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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12:04pm

Thu January 31, 2013
Monkey See

Doing The Work: What '30 Rock' Meant For Women On Television

Tina Fey as Liz Lemon.
Ali Goldstein NBC

I have never considered Liz Lemon a feminist icon of any kind, nor have I ever considered 30 Rock especially strong when it comes to gender politics.

I don't care for the obsessive joke-making about how Liz is ugly/mannish/old/awkward, and I haven't always been comfortable with the way some of the "she's baby-crazy!" or "she's relationship-crazy!" comedy has played. I was ambivalent about the way the Jezebel parody and the "women aren't funny" storylines were executed.

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9:55am

Wed January 30, 2013
Monkey See

Coastal Snobbery, 'The Masses,' And Respecting The Lowest Common Denominator

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 12:03 pm

iStockphoto.com

There are three phrases that are almost always bad news for a piece of cultural writing.

They are:

1. "The masses."

2. "Middle America."

3. "The lowest common denominator."

All three are ways to separate the writer and her sensibility — which are presumed to be congruent with the reader and her sensibility — from invisible and undefined others, for whom bad cultural content is produced and by whom it is unquestioningly gobbled up.

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12:04pm

Tue January 29, 2013
Monkey See

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

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

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

10:41am

Fri January 25, 2013
Monkey See

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Nerd Culture And The Return Of Regrettable TV

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

We were all struck last week by Noel Murray's A.V. Club piece "The changing face of 'nerds' (and autism) in popular culture," so we spent this week's first segment talking about the separate but related matters it raises of how popular culture deals with nerds and how it deals with autism, not to mention how it deals with the messy and imprecise crossover between the two.

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12:13am

Sun January 20, 2013
Monkey See

Our Royalty: Bangs Aren't All Michelle Obama And Kate Middleton Have In Common

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 12:28 pm

First lady Michelle Obama waves after addressing the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 4.
Jae C. Hong AP

Ask yourself this question: How weird would it be if you changed your hair and it was on the news?

No, seriously. Pull back from everything you know about celebrity and pretend it's about you. You change your hair. You decide, "Hey, you know what? It's been long for a while; what if I went a little shorter?" And so you go a little shorter. And then it is on the news.

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2:45pm

Fri January 18, 2013
Monkey See

I've Heard That Somewhere: 'Glee' Covers 'Baby Got Back,' And It Sounds ... Familiar

The cast of Glee, which is in its fourth season on Fox.
Kwaku Alston Fox

11:44am

Thu January 17, 2013
Monkey See

Chicken With Gatorade: The Oddball Pleasures Of 'Chopped'

Ted Allen addresses the chefs competing on the Chopped Holiday Special.
David Lang Food Network

There's no shortage of food shows on television, from serene instructional content to tourist eye candy to kooky competitions where chefs cook in the desert. There's also The Great Food Truck Race, which is mostly about the finer points of where you should park a food truck.

But while my favorite was once Bravo's Top Chef, with its clearly skilled chefs and terrific judging panels, my new favorite is the Food Network competition Chopped.

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2:48pm

Wed January 16, 2013
Monkey See

Fans Gather To Remember Huell Howser

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 3:26 pm

Seen here in 2005, Huell Howser was remembered by hundreds of fans on Tuesday.
AP

On today's Morning Edition, Shereen Marisol Meraji had a great piece about the memorial of Southern California public-television staple Huell Howser, who died of cancer earlier this month.

On Tuesday, hundreds of people turned out to remember him. As Meraji says, for these fans, Howser was "a man who took them to places they never knew they wanted to go and introduced them to people they never knew they wanted to meet."

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11:20am

Wed January 16, 2013
Monkey See

What Music Makes A Distilled Good Mood?

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 12:19 pm

iStockphoto.com

On October 24, 2011, I had a bad day.

I honestly forget why. It was a Monday; that should be enough.

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12:13pm

Tue January 15, 2013
Monkey See

Lance Armstrong And The Cheapening Of Indignation

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 1:22 pm

Cyclist Lance Armstrong addresses participants at a Livestrong event in October.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

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