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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11:31am

Mon January 12, 2015
Monkey See

What Those George Clooney Jokes Know About Red Carpet Culture

Actor George Clooney and his wife Amal looked pretty good on the red carpet.
Jason Merritt Getty Images

At Sunday night's Golden Globes, Tina Fey said this about the new wife of award recipient George Clooney: "Amal [Alamuddin] is a human rights lawyer who worked on the Enron case, was an advisor to Kofi Annan regarding Syria, and was selected for a three-person U.N. commission investigating rules of war violations in the Gaza Strip. So tonight, her husband is getting a Lifetime Achievement Award."

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3:27pm

Fri January 9, 2015
Monkey See

C'mon, 'Glee': Bring It Home

Rachel (Lea Michele) seeks advice from Will (Matthew Morrison) in the first part of the two-hour Glee season premiere, airing Friday night.
Tyler Golden Fox

It's wrong, I think, to say that Fox's Glee was only good at the beginning. It's certainly been inconsistent. It's certainly struggled with new cast members once the original group moved on.

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9:27am

Fri January 9, 2015
Monkey See

Pop Culture Happy Hour: In One Year And Out The Other 2015

NPR

Sure, lots of people make predictions at the beginning of every year. And lots of people make resolutions. But how many people are willing to go back, play tape of themselves making those predictions and resolutions, and evaluate their own rightness or, more often, wrongness?

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10:46am

Thu January 8, 2015
Monkey See

'Parenthood' And The Strange Case Of The Missing Family Drama

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 4:13 pm

Peter Krause as Adam Braverman and Monica Potter as Kristina Braverman on NBC's Parenthood.
Colleen Hayes NBC

NBC's Parenthood, loosely based on the 1989 Steve Martin film, returns Thursday night for its final run of four episodes. Produced by Jason Katims, who's beloved by critics for helming television's version of Friday Night Lights, the show ran for six seasons and leaves a curious question behind: What happened to the network family drama?

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12:23pm

Wed January 7, 2015
Monkey See

'Empire': A World Of Unbuttoned Shirts And Dishy Music Stories

Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 1:04 pm

Jamal (Jussie Smollett) welcomes home his mother (Taraji P. Henson), but she has about as much more on her mind as this look makes it seem like she does.
Chuck Hodes Fox

Empire comes to Fox with an interesting pedigree: It was created by Danny Strong (who's written multiple award-winning projects for HBO) and Lee Daniels, who made Precious and The Butler — both films with a sheen of prestige, but both films to which people reacted in complex ways. It stars Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson, who are both past Oscar nominees. The executive music producer is Timbaland, who's worked with all kinds of folks, including Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake.

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1:48pm

Tue January 6, 2015
Monkey See

Small Batch: 'The Bachelor' Farms Iowa For Fresh Meat

Carly tries a song to charm The Bachelor, Chris Soules, on the premiere of ... well, The Bachelor, obviously. This really happened, see? We weren't lying.
Rick Rowell ABC

From the time we started Pop Culture Happy Hour, Stephen Thompson and I have occasionally heard a plaintive cry: "Why do you guys mention The Bachelor?" And it's true: we do. It comes up from time to time as a strange example of perplexing television, but we would never let it run roughshod over an entire episode.

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10:02am

Mon January 5, 2015
Monkey See

From Patton Oswalt, A Movie Memoir That's Best Outside The Theater

Brad Barket Getty Images

The best of comedian and actor Patton Oswalt lies in his ability to truthfully observe what is small but important. That's true in his comedy, but it's true in his writing, too. Here he is in his new memoir Silver Screen Fiend, talking about his desperation to make an impression in his first movie role, a tiny part in the Kelsey Grammer comedy Down Periscope:

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11:31am

Fri January 2, 2015
Monkey See

Billy Joel, Popular Song, PBS, And Needing A Piano

Originally published on Fri January 2, 2015 2:36 pm

Billy Joel
Courtesy of Myrna Suarez

I don't know when people started to think they could successfully make fun of you for being a person who grew up listening to a lot of Billy Joel — and perhaps still does — but they can all forget it.

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10:08am

Fri January 2, 2015
Monkey See

The Madly Uneven 'Downton Abbey' Turns Its Eye From Money To Sex

Originally published on Fri January 2, 2015 2:12 pm

Allen Leech as Tom Branson and Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary.
Nick Briggs/Carnival Film & Television Masterpiece

[This piece assumes you've seen the first four seasons of Downton Abbey. As to the fifth, it avoids specific spoilers, but does talk about themes and threads enough that you might be 20 percent less surprised by a couple of developments. It's the best balance I could strike.]

Let us get this out of the way right off: Particularly after its first two seasons, Downton Abbey has been enormously uneven. It's satisfying in some moments, dull in others, and always prone to falling so in love with a particular story beat that it cannot move past it.

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9:07am

Fri January 2, 2015
Monkey See

Pop Culture Happy Hour: From Sixth And I, Quizzes And Questions

NPR

In early December, we had a live show at the Sixth & I synagogue, the first part of which you've already heard. But sometimes, we like to top off our live events with a little bonus madness, so that's what's on tap this week.

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