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, 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.



Fri June 19, 2015
Monkey See

The Weird — Weirder? — Thing About The Ferrell-Wiig Lifetime Movie

This is the real promo art for a real Lifetime movie starring Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell.


Fri June 19, 2015
Monkey See

Why The Key Character In 'Inside Out' Is The One Who Isn't There

Originally published on Fri June 19, 2015 11:38 am

Riley is on her own in Inside Out.

Villains are staples of stories for kids. Making them bigger, meaner, madder, more impossible to defeat — that's how you build the ideas of fear and then, inevitably, of courage. A small person faces a giant, or a witch, or a wolf, or Jafar, or Cruella De Vil, or the Buy 'N' Large, and by watching that happen, you learn. You learn what it takes to beat the bad guy. You learn that you, too, can beat the bad guy. You learn not to lose heart and not to give up. You use something inside yourself to beat something outside yourself.

Read more


Fri June 19, 2015
Monkey See

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Inside Out' And Moms And Dads In Love

Joy (Amy Poehler) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith) catch a ride on the Train of Thought in Disney and Pixar's Inside Out.

I'm just going to tell you right off the bat, you guys: we really liked Inside Out. This does not exactly make us outliers in the critical landscape, but we sit down this week with the great Kat Chow of NPR's Code Switch team to talk about the film. It's a thought-provoking story and visually inventive, so we'll spend some time on the various creative forces at work. At the same time, we ding its one weak scene that unfortunately shows up in a lot of the trailers and we debate who cried the most.

Read more


Tue June 16, 2015
Book Reviews

'Modern Romance' And The Emerging Audiobook

Aziz Ansari.
Joe Scarnici Getty Images

Audiobooks have traditionally been tricky to get right and even harder to make special. Very often, they're literally just books read aloud, to the best of the ability of a single, usually highly skilled reader. In fiction, you get readers who are asked to provide voices for however many characters the author invented.

Read more


Mon June 15, 2015
Monkey See

Pop Culture Happy Hour, Small Batch Edition: 'Jurassic World'

Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard in Jurassic World.
Chuck Zlotnick Universal Pictures

You may have heard that Jurassic World made more than $500 million worldwide in its opening weekend. That's $500 million, 5-0-0. Its nearly $209 million weekend in the U.S. alone makes it the highest-grossing U.S. opening weekend ever. That's ever, e-ver.

So how's the movie? It's fine. Does it justify having had the biggest domestic box-office opening weekend of all time? That's a pretty tall order for a pretty medium-sized movie, creatively speaking.

Read more


Fri June 12, 2015
Monkey See

How 'Silicon Valley' Tells Broad Truths From An Insular World

Originally published on Fri June 12, 2015 4:12 pm

Zach Woods, T.J. Miller, Thomas Middleditch, Kumail Nanjiani, and Martin Starr.
Frank Masi HBO

HBO's Silicon Valley ends its second season Sunday night with a finale I have seen and will warn you is so tense that I actually skipped forward a little bit at one point. That's how suspenseful I found it. And remember: it's a comedy.

Read more


Fri June 12, 2015
Monkey See

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Spy' And Other Director-Actor Pairings

Melissa McCarthy gets a star-vehicle movie of her own in Spy.
Larry Horricks/ Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

This week, we're lucky enough to welcome our pal Audie Cornish back to the panel for a discussion of Spy, the latest comedy (after The Heat and Bridesmaids) to team Melissa McCarthy with director Paul Feig. (If you're nostalgic, you can listen to our affectionate review of The Heat here. It's also the episode with a whole segment on The Price Is Right. Happy Friday!)

Read more


Mon June 8, 2015
Monkey See

WATCH: 11-Year-Old Sydney Lucas Destroys At The Tony Awards

Sydney Lucas performs "Ring Of Keys" from Fun Home on the Tony Awards broadcast Sunday night.
Heather Wines CBS

Sydney Lucas didn't happen to win the Tony Award she was nominated for on Sunday night, but it took nothing away from the fact that she was the highlight of the entire broadcast. Lucas plays Small Alison in Fun Home, the musical adaptation of Alison Bechdel's graphic memoir about her coming of age that won the award for Best Musical. Lucas sang "Ring Of Keys," which tells the story of Alison seeing a woman who ... well, she'll tell you.

Read more


Fri June 5, 2015
Monkey See

Pop Culture Happy Hour: The Romance Novel Special

Summer romance reads!
Ariel Zambelich NPR

This week is a special one for us at Pop Culture Happy Hour: we invited our pals Barrie Hardymon and Petra Mayer, along with the marvelous and hugely knowledgeable Sarah Wendell, who runs the romance web site Smart Bitches, Trashy Books.

Here's what you're really looking for if you're looking at this post: the list of recommendations, both authors and specific books (and a couple other things) that all of us (mostly Sarah) rattled off over the course of this show. So let's just get on with it.

Read more


Wed June 3, 2015
Monkey See

Every Song In 'The Last Five Years,' Ranked By Uncontrollable Sobbing

Originally published on Wed June 3, 2015 6:41 pm

Jeremy Jordan and Anna Kendrick in The Last Five Years.
Thomas Concordia TIFF

Let's get weepy, people. Seriously, seriously weepy. And ... I mean, spoiler alert, obviously. But this show and movie sort of spoils itself structurally, so.

Read more