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
1:38 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

'Veronica Mars' And The Bad Caterpillar Theory

In the movie, Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell) is a recent law school grad living in New York when an old flame — Logan Echolls — calls her back to her home town of Neptune, Calif.
Robert Voets Courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 2:57 pm

[CAUTION: Contains information about both show and movie. Be warned.]

The story of the Veronica Mars movie has already become the insta-cook version of a legend: creator and star band together for Kickstarter campaign to add chapter to cult series, fans rally, movie gets made.

Does it really matter whether it's a good movie? Maybe not. Maybe wondering whether it's good is the equivalent of critiquing a bobblehead handed out at Comic-Con: it's supposed to make people who loved something nostalgically happy; if it makes them happy, who cares?

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Monkey See
6:41 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: The Naked And The Nerds

NPR
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A while ago, we devoted a segment to the matter of profanity, and now, as summer follows spring and spring (supposedly) follows winter, we are moving on to the issue of nudity. When is it decorative? When is it exploitation? And how would they see all of this from Europe?

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Monkey See
7:44 am
Thu March 13, 2014

A Peek At The New Season Of 'Orange Is The New Black'

Taylor Schilling in a scene from Netflix's Orange Is The New Black.
Jessica Miglio Netflix

We don't know a whole lot about the upcoming season of Orange Is The New Black, but Netflix put out three images today that might give you something to at least chew on. It certainly appears that we'll be picking up where we left off, in a very immediate sense.

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

Monkey See
7:22 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Hal Douglas, The Voice Of Many, Many Movie Trailers, Dies At 89

Movie trailers have changed a lot, and if you show a teenager now a trailer from (for instance) 1997, it will seem almost comedically anachronistic and corny.

But this is how, for many years, we got excited about the movies. And these growly narrations — which were recently the subject of Lake Bell's fine comedy In A World — were a big part of that excitement.

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Monkey See
8:03 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Every Reality Show Is A True Story, And Other 'Bachelor' Lessons

This is what "I didn't pick you" looks like, coming from Bachelor Juan Pablo. Sorry, Clare.
Rick Rowell ABC

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 6:10 pm

Every reality show is an entirely true story.

It is not the story that it claims to be — the story of two tribes building a new civilization, the story of America's search for its next superstar — but it is a true story nevertheless. It is, or at least it contains, the true story of the conception, creation, marketing, viewing, analyzing and evolution over time of a piece of entertainment that lives in the swampy, foggy, half-real version of the truth that it creates.

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Monkey See
7:53 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Part Beauty, Part Hooey: That's A Wrap On 'True Detective'

Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) had a lot to say about life, philosophy and beer on HBO's True Detective, which wrapped its first season Sunday night.
Lacey Terrell HBO

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 11:26 am

[This piece contains a detailed discussion of Sunday night's True Detective finale. If you haven't seen it and you plan to see it and you don't want to know what happens, stop reading.]

[Seriously, information ahoy.]

Spoiler alert: The dirty-faced, crazy-talking, disheveled impoverished guy did it.

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Monkey See
6:45 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: The Oscars, 'Drag Race' And Shut-Ins Edition

NPR

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 9:11 am

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When we taped this show on Tuesday, we had all had quite a lot of the Oscars, to be honest. And we secretly suspect that with the all-out pile-on that continues for months before the ceremony, you might not require an all-out assault on the whole thing. So this week, you'll hear a quick wrap-up of how we felt about the hosting, some of the speeches, some of the great moments of Adele Nazeem-ing it up, and then we'll bid the entire thing farewell until next year. Next year, Oscars.

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Monkey See
8:40 am
Thu March 6, 2014

A First Look At Quvenzhané Wallis In The New 'Annie'

Quvenzhané Wallis in Annie.
Screenshot

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 10:23 am

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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

This year, we wanted to look back at the nine best picture nominees and remind ourselves — and you — that reactions to film are complicated, hilariously varied and wonderfully individual. So we looked over every comment for every nominee at RottenTomatoes.com, and we brought you some of our favorites.

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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
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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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