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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9:22am

Mon April 21, 2014
Monkey See

Shirley, This Is The Dawn Of A New 'Mad Men'

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 10:33 am

Teyonah Parris as Dawn Chambers, whose future changed quite a bit on Sunday night's Mad Men.
Jordin Althaus AMC

[This post discusses the plot of Sunday night's episode.]

Once Mad Men moved into the early-middle part of the 1960s, people began to ask an increasingly urgent question: Where was the civil rights movement? Where were the black people? Was Sterling Cooper (Draper Pryce) (And Partners) really so sheltered that race barely touched its tiny world?

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1:11pm

Sun April 20, 2014
Monkey See

From 'Field Of Dreams' To 'Draft Day': Who Cares About The Front Office?

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 11:23 am

Kevin Costner warms up to pitch in the 1989 film Field Of Dreams.
The Kobal Collection

Sports movies were powerful once. In the '80s and '90s, there were hits about football, baseball, basketball, hockey, boxing, karate – and they were movies about teams and players and coaches, not scouts and executives.

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8:12am

Sat April 19, 2014
Movie Reviews

'Say Anything,' Still Full Of Guileless Affection

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 11:44 am

Transcript

WADE GOODWYN, HOST:

Twenty-five years ago, Lloyd Dobler raised a boombox over his head and changed the world of movie boyfriends forever.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "IN YOUR EYES")

PETER GABRIEL: (Singing) All my instincts, they return...

GOODWYN: Linda Holmes, of our pop culture blog "Monkey See," was a teenager when she first saw the film "Say Anything..." She says all these years later, she has a new appreciation of it.

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11:15am

Fri April 18, 2014
Monkey See

So, 'Scandal' Writers, How Did You Write That Awful Wrist Thing?

Kerry Washington, Shonda Rhimes and Jim Rash chat about how Scandal is written on Sundance's The Writers' Room.
JC Dhien Sundance Channel

Sundance has been making strides in scripted television with series like Rectify and Top Of The Lake, but Friday night also brings back a charming little interview show they have — sort of a perfect Friday night show, actually.

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3:36am

Fri April 18, 2014
Monkey See

Tatiana Maslany On Looking Herself In The Eye

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 11:10 am

Tatiana Maslany plays Sarah, as well as some other characters, on BBC America's Orphan Black.
Steve Wilkie BBC America

Tatiana Maslany plays Sarah — and some other people — on BBC America's sci-fi show Orphan Black. On Friday's Morning Edition, she speaks to Kelly McEvers about how she manages to play all those different women from different cultural backgrounds, not to mention women with different mixes of malevolence and likability. Technically, it's no picnic: Just ask the tennis ball that sometimes plays her head.

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9:10pm

Thu April 17, 2014
Monkey See

Is 'Heaven' Real, Or Just A Place On Earth?

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 8:20 am

Colton Burpo (Connor Corum) tells Todd (Greg Kinnear) about heaven in Heaven Is for Real.
Allen Fraser Sony Pictures

Heaven Is for Real has an earnestness and an inertness that make it something of a bulletproof fish in a barrel. It's easy to take shots at because it's utterly artless and corny, but it's immune to criticism because it's not intended to be otherwise. It's simply intended to be affirming to people who go to church a lot, encouraging to people who go to church a little, and inoffensively irrelevant to people who don't go to church at all.

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1:04pm

Thu April 17, 2014
Monkey See

God, Man And Lots Of Corridors In 'Transcendence'

Rebecca Hall plays Evelyn Caster, who makes a tough choice about her husband in Transcendence.
Peter Mountain Warner Brothers Pictures

Transcendence is a science fiction story, but it's very much about faith. Early on, a member of a "neo-Luddite" group confronts Will Caster (Johnny Depp) about his work. Caster is promising a future in which a massive artificial intelligence will contain more knowledge than the world has ever collectively possessed, and the man – played by Lukas Haas, whom many of us first saw as a tiny Amish child in Witness, where he was also counseled about the dangers of modernity and technology – accuses him of trying to create a god.

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11:41am

Wed April 16, 2014
Monkey See

Lusting For Spring In Our Hearts

A cherry blossom tree on the Potomac. Not bad, eh?
Mark Wilson Getty Images

A friend of mine grumbled on Facebook recently about the phenomenon of people moaning in despair over April's weather. There's often a cold snap around this time, she pointed out. There's often unpleasant rain. There's often unpredictability.

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11:11am

Tue April 15, 2014
Monkey See

Ken Burns Tackles Lincoln, Education And Money In 'The Address'

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 7:07 pm

Cooper and Ned are two of the boys working on learning the Gettysburg Address in Ken Burns' latest documentary.
Lindsay Taylor Jackson/Florentine Films PBS

The Ken Burns documentary The Address, premiering on most PBS stations Tuesday night, opens at the Greenwood School in Vermont, where students are being introduced to a longstanding tradition: studying the Gettysburg Address until they can recite it from memory in front of a large audience of students, staff and parents. If they succeed, they receive a special commemorative coin that is only given for this achievement. A first, second and third prize will be awarded — one for middle school, one for high school — for these performances.

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3:12pm

Mon April 14, 2014
Monkey See

The Bitter Tundra Returns As 'Fargo' Comes To Television

Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard in FX's Fargo.
Matthias Clamer FX

There are a lot of ways to adapt a film to a TV show, and it's not as common as it was for a while there. For a while, you had strange experiments like TV telling the story of Ferris Bueller, TV telling the story of Baby and Johnny from Dirty Dancing, and TV revisiting 9 to 5. Usually, it meant just moving the characters over to a series, having them played by new actors, and following new stories about them. (Melora Hardin as Baby Houseman!) Every now and then, it worked: you might have heard of M*A*S*H.

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