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.



Mon October 15, 2012
Monkey See

'Beauty Is Embarrassing': Giant Puppets, Painted Words, And What Art Is All About

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 3:13 pm

A giant LBJ puppet head is one of Wayne White's creations in the documentary Beauty Is Embarrassing.
Beauty Is Embarrassing

I didn't actually know the name "Wayne White" when I went to see the documentary Beauty Is Embarrassing at Silverdocs this summer. But as it turns out, I've certainly seen his work, and even if, like me, you're not visual-arts-oriented enough to know his marvelous word paintings, you may have, too.

Read more


Mon October 15, 2012
Monkey See

Money Is The Object And The Subject In History's 'The Men Who Built America'

History identifies these men in its press materials as "Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, and J.P. Morgan." They are committing to the bit.
Zach Dilgard History


Mon October 15, 2012
Monkey See

You've Got To Have Friends: How Curated Families Shook Up TV Comedy

From Friends: Jennifer Aniston, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry and Courteney Cox. But you knew that.

This week at Monkey See, we're looking at friendship in pop culture. We begin with a consideration of how half-hour comedies shifted away from being almost exclusively family- or work-focused.

Read more


Mon October 15, 2012
Monkey See

Paula Abdul Judges 'Dancing' And Everything Else; She'll Get Around To You

Seen here in December 2011, Paula Abdul brings her super-friendly brand of judging to tonight's Dancing With The Stars.
Mark Davis Getty Images

Since Paula Abdul left American Idol, she's had her own dance competition show called Live To Dance on CBS (which failed) and a stint on The X Factor (where she lasted one season). Apparently still wanting that doctorate in reality-competition judging, she's making a guest appearance this week swinging a paddle (oh, behave) on ABC's Dancing With The Stars. The only major broadcast network left after that is NBC, where perhaps she can lead an aerobics class on The Biggest Loser.

Read more


Mon October 15, 2012
Monkey See

A Day Later, The Space Jump Guy Is OK, But How About The Rest Of Us?

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:23 am

Felix Baumgartner of Austria as he jumps out of the capsule during the final manned flight for Red Bull Stratos on Sunday.
Red Bull Stratos AP

More than 7 million people were watching as Felix Baumgartner sat at the edge of his space capsule yesterday 24 miles off the ground and got ready to jump, in what was known as the "Red Bull Stratos" project, better known as the "space jump." I saw it myself; he opened the door, and there was something there that certainly seemed to be space.

Read more


Fri October 5, 2012
Monkey See

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Time Travel And The Right Way To Be Pushy

  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

We all took ourselves to see Looper last weekend, and we've all got opinions. Was it confusing? Full of holes? Exciting? Moving? Too bloody? Not bloody enough? And what about Joseph Gordon-Levitt's prosthetic makeup and that thing that happened to Paul Dano?

Read more


Thu October 4, 2012
Monkey See

Careful, Frustrated 'Glee' People: 'The Break Up' Might Suck You Back In

Emma (Jayma Mays) and Will (Matthew Morrison) are only one of the challenged couples in tonight's Glee.
Jordin Althaus Fox

Every high-school show deals with the same problem — even if with Beverly Hills, 90210-like leisure — if it lasts long enough: What now?

Most often, as on 90210, everyone mysteriously goes off to the same college that doesn't exist. Sometimes, as on Friday Night Lights, the show follows some of the kids further but also toughens up and freshens the cast.

Read more


Tue October 2, 2012
Monkey See

When It Comes To Character Detail, 'Pitch Perfect' Nails It

Anna Kendrick in Pitch Perfect.
Peter Iovino Universal Pictures

Pitch Perfect, the new comedy that opened in some cities last Friday and goes wider this Friday, is set in a world very close to my own heart: college a cappella.

I know, I know — it's dorky, it's silly, you hated those people at your school — I get it. But I loved it when I did it, and even now, I carry around a few of these compilations on my phone.

But as much as I enjoyed all the singing (and I did), it's not how the film won me over. What won me over was Beca's raggedy manicure.

Read more


Sat September 29, 2012
Monkey See

Damian Lewis On The Conflicts And Complexities Of 'Homeland'

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 3:17 pm

Damian Lewis as Nicholas Brody in Showtime's Homeland.
Bob Leverone Showtime

There weren't a whole lot of upset winners at last Sunday's Emmy Awards, but one of the few was Homeland star Damian Lewis, who beat out, among others, Mad Men's Jon Hamm and three-time winner Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad to take home the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. Lewis' co-star, Claire Danes, won for her lead performance as well, and the show ended a four-year Mad Men streak when it was named Outstanding Drama Series.

Read more


Fri September 28, 2012