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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11:01am

Wed May 6, 2015
Monkey See

Amy Schumer Puts Her Own Looks On Trial

Originally published on Wed May 6, 2015 1:59 pm

Front row (from left): Chris Gethard, Nick DiPaolo, Vincent Kartheiser. Back row (from left): Henry Zebrowski, Paul Giamatti.
Comedy Central

On the fantastic advice podcast Judge John Hodgman, one of the things Hodgman always says in getting litigants to relay their stories is that "specificity is the soul of narrative." Specificity is also the soul of parody, as we saw Tuesday night on Inside Amy Schumer.

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11:20am

Mon May 4, 2015
Monkey See

'Mad Men' Skates Across A Changed And Changing Landscape

Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson in Mad Men.
AMC AMC

Sunday night's Mad Men was the antepenultimate episode of the series – a word we don't get to use enough, but one that can be surprisingly significant in television. The second to last episode is often (rightly or wrongly) understood and analyzed as finale table-setting, so this third to last episode is sometimes the last that feels like the regular show. And for Mad Men, it seemed to serve as a crystallizing hour for the themes that the show has returned to over and over, reaching no conclusions about those themes but turning them over and over in its narrative hands.

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12:08pm

Fri May 1, 2015
Monkey See

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Free Comic Book Day And Rabbit Holes

NPR

Another year, another Free Comic Book Day!

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5:21am

Sat April 25, 2015
Monkey See

The Hard Work And Close Bonds Of Competitive College A Cappella

Originally published on Sat April 25, 2015 12:36 pm

Voices In Your Head, from the University of Chicago, performs their competition set. In the front, you can see Kari Wei — she's the one with the pitch pipe around her neck.
Joe Martinez Photography

It's been many years since I did my three semesters of college a cappella, but it remains a genre of performance for which I have enormous affection. In 2012, the arrival of Pitch Perfect meant that suddenly, I knew a lot more people who even knew what a college a cappella was.

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2:30pm

Fri April 24, 2015
Monkey See

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Food In Pop Culture And Going Back To College

NPR

Just a very quick post this week while I work my way through my emotions about the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella.

On the show this week, we're joined by our pals Gene Demby and Kat Chow to tackle the issue of food in culture, including cooking shows that feature great cooks, cooking shows that feature lousy cooks, and cooking shows that actually make us better at cooking. We talk about food for the soul and food for the glutton, and we learn a fascinating biographical tidbit about Kat.

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8:54am

Sat April 18, 2015
Monkey See

George Lucas Sneezes, And Other Moments From His Talk With Colbert

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 1:37 pm

George Lucas and Stephen Colbert talked on Friday at an event at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Grant Lamos IV Getty Images

It's fair to say George Lucas is a person who has had a lot of attention paid to him.

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4:32pm

Fri April 17, 2015
Monkey See

The Challenges Of War At A Distance

Ethan Hawke and January Jones in Andrew Niccol's Good Kill.
Lorey Sebastian Clear Skies Nevada LLC/IFC Films

The opening moments of Good Kill, a new drama starring Ethan Hawke and written and directed by Andrew Niccol (who also directed Hawke in Gattaca), almost eerily resemble the opening moments of American Sniper. A man watches and tries to interpret the movements of a woman and child who don't see him, deciding whether to kill them. This man, however, isn't concealed nearby. The woman and child are in Afghanistan and the man is piloting a drone from an air conditioned trailer on a military base in Nevada.

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8:47am

Thu April 16, 2015
Monkey See

Is There Anything Left To Say About 'Saturday Night Live'?

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 10:33 am

Live From New York
Edie Baskin Tribecca Film Festival

Why open a film festival whose reputation is for independent voices with a documentary salute to Saturday Night Live?

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10:37am

Mon April 13, 2015
Monkey See

The Hapless 'Veep' Staff Trips Itself Up As Selina Ascends

Originally published on Mon April 13, 2015 1:02 pm

Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer on HBO's Veep.
Patrick Harbron HBO

One of the central conceits of the first season of HBO's Veep was the carnival of humiliations suffered by Selina Meyer, played so brilliantly by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, in her capacity as vice president. She battled for relevance while waiting for the phone to ring, surrounded by a staff even more determinedly clinging to shreds of power and significance than she was. Later, Selina wound up battling primary opponents in her own bid to become president — a path that proved to have its own endless frustrations.

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10:13am

Fri April 10, 2015
Monkey See

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'The Comedians' And Cameo Appearances

NPR

This week, paired with the return of Louie, FX introduced a comedy series called The Comedians, which features Billy Crystal and Josh Gad as ... well, as Bizarro Billy Crystal and Josh Gad, forced to work together on a fictional FX sketch comedy show.

Does that make sense?

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