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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7:34am

Sun April 13, 2014
Monkey See

'Mad Men' Returns, Full Of Footnotes

As Mad Men returns for its seventh season, its entire sprawling cast has plenty to do.
Frank Ockenfels AMC

Imagine a scene in which a man is sitting on a park bench reading a book. A woman comes up and sits beside him. He looks up at her. She hands him a letter. "It's over," she says.

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11:36pm

Sun March 2, 2014
Monkey See

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

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

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

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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9:52am

Sun February 9, 2014
Monkey See

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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8:14am

Mon January 13, 2014
Monkey See

The Golden Globes Share The Wealth, Such As It Is

Hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were the hands-down highlight of the deeply silly Golden Globes.
NBC Universal Getty Images

Let us say this first: The Golden Globes are Hollywood culture at its most purely self-perpetuating. Given out by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a small group of journalists so gleefully obscure that there is usually a joke about how gleefully obscure they are, the Globes lack the gravitas of the Oscars, which is really saying something, given the fact that the Oscars lack the gravitas of the Tonys and the Tonys lack the gravitas of a halfway decent episode of Law & Order: SVU.

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2:31pm

Mon September 9, 2013
Monkey See

A Toronto Film Chat, From Two Jake Gyllenhaals To Three Daniel Radcliffes

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 3:20 pm

Jesse Eisenberg stars in The Double, which is screening at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Toronto International Film Festival

Bob Mondello and I took a break from our time at the Toronto International Film Festival today for a chat withAll Things Consideredand host Audie Cornish. We filled her in on just how many movies we've both seen, the surplus of stories about doppelgangers, the adventures of Daniel Radcliffe, and what we think are the early awards contenders.

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6:09am

Sat September 7, 2013
Monkey See

Toronto International Film Festival, Days One And Two

Irrfan Khan in The Lunchbox.
Toronto International Film Festival

Two days into the Toronto International Film Festival, I'm 10 films in. We'll talk more about all of these later, but it seemed only fair to share some basic impressions, since I'm certainly logging the seat time to earn them. So here are the 10 I've seen so far.

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6:20am

Mon July 22, 2013
Monkey See

20 Really Great Royal Baby Titles For Classy Parents

Marat Sirotyukov iStockphoto.com

Look, it's possible that I don't completely understand how British titles work. But it's 100 percent true that Prince William is also called Baron Carrickfergus. (You may Google that. I'll wait.)

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9:12am

Thu June 27, 2013
Monkey See

Why Paula Deen Can't Be A 'Food Network Star'

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 4:17 am

Seen here in 2009, Paula Deen recently lost her ongoing deal with Food Network.
Katy Winn AP

It's not the least bit surprising that Paula Deen lost her gig on The Food Network — and you don't have to believe she's a terrible person to know it. All you have to do is watch Food Network Star, the competition show that seeks a new network personality and sometimes finds one.

That's where they got Aarti Sequeira, who now hosts the Indian food show Aarti Party. It's where they got Aaron McCargo, Jr., who hosts Big Daddy's House. And Melissa d'Arabian, who hosts Ten Dollar Dinners, and Jeff Mauro, who calls himself "The Sandwich King."

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9:36am

Mon June 17, 2013
Monkey See

In Slight Defense Of Miss Utah USA, A Little Bit, With Reservations

Television personality and host Giuliana Rancic looks on as Miss Utah USA Marissa Powell answers a question from a judge during the interview portion of the 2013 Miss USA pageant on Sunday night.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

Look, Miss Utah USA, Marissa Powell, gave a pretty unimpressive answer to a question about income inequality at the Miss USA pageant. Let's all agree on that.

But what, exactly, did the circumstances call for?

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5:03am

Sun June 9, 2013
Monkey See

When Your Data Is Currency, What Does Your Privacy Cost?

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 8:59 am

iStockphoto.com

There was considerable mouth-dropping from publications such as The New York Times at initial reports this week that NSA programs are gathering both telephone records and information gleaned from large tech companies like Google and Microsoft. But as those reports have settled in, reactions have gotten more complex.

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3:15pm

Tue May 28, 2013
Monkey See

Comikaze: Not Just The Other Comic Convention

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 6:43 am

Last year's Comikaze, seen here in September 2012, attracted tens of thousands of attendees.
AP

You may be familiar with the San Diego Comic-Con, a constantly expanding convention for fans that started as a niche event for comic-book nerds and is now a sprawling pop-culture event.

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10:28am

Tue May 14, 2013
Monkey See

Why Angelina Jolie's Op-Ed Matters

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 1:34 pm

Angelina Jolie, seen here in April, wrote in The New York Times about her double mastectomy.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Pop culture does not mean celebrity culture; I have perhaps said this more often than anyone you're going to meet. Who dates, who gets a divorce, who has a tantrum, who has surreptitious photos snapped of him by mangy, grim opportunists — these things are not culture of any kind, popular or otherwise, unless there is something else at stake. They are curiosities, and given that we are curious creatures, their pull is not surprising, nor is it new, nor was it invented by the internet, or television, or Americans.

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11:29am

Tue April 16, 2013
Monkey See

Boston's Art Museums Offer Free Admission To Provide A 'Place Of Respite'

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 2:11 pm

The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston is offering free admission Tuesday.
Lisa Poole AP

UPDATE, 4:08 p.m.: In addition to the institutions mentioned below, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum has announced that admission will be free on Wednesday, April 17.

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12:16am

Mon April 15, 2013
Monkey See

Big Hair, Big Shoulders And Big Money: Linda Evans On '80s Excess

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 11:34 am

Joan Collins, John Forsythe and Linda Evans at a party celebrating the production of 150 episodes of Dynasty in 1986.
Reed Saxon AP

You may find a hint to the era in which you were born (as well as your taste in entertainment) in Linda Wertheimer's clarification that on the '80s nighttime soap Dynasty, actress Linda Evans played Krystle Carrington — Krystle with a K, that is. (And, she does not add, an L-E.) If that surprises you at all, you were almost surely not paying attention to the television of the 1980s, when Evans, John Forsythe and Joan Collins made up the wealthiest, nuttiest, most notorious and most rhinestone-covered love triangle ever bedazzled for prime time: Krystle, Blake and Alexis.

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8:51am

Wed April 10, 2013
Monkey See

Thank G-O-O-D-N-E-S-S: The National Spelling Bee Adds Meaning

Spellers wait to participate in the semi-finals of the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

As Eyder Peralta reported last night, the National Spelling Bee has made a big change to its rules.

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8:42am

Mon April 1, 2013
Monkey See

Viewer Discretion: Deciding When To Look Away

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 10:17 am

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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9:48am

Thu March 21, 2013
Monkey See

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

12:33am

Mon February 25, 2013
Monkey See

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

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

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

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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10:59am

Wed February 13, 2013
Monkey See

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

9:08am

Tue February 12, 2013
Monkey See

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

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

iStockphoto.com

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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