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
8:07 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Building The 'Issue' Documentary: On Surveillance And South Africa

Albie Sachs is the subject of the documentary Soft Vengeance, which played at the AFI DOCS festival this weekend.
AFI DOCS

What used to be Silverdocs, the week-long documentary festival in downtown Silver Spring, Md., is now AFI DOCS, a four-day festival split between Silver Spring and a variety of D.C. venues.

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Monkey See
8:45 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Buddy Movies And First Impressions

NPR

This week, the recent opening of 22 Jump Street — among many others — gets us talking about the buddy film. Not just the buddy-cop movie, but the buddy-frat movie, the depressingly rare female-buddy movie, and whatever else they come up with to create what Glen calls "the background noise of American popular culture." We talk about whether the straight-man/comic dynamic is going away, the long history of buddies, and the "bromance" idea with which not all of us are entirely comfortable.

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Monkey See
11:08 am
Wed June 18, 2014

The Work Of The Devil

Allison Tolman as Molly Solverson and Bob Odenkirk as Bill Oswalt in Fargo.
Chris Large FX

[This piece about the first season of the TV show Fargo will discuss events that took place on the first season of the TV show Fargo.]

The biggest difference between the movie Fargo and the TV show Fargo (which ended its first season Tuesday night) is the devil. One of the charms of Fargo the film is that it has no devil — it focuses on the follies of the weak, the empty, those who have stuffing where a conscience ought to be.

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Monkey See
8:35 am
Mon June 16, 2014

The Spoiler-Free 'Game Of Thrones' Twitter Translator

Emilia Clarke as this beautiful blonde lady who may or may not one day be murdered on HBO's Game of Thrones. If she is, Twitter will tell you.
Helen Sloan HBO

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 9:55 am

Despite watching a great deal of television — highbrow, lowbrow, middlebrow — I don't watch Game of Thrones. I have never been a fantasy fan, I can't tolerate extensive world-building without nodding off, I don't gravitate toward stories about epic wars, and I'm not particularly drawn by either nudity or innard-splattering. I watched more than half of the first season, I think, but I eventually reached a point in which my brain emphatically said, "This is not going to get better for us."

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Monkey See
12:44 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Christopher Walken Tells Jon Stewart About Tap Dance Cops ... Again

On Thursday night, Christopher Walken told Jon Stewart that he's from Queens, and where he grew up, it's common for police officers to send their kids to tap school. You'll hear the story at the 5:40 mark.

This story sounded awfully familiar, despite how shocked and delighted Jon Stewart seemed. Stewart, in fact, responded like he was hearing it for the very first time, even though ... well. Head to the 2:00 mark.

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Monkey See
7:48 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Edge Of Tomorrow' And Noble Flops

NPR

If you're looking for a movie to see this weekend, may we recommend a movie you may not have seen last weekend?

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Monkey See
6:54 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Good News, Glamour-Likers: More 'Miss Fisher' To Come

Good to see you, Miss: Phryne Fisher will return for a third series of her Australian detective show.
Ben King Acorn

Let us begin this Friday with some unabashed joy: the Australian show Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, adored by many a fan of glamorous lady detectives, smoldering fellows, sexual freedom and fantastic outfits, will return for a third series, according to the show's Facebook page.

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Monkey See
8:34 am
Mon June 9, 2014

Hugh Jackman Jumps; Tony Viewers Say, 'What?'

Hugh Jackman gave it all he had at Sunday night's Tony Awards.
Heather Wines CBS

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 2:43 pm

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Monkey See
8:21 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Seeing Books Everywhere And Moments Of Grief

NPR

This week's show brings back our friend Petra Mayer of NPR Books. Like me, Petra is fresh off a trip to Book Expo America (a/k/a BEA, FYI), where we both heard about a whole lot of new books. We'll mention some of the titles (though in many cases we haven't actually received the books yet), and we'll try to give you a sense of how this enormous trade show followed by a fan event actually works.

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Monkey See
8:40 am
Thu June 5, 2014

The Muscle-Flexing, Mind-Blowing Book Girls Will Inherit The Earth

iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 9:14 am

The first ever BookCon, planned as an extension of the mega trade show Book Expo America by the same people who do Comic-Con, took place last weekend. It was headlined by, among other things, a robust diversity debate that bloomed on social media around the hashtag #WeNeedDiverseBooks. But it also functioned as an impressive, invigorating show of force for one of the most important nascent cultural interest groups we have: the Book Girls.

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Monkey See
7:31 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Godzilla' And Things That Got Better

NPR

First of all: LIVE SHOW TICKETS! (On sale June 2 — that's a week from this coming Monday — at noon Eastern.)

Just wanted to put that up there; we'll get back to it.

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Monkey See
1:14 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

'Batman V Superman': A Legal Thriller (We Hope)

Henry Cavill played Superman in Man Of Steel and will return to go to court with Batman (we hope) next year.
Clay Enos Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 1:52 pm

We learned today that the upcoming sequel to Man Of Steel will be called Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice.

This is interesting for several reasons. First of all, "Dawn Of Justice" sounds like a dirty movie about sheriffs. Second of all, "Dawn Of Justice" sounds like it precedes the Morning Of Reckoning, the Afternoon Of Relief, the Dusk Of Regret, the Evening Of Resignation, and the Hot Muggy Midnight Of History Repeating Itself, all leading up to Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice: The Next Day.

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Monkey See
11:02 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Be Wary And Bury The Very Scary 'I Wanna Marry Harry'

This is Matt. He looks slightly more like Prince Harry than you do.
Chris Raphael Fox

Gather round, children, and I will tell you of a dark time. A cruel time.

It was a time when reality dating shows were even worse than they are now.

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Monkey See
8:00 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Fairy Tales And A Fall TV Quiz

A drawing of a snoozing Sleeping Beauty.
iStockphoto.com

We could not be happier to bring back our friend Barrie Hardymon, who's out in California but still made time to come and chat with us. In recognition that we are soon to see the live-action Maleficent coming from Disney, we chat about fairy tales. "These are stories we tell our kids to get them to abandon us," Glen says. "We're giving them the psychic armor, the psychic tools, to say goodbye." We talk about old fairy tales, Disney-fied versions, and Glen's recognition that Germany hasn't had an easy time of it with their own versions.

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Monkey See
9:19 am
Wed May 14, 2014

An Interview With The Alleged Purse Of Solange Knowles

Solange Knowles attends the Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 5.
Larry Busacca Getty Images

This is the third in a very occasional series of posts in which we interview inanimate objects during fever dreams.

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Monkey See
12:57 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

A First Glimpse: Sometimes You're The Batmobile, Sometimes You're The Bat

Today, Zack Snyder, the director of Batman vs. Superman, due in 2016, tweeted what he said was the first photo of the Batmobile. Beside it is ... Batman! Or, as Snyder put it, "#Batman." Because that's what we do now instead of using our words.

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Monkey See
8:51 am
Mon May 12, 2014

The Comb, The Thrill And The Flop

Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze's 1851 painting "Washington Crossing the Delaware" seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2012.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Saturday at about 10:30 in the morning, as New York took a turn for the muggy in what turned out to be anticipation of rain, I climbed the steps to the Metropolitan Museum Of Art and rented one of the audio guide units that hang around your neck on an orange strap. I stayed about five hours, wearing out the battery on the audio unit and turning it in for another, wandering from the Egyptian art into the Temple of Dendur, through European sculptures to Arms and Armor and the American Wing, through Oceania, Africa and the Americas.

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Monkey See
10:41 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Daniel Radcliffe And The Blood And Breath Of Live Theater

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 1:55 pm

There is a strong crossover between your Daniel Radcliffe People and your Harry Potter People, for obvious reasons. Next to me at Broadway's Cort Theater on Thursday night, watching Radcliffe in Martin McDonagh's comedy The Cripple Of Inishmaan (a production that's Tony-nominated for Best Revival Of A Play) were three young women. Their first priority: finding out where to await him when the show was over, and strategically how to get a good spot.

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Monkey See
9:19 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Star Wars,' 'Louie' And Other Phenomena

NPR

We're joined this week by the lovely Petra Mayer of NPR Books, who brings her serious sci-fi and fandom chops to our opening chat about the big Star Wars news.

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Monkey See
8:19 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Once More Into The Jaws Of The TV Dinosaur Known As Upfrontasaurus

Look, this is a dinosaur, okay? It could be any dinosaur. It has sunglasses on. We're not in scientific reality. Don't ask specific dinosaur questions.
iStockphoto

Next week, the broadcast networks — ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and the CW — will make their upfront presentations in New York. (There are some scattered cable ones too, like ESPN and TNT/TBS.) This is where they present their new shows, in the form of clips and sizzle reels, to advertisers. From a business perspective, it's really important in the same way that any sales pitch is really important: they sell ads, they make money, and when they get the advertising people excited, a show becomes a presumed frontrunner before it even premieres.

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Monkey See
8:09 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Posthumous Projects And People We're Pulling For

NPR

This week's show finds us chatting with our pal Gene Demby of NPR's Code Switch about, among other things, posthumous projects. There are still films coming out from Paul Walker and Philip Seymour Hoffman, there's an upcoming release of Michael Jackson recordings, and life after death for musicians is practically a tradition. We talk about Kafka, J Dilla, David Foster Wallace, and the ethics of piecing together work that was unfinished or perhaps even abandoned when the artist is no longer around to say yes or no.

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Monkey See
7:07 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Comedy, The News And A Bat Quiz

NPR

All Things Considered host Audie Cornish joins us this week for an episode full of tough questions, comedy theory, and some really surprising information about all the ways that Batman has gotten weird over the last 75 years.

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Monkey See
2:33 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

A Punching Movie That Packs A Punch For People Who Like Punching

Paul Walker stars in Brick Mansions.
Relativity Media

It is never not awkward to talk about a film after one of the stars has died. That's perhaps never any more true than it is in the case of Brick Mansions, one of the last films of Paul Walker. Walker died in November of last year after a career that included a lot of movies like this one: silly, hyper action thrillers that often included, as this one does, moments in which everybody in the theater chortled at their insane, cartoonish brutality.

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Monkey See
10:58 am
Thu April 24, 2014

'The Other Woman': When Terrible Movies Happen To Funny Actresses

Leslie Mann, Nicki Minaj, Cameron Diaz and Kate Upton have nothing to do in The Other Woman.
Barry Wetcher Twentieth Century Fox

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 7:19 am

There is a moment in The Other Woman in which Leslie Mann and Cameron Diaz, playing a wife and her husband's former mistress — now friends — fall into a hedge together. When they're spotted, there's a little bit of physical business that's legitimately funny. If you can ignore the fact that the moments of this kind scattered through the film are decorating such a conceptually odious, stupid-to-the-bone enterprise, some of them may make you laugh.

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Monkey See
7:47 am
Wed April 23, 2014

What Do 'The Simpsons' Look Like In Lego?

The Simpsons enters the world of Lego in the upcoming episode "Brick Like Me."
Fox

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 8:26 am

Fox has started to release images of the Simpsons from the upcoming episode "Brick Like Me," which is — get this — the 550th episode. That means you could watch a different episode of The Simpsons every day for roughly a year and a half, weekends and weekdays, before you ran out of new ones.

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Monkey See
8:22 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Shirley, This Is The Dawn Of A New 'Mad Men'

Teyonah Parris as Dawn Chambers, whose future changed quite a bit on Sunday night's Mad Men.
Jordin Althaus AMC

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 9:33 am

[This post discusses the plot of Sunday night's episode.]

Once Mad Men moved into the early-middle part of the 1960s, people began to ask an increasingly urgent question: Where was the civil rights movement? Where were the black people? Was Sterling Cooper (Draper Pryce) (And Partners) really so sheltered that race barely touched its tiny world?

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Monkey See
12:11 pm
Sun April 20, 2014

From 'Field Of Dreams' To 'Draft Day': Who Cares About The Front Office?

Kevin Costner warms up to pitch in the 1989 film Field Of Dreams.
The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 10:23 am

Sports movies were powerful once. In the '80s and '90s, there were hits about football, baseball, basketball, hockey, boxing, karate – and they were movies about teams and players and coaches, not scouts and executives.

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Movie Reviews
7:12 am
Sat April 19, 2014

'Say Anything,' Still Full Of Guileless Affection

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 10:44 am

Transcript

WADE GOODWYN, HOST:

Twenty-five years ago, Lloyd Dobler raised a boombox over his head and changed the world of movie boyfriends forever.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "IN YOUR EYES")

PETER GABRIEL: (Singing) All my instincts, they return...

GOODWYN: Linda Holmes, of our pop culture blog "Monkey See," was a teenager when she first saw the film "Say Anything..." She says all these years later, she has a new appreciation of it.

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Monkey See
10:15 am
Fri April 18, 2014

So, 'Scandal' Writers, How Did You Write That Awful Wrist Thing?

Kerry Washington, Shonda Rhimes and Jim Rash chat about how Scandal is written on Sundance's The Writers' Room.
JC Dhien Sundance Channel

Sundance has been making strides in scripted television with series like Rectify and Top Of The Lake, but Friday night also brings back a charming little interview show they have — sort of a perfect Friday night show, actually.

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Monkey See
2:36 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Tatiana Maslany On Looking Herself In The Eye

Tatiana Maslany plays Sarah, as well as some other characters, on BBC America's Orphan Black.
Steve Wilkie BBC America

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 10:10 am

Tatiana Maslany plays Sarah — and some other people — on BBC America's sci-fi show Orphan Black. On Friday's Morning Edition, she speaks to Kelly McEvers about how she manages to play all those different women from different cultural backgrounds, not to mention women with different mixes of malevolence and likability. Technically, it's no picnic: Just ask the tennis ball that sometimes plays her head.

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