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
10:24 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Sometimes A Friend Is Just A Cigar: Why Not Everybody Needs To Kiss At The End

David Duchovny, left, and Gillian Anderson in the film The X-Files: I Want to Believe.
Diyah Pera AP

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 4:51 pm

This week at Monkey See, we're looking at friendship in pop culture.

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Monkey See
7:34 am
Tue October 16, 2012

A Judge Dismisses 'The Bachelor' Discrimination Lawsuit, But Not Its Concerns

Seen here in April 2012, Christopher Johnson and Nathaniel Claybrooks sued over the casting of The Bachelor.
Mark Humphrey AP

Yesterday, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by Christopher Johnson and Nathaniel Claybrooks, two black men who had auditioned for The Bachelor, who claimed that the show discriminates against people of color both in choosing the primary bachelor/ette and in choosing the people he or she will have to choose from.

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Monkey See
9:00 am
Mon October 15, 2012

A Day Later, The Space Jump Guy Is OK, But How About The Rest Of Us?

Felix Baumgartner of Austria as he jumps out of the capsule during the final manned flight for Red Bull Stratos on Sunday.
Red Bull Stratos AP

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:23 am

More than 7 million people were watching as Felix Baumgartner sat at the edge of his space capsule yesterday 24 miles off the ground and got ready to jump, in what was known as the "Red Bull Stratos" project, better known as the "space jump." I saw it myself; he opened the door, and there was something there that certainly seemed to be space.

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Monkey See
6:07 am
Sat September 29, 2012

Damian Lewis On The Conflicts And Complexities Of 'Homeland'

Damian Lewis as Nicholas Brody in Showtime's Homeland.
Bob Leverone Showtime

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 3:17 pm

There weren't a whole lot of upset winners at last Sunday's Emmy Awards, but one of the few was Homeland star Damian Lewis, who beat out, among others, Mad Men's Jon Hamm and three-time winner Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad to take home the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. Lewis' co-star, Claire Danes, won for her lead performance as well, and the show ended a four-year Mad Men streak when it was named Outstanding Drama Series.

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Monkey See
11:41 am
Mon September 24, 2012

On Television's Biggest Night, It's Antiheroes And Maggie Smith

Maggie Smith as Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham on Downton Abbey.
Nick Briggs PBS

Originally published on Sun September 23, 2012 12:43 pm

Just as you're trying to figure out what to watch during the new television season, they come at you with the Emmy Awards, ready to bestow the big prizes from the last television season. There are some big questions about this year's slate: What happens to Downton Abbey, the swooning British import whose distaste for antiheroes and gore sets it apart from its Outstanding Drama Series rivals? How big a splash will the thriller Homeland make in its first year of eligibility?

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Monkey See
10:47 am
Mon September 24, 2012

A Dull Night At The Emmys, But A Big One For 'Homeland' And 'Modern Family'

Claire Danes and Damian Lewis hold up their Emmy Awards for Showtime's Homeland.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 10:53 am

Let us say this first: As an actual determination of the utmost merit in television, the Emmy Awards are ridiculous and have been ridiculous for quite some time. Naming shows that the Emmys failed to take seriously is easy: The Wire, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, most of the run of Friday Night Lights and so forth. If you look to the Emmys to actually anoint the best show or the best performance, you will bawl your eyes out over and over, and also, anyone who watches very much television will make fun of you as a rube and a dupe. Is that blunt enough?

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Monkey See
2:51 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Nobody, Not Even Your Mom, Has Such Small Hands: 10 Other Products 'For Her'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 4:04 am

Okay, so Bic has been taking a lot of flack for selling this pen "for her." (As it says on its web site, it is "a ball pen essentially for women," although that seems to invite a caveat, such as, "although there may be certain men to whom it appeals and we don't judge.")

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Monkey See
10:54 am
Mon August 27, 2012

'Project Runway' And The Designer Who Looked Even Worse Than His Clothes

Designer Ven Budhu, seen here on a previous episode, got in big trouble on last night's Project Runway.
Lifetime

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 5:04 pm

[Contains information about last night's episode.]

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Monkey See
8:30 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Rovers Are From Mars: How Curiosity Is Killing It On Twitter

This artist's rendering provided by NASA shows the Mars Rover, Curiosity.
AP

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 12:00 pm

Twitter wasn't built to give voice to Curiosity, the rover currently exploring Mars, but it's awfully well-suited for the purpose.

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Monkey See
8:01 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Ten Fall Shows That Need More Sharks

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 6:32 pm

I'm sure you've already noticed — from the parades, the fact that your mail hasn't been arriving, and the way everyone gets the week off of work — but this is Shark Week, when the Discovery Channel generates a week of shark-themed programming. (Tonight: Sharkzilla, which is, surprisingly enough, not a SyFy movie, and the Mythbusters shark special.) (Trivia: Did you know the decorative shark that is traditionally displayed on or near Discovery's Silver Spring, Md. headquarters to celebrate this special week is named "Chompy"?

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Monkey See
11:34 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Good Business, Bad Quality: How NBC Is Both Right And Wrong On The Olympics

Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates winning gold in the Men's 100m Final yesterday. If you get your Olympics coverage on television, you didn't see it live.
Alexander Hassenstein Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 3:36 pm

The following exchange has played out over and over in the last ten days:

Point: "NBC's coverage of the Olympics stinks, because everything is tape-delayed and cut to shreds, and also the announcers are awful and they only care about American athletes, and by the time I get to watch anything, I already know what happened."

Counterpoint: "People are watching in huge numbers."

Point: "But quality."

Counterpoint: "But business."

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Monkey See
7:36 am
Mon July 30, 2012

The Opening Ceremonies In London: From The Industrial Revolution To Voldemort

The Olympic Flame is lit during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 28, 2012 10:25 am

The opening ceremonies at any Olympics are tasked with doing quite a bit: providing a splashy experience to kick off the games for those watching both on site and at home, representing the national identity of the home country, and offering stirring entertainment while maintaining the stiff formality with which the Olympics still want so badly to be about something important — not just flashy spectacle, but real pageantry.

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Monkey See
12:44 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

How Should You Watch And Read And Listen? However You Want

Marcelo Poleze iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 12:40 pm

However you want to watch Breaking Bad is fine with me.

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Monkey See
12:43 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Museums And Planetariums: Two Terrific Books And Two Ways Of Reading

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 1:52 pm

When the power goes out, what can you do but read books, like it's THE PRAIRIE?

Kidding, kidding. But I'm not kidding when I say that the recent (fourth day and counting!) power outage at my house, while relieved by visits to the couches of friends and family who remain AC-enabled and taunt me with their humming refrigerators and whirring fans, also gave me the opportunity to catch up on my reading.

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Monkey See
6:08 am
Sat June 16, 2012

Explaining Muppet Theory: Are You An Ernie Or A Bert?

Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie in the 2005 Tournament of Roses Parade. They even look like a clash between Order and Chaos, don't they?
Matthew Simmons Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 2:22 pm

Most of the time, Slate's Dahlia Lithwick covers the Supreme Court. She's been doing that for the last 13 years. But recently, you may have seen her name floating around in connection with the piece she recently wrote that she discusses with Scott Simon on Saturday's Weekend Edition.

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Monkey See
6:43 am
Sat June 2, 2012

For Impressionist Jim Meskimen, The Voice Is 'A Sample Of Who We Are'

Jim Meskimen arrives at the premiere of Frost/Nixon in November 2008.
Vince Bucci Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 2, 2012 11:50 pm

Jim Meskimen is the only person I've ever heard open an interview with NPR's Scott Simon in the voice of NPR's Robert Siegel.

In fairness, he's the one most likely to do so, since he is a noted impressionist. He acknowledges "you don't see people doing their Robert Siegel in nightclubs much," though he's noted what he calls Siegel's "bemused kind of delivery."

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Monkey See
1:44 pm
Fri June 1, 2012

John Edwards: Once More With (Or Without) Feeling, He Takes Full Responsibility

Former U.S. Sen. John Edwards addresses the media alongside his daughter Cate Edwards and his parents Wallace and Bobbie Edwards yesterday after the conclusion of his trial on campaign finance charges.
Sara D. Davis Getty Images

Yesterday, after being acquitted of one of six campaign finance fraud charges against him and seeing the jury deadlock on the other five, John Edwards held a brief press conference in which he said this:

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Monkey See
8:58 am
Thu May 31, 2012

It's The Day Of The National Spelling Bee Finals, A.K.A. Know-Nothing Thursday!

Kitty Shortt spells a word correctly during the third round of the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee yesterday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 11:39 am

The Scripps National Spelling Bee is down to the 50 semifinalists. Today at 10:00 Eastern, they'll compete in the semifinals (broadcast on ESPN2), and then tonight at 8:00, they'll hold the finals (broadcast on ESPN). You can also follow an online streaming version at ESPN online, but to be honest, it's an extremely cumbersome process that I haven't yet gotten to work for me.

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Monkey See
4:03 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

'Route 66': A Country-Crisscrossing Series Comes To Home Video

Shout! Factory

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 5:24 pm

When you've seen a lot of movies where Toronto plays the part of New York, you come to appreciate location shooting. And on today's All Things Considered, you'll hear from the star of one of television's more ambitious series when it comes to location shooting: Route 66, which followed two guys around the country in a cool Corvette as they looked for a place to settle.

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Monkey See
4:54 pm
Mon April 30, 2012

Can The Networks Ever Create Another Night Of 'Must-See TV'?

Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer appear in the baby birth episode of NBC's Friends.
AP

Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 5:34 pm

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