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.

Pages

11:36am

Fri May 13, 2011
Monkey See

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Talking 'Thor,' Summer Movies, And Losing 'Idol'

iStockphoto.com
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

On this week's episode of our round-table podcast, we dive into a discussion of Thor, a film that features big muscles, Natalie Portman, and even comparisons to Marlon Brando — really! We pretty much liked this big, goofy summer movie, and while we don't think it's the best Marvel movie ever (by far), we think that if you apply just the right metric, it actually comes out looking pretty good. You should know that Glen uses the phrase "suitably Wagnerian," so you can look forward to that.

Read more

1:00pm

Thu May 12, 2011
Monkey See

Book Club: Neil Gaiman's 'The Sandman: Dream Country,' Part Three

Cover of Sandman: Dream Country
Vertigo Comics

The occasional Monkey See I Will If You Will Book Club has reconvened to read Neil Gaiman'sThe Sandman: Dream Country. This week, we read "A Midsummer Night's Dream," the third of the four stories in the book. (And no, it's not a rendering of the Shakespeare play, exactly. Just read it. You'll see.)

Read more

1:20pm

Wed May 11, 2011
Monkey See

The Many Faces Of 'Survivor' Rob Mariano, All Of Which Are Smirking

Survivor." href="/post/many-faces-survivor-rob-mariano-all-which-are-smirking" class="noexit lightbox">
Rob Mariano, during the immunity challenge, "Step On Up," during last week's Survivor.
CBS

Rob Mariano — you may know him as "Boston Rob," if you know him at all — first showed up on reality television way back in 2002, on Survivor: Marquesas, the fourth season of Survivor. He was unceremoniously booted in tenth place, but his colorful trash-talking and greasy swagger were enough to land him a spot in the "All-Star" season two years later. There, he met up with Amber Brkich, with whom he formed both a game partnership and a romance — or, as they're usually called in this setting, a "showmance" — that took them to the finals.

Read more

9:44am

Wed May 11, 2011
Monkey See

'The Chicago Code' Is Swept Out The Door During Fox's Spring Cleaning

Jennifer Beals and Jason Clarke are among the stars of The Chicago Code, which Fox canceled Tuesday.
Jeffery Garland Fox

Shawn Ryan has to be one of the most Zen showrunners you're going to find, at least in public. At midseason, when FX canceled Terriers, his highly regarded but little-watched private-eye drama, his Twitter account was free of vitriol and he encouraged the show's passionate fans not to blame FX for making the call based on low ratings.

Read more

12:01am

Tue May 10, 2011
Monkey See

Dick Van Dyke Talks About His 'Lucky Life' And What Stan Laurel Left Him

Crown Publishing Group

On Tuesday's Morning Edition, Dick Van Dyke talks to Renee Montagne about his new book, My Lucky Life In And Out Of Show Business, and touches on everything from the beginning of his career in television to the eulogy he gave at the funeral of one of his heroes, Stan Laurel.

Read more

10:13am

Mon May 9, 2011
Monkey See

Paula Abdul Joins Simon Cowell's 'X Factor,' But Can They Hurt 'Idol'?

When Paula Abdul was finally officially announced yesterday as one of the judges on Simon Cowell's upcoming singing competition show, The X Factor, it was the culmination of almost a year and a half of speculation dating all the way back to Cowell's announcement in January 2010 that he was leaving American Idol. So now the question becomes: With Idol's most popular judges reunited in a new format, can the new show crush the old show?

Read more

11:28am

Fri May 6, 2011
Monkey See

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Warrior Women And Movies That Call To Us

  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

On this week's Pop Culture Happy Hour, we find that we've been (go figure) immersed in a lot of imagery of commandos and battle, which has led our free-associating minds to a chat about images of fighters — specifically fighters who happen to be women. From young adult fiction to comics to the great big world of Angelina Jolie movies, we consider the current state of the female butt-kicker and whether anything ever really changes or whether it's all just the flipping and flapping of the breeze, which will only settle down again.

Read more

10:19am

Thu May 5, 2011
Monkey See

Book Club: Neil Gaiman's 'The Sandman: Dream Country,' Part Two

The occasional Monkey See I Will If You Will Book Club has reconvened to read Neil Gaiman'sThe Sandman: Dream Country. This week, we read "A Dream Of A Thousand Cats," the second of the four stories in the book.

Once again, I invited our comics blogger, Glen Weldon, to trade a few thoughts with me to kick things off. After that, you take over in the comments. Tell us what you think about story, art, and whether cats can be trusted.

To: Glen

From: Linda

Read more

10:17am

Fri April 29, 2011
Monkey See

The Royal Wedding: A Crowd's-Eye View

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:55 am

Well-wishers wave flags in Trafalgar Square to celebrate the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on Friday.
Simon Dawson AP

I watched the royal wedding processional from behind a woman with a sequined Union Jack cocktail dress, flag-themed sunglasses, high-heeled boots, a flag she wore like a cape, and a plastic cup that she kept clarifying she was filling with vodka schnapps, not vodka.

Incidentally, I highly recommend watching every highly anticipated international event in the company of someone who merrily promises that she is not an alcoholic.

Read more

3:10pm

Thu April 28, 2011
Monkey See

At The Royal Wedding, Choreography Is Everything

We have almost reached the point where the only left to do with regard to the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton is to actually ... you know, have it.

We've seen the reporters standing outside Buckingham Palace, we've seen the seating chart, we've seen the flags and the commemorative plates and the coffee mugs, and now, they have to actually conduct the thing. It's easy to forget that this fooferaw actually involves two human beings getting married, but it does.

Read more

10:18am

Thu April 28, 2011
Monkey See

Camped Out And Loving It: The Royal Wedding Die-Hards

It's about 10:30 a.m. in London — about 25 hours before the wedding ceremony tomorrow — when I make my way along the approximate route Prince William and Kate Middleton will take. I walk from Westminster Abbey past the war memorials, through the Horse Guards Arch (where I accidentally catch part of the less crowded end of the Changing Of The Guard) and through St. James' Park to the utter insanity that is Buckingham Palace on this particular day.

Read more

4:37am

Thu April 28, 2011
Monkey See

Inventing Undue Fixation On Young Love Is Not On Ryan Seacrest's List Of Sins

There's a very funny comment attached to yesterday's post about London, in which someone points out that apparently, some media outlet or other "did a minute and a half on the vacuuming of Westminster Abbey." To all who lament this particular kind of fixation on finding an angle — ANY angle — on which to hang a story, I say: I am with you.

Read more

1:14pm

Wed April 27, 2011
Monkey See

In London, There Are Many, Many People (And At Least One Stuffed Monkey)

Greetings! Cheerio! Tally-ho! Other annoying tourist-y sayings that will get me punched!

I have arrived in London, where I will be until Saturday, checking out the town and the whoop-dee-doo surrounding the Royal Wedding on Friday. (In case you haven't heard, Prince William is getting married. Probably you've heard.)

So far, I have to concur with those who have noted that London is not, in fact, in any particularly giant tizzy, as of 48 hours before the big event.

Read more

8:14am

Sun April 24, 2011
Monkey See

In 'Bottom Of The 33rd,' A Look At Baseball's Longest Game

This Sunday on Weekend Edition, Liane Hansen talks to Dan Barry, author of the new book Bottom Of The 33rd: Hope, Redemption And Baseball's Longest Game. The book is all about a minor-league game that took place — or, rather, began — on April 18, 1981. It was suspended after 32 innings, tied at 2-2, at four in the morning on April 19, Easter Sunday. It resumed two months later, when the Pawtucket Red Sox finally beat the Rochester Red Wings 3-2 in the bottom of the 33rd inning.

Read more

10:30am

Fri April 22, 2011
Monkey See

Pop Culture Happy Hour: In Which We Ponder Villainy And London Separately

  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

This week's episode kicks off with a discussion of my upcoming trip to London and offers an opportunity for me to get a lot of advice from the panel about what to do while I'm there. It also offers Stephen an opportunity to mercilessly make fun of my tendency to get lost, but THAT'S FINE.

Read more

9:43am

Fri April 22, 2011
Monkey See

The Wisdom of 'The Office': If You Like A Guy, You Meet Him Where He Is

Warning: We're talking about the current happenings on The Office, including last night's episode, so please feel free to skip this entry if you are still holding out and haven't been keeping up.


The Office is clearly having a lot of trouble saying goodbye to its good-hearted nightmare of a boss, Michael Scott, and to Steve Carell, who plays him.

Read more

11:25am

Thu April 21, 2011
Monkey See

Book Club: Neil Gaiman's 'The Sandman: Dream Country,' Part One

The occasional Monkey See I Will If You Will Book Club has reconvened to read Neil Gaiman's The Sandman: Dream Country. This week, we read "Calliope," the first of the four stories in the book.

Our main discussion will take place in the comments to this post, but I decided to start by exchanging a few thoughts with our comics blogger, Glen Weldon, who is massively more experienced in this medium than I am. Head to the comments to share your thoughts about "Calliope."

To: Glen

From: Linda

Read more

9:55am

Mon April 18, 2011
Monkey See

The Sad, Beautiful Fact That We're All Going To Miss Almost Everything

The vast majority of the world's books, music, films, television and art, you will never see. It's just numbers.

Consider books alone. Let's say you read two a week, and sometimes you take on a long one that takes you a whole week. That's quite a brisk pace for the average person. That lets you finish, let's say, 100 books a year. If we assume you start now, and you're 15, and you are willing to continue at this pace until you're 80. That's 6500 hundred books, which really sounds like a lot.

Read more

3:51pm

Thu April 14, 2011
Monkey See

That's One Delicious (Dairy) Sundae You're Seeing In That (Vegan) Magazine

Imagine you are a vegan magazine. Specifically, you are VegNews, and you need some photos to run with, for instance, your story about 99 Things You Must Do, a story you're calling a "vegan bucket list." One of the things on the list is to eat a vegan sundae. Great, right? So you need a picture of a vegan sundae. Who doesn't love a picture of ice cream?

Read more

12:01am

Wed April 13, 2011
Monkey See

If You're Looking For A Little Diversity On Television, Try HGTV

Neda Ulaby reports on Wednesday's Morning Edition that there's a surprising channel where you can see Latino, Asian, or African-American people, as well as gays and lesbians, in significantly larger numbers than in much of the rest of broadcast and cable television.

Read more

11:40am

Tue April 12, 2011
Monkey See

Jamie Oliver Brings His Crusade For Healthy Food To A Reluctant Los Angeles

The promotions for the new season of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, which returns to ABC tonight for a second season, set up a central conflict of one man against the system. Celebrity chef and healthy-food activist Oliver, it is suggested, wants to come in and work with the Los Angeles Unified School District, as he worked with a much smaller district in West Virginia in his first season, to improve the freshness and nutrition of its school lunches. But the district has balked and won't let him in.

Read more

12:20pm

Mon April 11, 2011
Monkey See

The Library Card As A Pop-Culture Fiend's Ticket To Geek Paradise

There's a big public library literally across the street from my bank and the supermarket where I most frequently pick up stuff like milk and paper towels. Across the street. As in: first I buy Diet Coke, then I dodge one SUV careening around the corner, and I'm there.

And yet, until this weekend, I'd never been in it and I had no library card.

I know.

Read more

9:59am

Fri April 8, 2011
Monkey See

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Comfort Food For Your Weary Soul

  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

This week, we took a hint from one of our Facebook fans and talked about what "comfort food" we turn to when we get into a cultural rut and want to reawaken our love of the things we love, as it were. We took this topic in a number of directions, from pterodactyls to girls' bikes to the things Trey thinks might be the comfort food of the future.

Read more

5:22pm

Thu March 24, 2011
Movie Reviews

A Second 'Wimpy Kid,' Strictly By The Numbers

It's an inalienable right of childhood to appreciate a little formulaic entertainment without fun-killing adults telling you how formulaic it is. But it's an inalienable right of parenthood to minimize your consumption of material that's utterly boring if you aren't 8 years old. That makes some movies difficult to condemn, but also difficult to recommend.

Read more

12:48pm

Thu March 24, 2011
Monkey See

'The King's Speech' Leaves Theaters And Is Replaced By Asterisks

The press release that arrived today touting the re-edited, PG-13 version of The King's Speech opening April 1 claims, "Oscar's Best Picture Is Now The Best Family Film Of 2011."

Read more

12:52pm

Wed March 23, 2011
Monkey See

Everything We Know About Celebrity, We Learned From Elizabeth Taylor

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 12:02 pm

Elizabeth Taylor became a star at age 10 and an icon by the time she was 30. Taylor died Wednesday at age 79.
MGM Studios Getty Images

It takes nothing away from Elizabeth Taylor's considerable talents — which won her two Best Actress Oscars — to acknowledge that no one has ever so thoroughly and comprehensively embodied American celebrity.

Read more

Pages