle one of all the stages of rage, we figure. Though if he were sobbing, you couldn't see it.
Lisa Kyle Young iStockphoto

[The following is a purely speculative, hypothetical story of winter. It corresponds to no actual meteorological data.]

October 20: Eeeeeeee! Snow in the forecast! Eeeeeeee!

October 21: I saw flakes! Here's an Instagram of flakes out my window! You can't really see them, but they're there, I promise! Flakes!

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Monkey See
11:36 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

Oscars 2014: Low On Laughs, But A Great Speech Or Two

At Sunday's Oscar ceremony, the feel-good win of the night came when 12 Years a Slave star Lupita Nyong'o took home the supporting-actress trophy.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 3, 2014 6:26 am

The big winner was 12 Years a Slave, but there was quite a bit of love to go around at Sunday night's Oscars. What there wasn't, as usual, was a lot of riveting television.

Sure, there was John Travolta squinting at the teleprompter and introducing Idina Menzel (to sing the Oscar-winning Best Original Song "Let It Go," from Frozen) as — no kidding — "Adele Dazeem." And there was a fun dance number featuring Pharrell Williams and his own Oscar-nominated "Happy," which he wore a formal black version of his Grammys hat to perform.

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Monkey See
6:59 am
Sun March 2, 2014

Oscar Spoiler Alert: What We Already Know About The Winners

Actress Lupita Nyong'o may very well win an Oscar Sunday night. And if she does, she will have gotten votes from people who can't be bothered to learn her name.
Gabriel Olsen Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 10:38 am

Sunday night's Oscars will include a Best Picture race that's apparently narrowed to three films: 12 Years A Slave, Gravity, and maybe American Hustle. Matthew McConaughey for Best Actor? Maybe. Or Leonardo DiCaprio? What about Cate Blanchett, a seeming shoo-in despite Meryl Streep delivering, in August Osage County, the biggest, chewiest, most Oscar-friendly performance of all time?

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Monkey See
6:02 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Nine Best Picture Nominees, Many Funny Faces, And A Couple Of Bonus Features

NPR

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 3:33 am

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Monkey See
3:57 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

What The Oscars Mean, And What They Don't

In Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity, one of nine best picture nominees in the running on Sunday night, Sandra Bullock plays an astronaut careening through space after an accident.
Warner Bros.

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 8:35 pm

On Friday's All Things Considered, Bob Mondello and I — fresh off our run of video salutes to Internet comments — chat with Melissa Block about what, if anything, is satisfying about the Oscars.

Bob points out the difficulty in bringing yourself to care about a contest that so often leaves out the worthiest contenders; I make the best case I can for Oscar season as a potential time of discovery; and we consider a couple of canards about best picture that might help you pick a winner.

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Monkey See
7:00 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Bob And Linda Read Internet Movie Reviews, Part Nine: '12 Years A Slave'

Bob And Linda Read Internet Movies Reviews
NPR

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 7:42 am

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Monkey See
6:25 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: The Oscars Omnibus Of 2014

NPR

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 9:41 am

  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

Sunday night, the Oscars will come around once again, and we'll be watching. But before we do, we got together with All Things Considered film critic, silly video partner, emoticon learner and all-around great pal Bob Mondello to talk about all nine of the Best Picture nominees: American Hustle, Dallas Buyers Club, Nebraska, Philomena, Her, Wolf Of Wall Street, 12 Years A Slave, Gravity, and Captain Phillips.

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Monkey See
1:42 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Hurts So Good: Getting A Kick Out Of A Movie Punch

Don't mess with Liam Neeson! He will get you with his phone! Or whatever else is handy! He will beat you up, is what we're saying.
Universal Pictures

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 7:34 am

My favorite parts of Non-Stop, in which Liam Neeson adds airplane bathrooms to the list of things out of which he has beaten the snot, are the silliest parts. The slow-motion parts. The gravity-defying parts. The parts where everybody in the audience cracks up, but not unkindly.

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Monkey See
6:46 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Bob And Linda Read Internet Movie Reviews, Part Seven: Dallas Buyers Club

Bob And Linda Read Internet Movie Reviews: Dallas Buyers Club
NPR

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 3:33 pm

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Monkey See
7:06 am
Mon February 24, 2014

A New Shine On Old Problems: How to Clean The Nastiest Stains

iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 8:01 pm

It's hard to take not one but two genres that are typically thought of as staples of old-fashioned "media for women" – the advice column and the collection of household hints – and make them feel at all relevant to women now, who may or may not have time for all the fussing that perfect housekeeping ideally entails and may or may not live lives in which it's their responsibility, or their priority.

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Monkey See
9:08 pm
Sun February 23, 2014

Oh, Lady Edith

Laura Carmichael as Lady Edith, whose rather appalling luck seems destined to follow her.
Nick Briggs PBS

[This piece contains information about the plot of Downton Abbey, up to and including Sunday night's fourth-season finale.]

Another season of Downton Abbey has come to a close, and once again, Lady Edith is unlucky. Unlucky in love, unlucky in life. She's unluckier than Bates, and he went to jail for something he didn't do, for what certainly felt like a really, really long time. She's unluckier than Matthew, and he's quite deceased.

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Monkey See
11:36 am
Thu February 20, 2014

If You Like The Old 'About A Boy,' You May Not Like The New 'About A Boy'

Benjamin Stockham as Marcus and David Walton as Will in NBC's adaptation of About A Boy.
Jordin Althaus NBC

If you're familiar with the Nick Hornby book or the 2002 film of About A Boy, you will find that what has been kept in the new TV adaptation, coming Saturday night in a preview to NBC, is the clichéd skeleton of the story: a lazy, glib bachelor befriending the child of a single mom and learning how not to be such a selfish baby. Child-averse jerk and wisecracking moppet: a well-worn dynamic that animated, among other things, the early stages of Two And A Half Men.

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Monkey See
3:57 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

The Beauty Of Spilling Your Sad Teenage Guts

I read Pam Ribon's Notes To Boys: And Other Things I Shouldn't Share In Public in a few sittings, but the longest stretch I consumed where one should ideally read this book: in a bubble bath. The calming atmosphere is good for the anxiety that comes from seeing a woman excavate her teenage brain, the vulnerability builds the empathy it takes to understand how terrified all these boys she was writing to must have felt, and if you get too mortified for her, you can always elect to go down the drain with the bathwater just to escape.

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Monkey See
6:20 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Tiny Plastic Men And The Teenage Blues

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

We're encased in ice as we prepare to send you this show, but when we taped it, our hearts were warm from enjoying The Lego Movie, also known as "I'm sure it's good, but is it really that good?" We'll try to get to the bottom of whether it really is that good, and we'll talk about the super-terrific Chris Pratt, the wonderful Will Arnett, and whether — as has already been suggested — this might be one of the truly great Batman movies.

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Monkey See
7:55 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Bob And Linda Read Internet Movie Reviews, Part 4: 'Gravity'

NPR

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 11:26 am

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Monkey See
7:34 am
Wed February 12, 2014

How Indie Star Greta Gerwig Met Her New CBS Sitcom

Greta Gerwig, seen here at the Berlinale International Film Festival last week, is coming to a CBS pilot.
Ian Gavan Getty Images

News broke last night that Greta Gerwig, most recently admired for Frances Ha, which she starred in and co-wrote with director Noah Baumbach, will star in (and co-produce) a comedy pilot for CBS.

Not just any comedy pilot, though: Gerwig is working on How I Met Your Dad, a parallel to the concluding How I Met Your Mother from the same producers, Carter Bays and Craig Thomas.

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Monkey See
7:04 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Bob And Linda Read Internet Movie Reviews, Part 3: 'Wolf Of Wall Street'

NPR

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 3:37 pm

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Monkey See
10:31 am
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
9:52 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
4:44 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 11:36 am

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Monkey See
10:06 pm
Fri February 7, 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
7:54 am
Fri February 7, 2014

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

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

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
8:46 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
7:50 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 9:56 am

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Monkey See
6:33 am
Tue February 4, 2014

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

NPR

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 3:46 pm

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Monkey See
9:35 am
Mon February 3, 2014

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

Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 10:34 am

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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