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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Arts + Life
4:39 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

A Farewell To 'The Office': The 10 Best Episodes

Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski in The Office.
Vivian Zink NBC

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 12:39 pm

It really only hit yesterday: It's the end of The Office.

After nine seasons, Dunder Mifflin is going dark Thursday night, with an hour-long retrospective at 8:00 and a 75-minute episode at 9:00 that may or may not feature a cameo from Steve Carell. There have been denials of an appearance from him that could be read as emphatic or tiptoeing, depending on whether you focus on the obvious implications of those denials or the technicalities that might allow for wiggle room.

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Arts + Life
12:22 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Why Angelina Jolie's Op-Ed Matters

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

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

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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Arts + Life
12:49 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

At The Met Ball, Those Are Some Crazy Dresses

Beyonce, complete with thigh-high boots to match.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 2:15 pm

Monday night was the big night for unusual dresses (you may remember a previous post about Madonna's bunny ears): the Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, known as the "Met Ball." It had a loose punk theme (because the costume exhibit it's celebrating is punk-centric), but everyone got up to quite a bit of her own thing.

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Arts + Life
12:43 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Shut The Door, Have A Suite: 'Mad Men' Steps It Up

Jon Hamm as Don Draper in Mad Men.
Michael Yarish AMC

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 9:53 am

[CAUTION: This is all about Sunday night's Mad Men. Obviously, if you haven't seen Sunday night's Mad Men and you still intend to, you might hold off.]

It's reductive to conclude that on far too many episodes of Mad Men, nothing happens. Of course something always happens: someone feels something, or learns something, or is locked in a continuous internal struggle with something. A dynamic continues to simmer, a memory comes to the surface, angels and demons battle for somebody's soul.

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Music
11:35 am
Tue May 7, 2013

MTV's Musical Legacy: How 'Unplugged' Sold The Radio Star

Kurt Cobain of Nirvana during the taping of MTV Unplugged at Sony Studios in New York City in November 1993.
Frank Micelotta Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 8:30 am

It's generally understood that something about MTV was revolutionary. Perhaps it was the music video, perhaps it was the short attention span, perhaps it was The Real World, but something about MTV had enough cultural permanency that it made for a fine oral history from Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum, called I Want My MTV, in late 2011.

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Monkey See
10:32 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Armor And Anxiety: Tony Stark Is The New Captain America

Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark in Iron Man 3.
Marvel/Walt Disney Pictures

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 10:37 am

Meet Tony Stark at the opening of Iron Man 3: insanely wealthy, possessed of every toy, and traumatized by an attack on New York that has left him restless, anxious, belligerent, and given to both hunker-down security measures and fate-tempting swagger. He declares his total lack of fear, then builds the fortress walls higher.

Let's step back.

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Monkey See
1:29 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 4:11 pm

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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Movies
11:13 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Superheroines, Fighters, And Why Isn't There A Wonder Woman Movie?

Katie, who's nine years old, explains her love of Wonder Woman in a new documentary.
Vaquera Productions

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 2:41 pm

Any comics fan of any seriousness can rattle off female superheroes who have either had their own books or appeared in other or ensemble books.

But what about ordinary absorbers of culture?

The same people who don't actually read comics but can tell you that Superman is the idealized, square-jawed fighter for good, while Batman is the darker, more conflicted survivor of tragedy and Spider-Man is the scrapper barely concealing an ordinary kid — how many women can they name who have worn capes, particularly ones that aren't superhero derivatives like Supergirl or Batgirl?

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Monkey See
2:16 am
Mon April 15, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 1:34 pm

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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Monkey See
10:51 am
Wed April 10, 2013

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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Monkey See
12:17 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

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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Monkey See
11:48 am
Thu March 21, 2013

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

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Arts + Life
12:47 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

'The Simpsons' Better Than 'Cheers'? It Is To Laugh

Ted Danson, playing the role of bartender Sam Malone, keeps Rhea Perlman, playing waitress Carla Tortelli, under control as Shelley Long, portraying Diane Chambers, left, returns to the set of Cheers during taping of the final episode in 1993.
Mark Terrill AP

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 12:41 pm

For the last couple of weeks, Vulture has been running a "Sitcom Smackdown," a contest between 16 sitcoms of the last 30 years to determine an eventual champion.

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Monkey See
2:20 am
Mon February 25, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 4:36 pm

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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Monkey See
12:59 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

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

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Arts + Life
11:08 am
Tue February 12, 2013

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

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 2:25 pm

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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Business
10:55 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Get Severance: Interview With An Iron

The Monopoly iron token that was replaced by the new cat token.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 6:07 pm

Wednesday, Hasbro announced that it was welcoming a new member of the Monopoly-token family. And because it asked the Internet, it wound up with a cat. (For whatever reason, the Internet was not offered Gotye or a bacon cupcake.)

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Monkey See
8:46 am
Mon February 4, 2013

That Was A Great Blackout Last Night

Kicker David Akers of the San Francisco 49ers waits during a power outage that occurred in the third quarter that caused a 34-minute delay during Super Bowl XLVII.
Ezra Shaw Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 11:38 am

Great blackout last night, right?

It's been clear for some time that substantially more people watch the Super Bowl than have the slightest interest in watching the actual football game. That's why there's such hubbub over the halftime show and the commercials — it gives non-football types something to pay attention to instead of football.

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Monkey See
8:23 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Choosing Sides: How To Pick Between The Ravens And The 49ers

Sourdough Sam, the mascot for the San Francisco 49ers, looks on in January 2012.
Doug Pensinger Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 10:13 am

Headlines were circulating last week about how, as Slate put it, "almost everybody" is rooting for the San Francisco 49ers over the Baltimore Ravens in Sunday's Super Bowl. Of course, it turns out that what this actually meant was more like "substantially more than half of the area of the country is included within counties in which more people like the 49ers on Facebook than like the Ravens on Facebook."

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Arts + Life
12:03 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

How '30 Rock' Found Its Tone When Liz Lemon Didn't Marry Her Cousin

Tina Fey as Liz Lemon on NBC's 30 Rock.
Ali Goldstein NBC

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 2:49 pm

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