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.

Linda 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.

Linda 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.

Linda's work has also appeared on Vulture (New York magazine's entertainment blog), in TV Guide and in many, many legal documents.

Linda lives in Takoma Park, Md., where she devotes herself to her nephews, her scruffy friends and perfecting her recipe for iced coffee.

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6:13pm

Tue June 16, 2015
Books

The Heat Is On With These Summer Romance Novels

Originally published on Fri June 19, 2015 5:16 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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10:00am

Mon May 11, 2015
Monkey See

The End Of 'American Idol'

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 2:23 pm

Ryan Seacrest (from left), Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban
Matthias Vriens-McGrath Fox

[Note: Listen to the audio above to hear a conversation I had with Pop Culture Happy Hour team member Stephen Thompson about the end of the show.]

Ahead of its fall programming presentation to advertisers in the afternoon, Fox announced Monday that the 15th season of American Idol, which will begin in January 2016, will be the last.

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10:31am

Mon March 30, 2015
Monkey See

5 Thoughts On Trevor Noah Taking Over 'The Daily Show'

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 12:03 pm

Seen here in 2012, Trevor Noah was announced Monday as the new host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central.
Getty Images

6:09pm

Fri March 27, 2015
Movies

'The Breakfast Club' At 30: '80s Classic Still Relatable Today

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 8:07 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE BREAKFAST CLUB")

ANTHONY MICHAEL HALL: (As Brian Johnson) You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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12:58pm

Tue March 24, 2015
Monkey See

Here Comes 'The X-Files,' Back For More Mulder, More Scully, And More

Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny will reprise their roles as Dana Scully and Fox Mulder in The X-Files limited series.
Fox Broadcasting Getty Images

Everything old really is new again. Even aliens.

Fox announced today that The X-Files, which ran on television from 1993 until 2002 and was accompanied by feature films in 1998 and 2008, will be back as a six-episode "event series," with production beginning this summer. Creator and Executive Producer Chris Carter will be in charge once again, and yes, Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) will be, too.

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12:39am

Mon February 23, 2015
Monkey See

'Birdman' Wins Big On A Soggy Night At The Oscars

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 9:53 am

Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu accepts the Academy Award for best picture for Birdman.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

The rain that fell on Hollywood as the hours of red-carpet coverage wore on may have provided one of the evening's best visuals: actual people running around wearing plastic bags as they guided famous people out of limos, under umbrellas and to the waiting microphones of interviewers who wanted to know who made the dress, the shoes, the jewelry. It was literally the packing up and encasing of humanity to keep reality out: What could be more Oscars than that?

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11:01am

Sun February 22, 2015
Monkey See

Watch The Oscars With Us

Preparations continue for the 87th Annual Academy Awards at the Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, CA.
Gabriel Olsen Getty Images

The nominees are in, the arguments have been had, and the ceremony is all that's left of Oscar season. (Well, and the griping over what should have won.)

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8:53pm

Tue February 10, 2015
Monkey See

After 16 Years, Jon Stewart Is Leaving 'The Daily Show'

Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 9:58 am

Comedy Central announced today that Jon Stewart will be leaving The Daily Show later this year.
Comedy Central

A presidential election cycle looms, but one of the men most associated with covering presidential politics since the first election of George W. Bush won't be sitting in his usual spot: Comedy Central confirmed on Tuesday that Jon Stewart is stepping down later this year from his post at The Daily Show.

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3:37pm

Mon February 2, 2015
Monkey See

The Super Bowl, Shark Attacks And Monday Morning Quarterbacks

Katy Perry dances with a couple of sharks during the Super Bowl halftime show.
Christopher Polk Getty Images Sport

As longtime PCHH listeners know, Stephen Thompson hosts a Super Bowl party every year that keeps him hopping and keeps us from discussing the game in real time as we otherwise would. Therefore, we sat down Monday morning to catch up about the game, including the phenomenon of concluding you've witnessed an inexplicable play call from someone who knows much, much more about football than you do. We also talk about the Katy Perry halftime show, the surprisingly sentimental ads and lots more.

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9:50am

Mon February 2, 2015
Monkey See

Watch The Super Bowl Or We'll Kick This Dog: The Saddest Ads Ever

Originally published on Mon February 2, 2015 11:12 am

A stranded puppy sits in the rain. Don't worry, though: He's saved by horses.
YouTube

9:35am

Thu January 15, 2015
Monkey See

At The Oscar Nominations, It's A Good Year To Be An Idiosyncratic Man

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 1:26 pm

In Birdman, Michael Keaton (a real-life former Batman) plays a former movie superhero who's trying to get a grasp on his career.
Atsushi Nishijima/ Fox Searchlight

[At the top of this post, you'll find a discussion I had with Stephen Thompson, my Pop Culture Happy Hour co-panelist, about the Oscar nominations. Tomorrow's full PCHH episode more fully covers the film Selma.]

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5:07pm

Thu December 18, 2014
Monkey See

Sarah Koenig On Serial: 'I Think Something Went Wrong With This Case'

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 6:32 pm

Adnan Syed
Courtesy of Serial

It's hard to believe that not only was there no Serial six months ago, there was no Serial three months ago. The hugely popular podcast, a spinoff production of This American Life, didn't even premiere until early October, but since then, it has made its way with great speed into worlds from Sesame Street to Funny Or Die.

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11:45am

Wed October 15, 2014
Monkey See

HBO Without Cable, Coming In 2015

Originally published on Wed October 15, 2014 12:28 pm

Lena Dunham and Allison Williams star in Girls, one of several popular HBO shows that stand-alone streaming could include.
Mark Schafer HBO

HBO has built a robust and popular online presence over the past couple of years with its app, HBO GO. But to get it — as is the case with many streaming services that offer television over the Internet — you've needed a cable subscription. In other words, HBO GO was an add-on for people who already had HBO, not an alternative way of getting shows for people who didn't.

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4:16pm

Mon September 8, 2014
Movies

Oscar Buzz Builds At Toronto Film Fest

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 6:40 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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8:12am

Sat April 19, 2014
Movie Reviews

'Say Anything,' Still Full Of Guileless Affection

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 11:44 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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9:34am

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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1:36am

Mon March 3, 2014
Monkey See

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

Originally published on Mon March 3, 2014 8:26 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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11:52am

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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10:14am

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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8:09am

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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8:20am

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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11:12am

Thu June 27, 2013
Monkey See

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

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 6:17 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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11:36am

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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7:03am

Sun June 9, 2013
Monkey See

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

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 10:59 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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5:15pm

Tue May 28, 2013
Monkey See

Comikaze: Not Just The Other Comic Convention

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 8:43 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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12:28pm

Tue May 14, 2013
Monkey See

Why Angelina Jolie's Op-Ed Matters

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 3:34 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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1:29pm

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 4:11 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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2:16am

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 1:34 pm

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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10:51am

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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12:17pm

Mon April 1, 2013
Monkey See

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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