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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9:14am

Mon September 24, 2012
Monkey See

A Dull Night At The Emmys, But A Big One For 'Homeland' And 'Modern Family'

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 10:53 am

Claire Danes and Damian Lewis hold up their Emmy Awards for Showtime's Homeland.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Let us say this first: As an actual determination of the utmost merit in television, the Emmy Awards are ridiculous and have been ridiculous for quite some time. Naming shows that the Emmys failed to take seriously is easy: The Wire, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, most of the run of Friday Night Lights and so forth. If you look to the Emmys to actually anoint the best show or the best performance, you will bawl your eyes out over and over, and also, anyone who watches very much television will make fun of you as a rube and a dupe. Is that blunt enough?

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5:33am

Sun September 23, 2012
Monkey See

On Television's Biggest Night, It's Antiheroes And Maggie Smith

Originally published on Sun September 23, 2012 12:43 pm

Maggie Smith as Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham on Downton Abbey.
Nick Briggs PBS

Just as you're trying to figure out what to watch during the new television season, they come at you with the Emmy Awards, ready to bestow the big prizes from the last television season. There are some big questions about this year's slate: What happens to Downton Abbey, the swooning British import whose distaste for antiheroes and gore sets it apart from its Outstanding Drama Series rivals? How big a splash will the thriller Homeland make in its first year of eligibility?

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9:24am

Fri September 21, 2012

10:55am

Tue September 18, 2012
Monkey See

The Sophistication Problem: James Bond, Gene Kelly, And The Limbs We Live On

iStockphoto.com

In an excellent piece at the Press Play blog at Indiewire, Matt Zoller Seitz writes of a screening of From Russia With Love, where he found that much of the audience was too busy guffawing at the elements it found dated to engage the film on its own terms. While he writes eloquently and angrily about the phenomenon of ironic distance, the killer line is this one: "It's up to the individual viewer to decide to connect or not connect with a creative work.

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12:13pm

Mon September 17, 2012
Monkey See

The 25 Magic Words Of American Television

iStockphoto.com

Tonight, two new fall shows premiere: Mob Doctor, which is about a doctor who works for the mob, and Revolution, which is about a devastating global power outage and — more than that — a revolution.

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6:45pm

Fri September 14, 2012
Monkey See

Pop Culture Happy Hour: O Canada!

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

We taped this week's show with half of us in D.C. and half of us — me and Trey, plus NPR's own Bob Mondello — in a studio in Toronto. Why? Because of the Toronto International Film Festival, which provides the front half of the show. Trey, Bob and I talk about a bunch of the films we saw, many of which you can see covered on the blog's TIFF '12 section.

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2:02pm

Tue September 11, 2012
Monkey See

TIFF '12: Billy Bob Thornton's Film That Is Not About 'Jayne Mansfield's Car'

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 2:30 pm

Billy Bob Thornton and Kevin Bacon star in Jayne Mansfield's Car.
Van Redin Toronto International Film Festival

[Monkey See will be at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) through the middle of this week. We'll be bringing you our takes on films both large and small, from people both well-known and not.]

Here's a declaration for you: I haven't seen even ten percent of the films playing at the Toronto International Film Festival, but I am convinced that Jayne Mansfield's Car has the worst title.

Let's go back to the beginning.

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1:17pm

Tue September 11, 2012
Monkey See

TIFF '12: 'Mr. Pip' And Literary Escape

Hugh Laurie and Xzannjah in Mr. Pip.
Toronto International Film Festival

[Monkey See will be at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) through the middle of this week. We'll be bringing you our takes on films both large and small, from people both well-known and not.]

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2:03pm

Sat September 8, 2012
Monkey See

TIFF '12: Stomp Your Feet For 'The Sapphires'

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 5:13 pm

Chris O'Dowd, Deborah Mailman, Shari Sebbins, Jessica Mauboy, and Miranda Tapsell in The Sapphires.
Toronto International Film Festival

[Monkey See will be at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) through the middle of next week. We'll be bringing you our takes on films both large and small, from people both well-known and not.]

Film festival fare can be thrilling and moving and challenging and gorgeous, but here's the thing: it can also be dark and depressing. There's nothing more welcome, then, than a very good film that also happens to incorporate a lot of soul music and dancing, and The Sapphires is that very good film.

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11:43am

Sat September 8, 2012
Monkey See

TIFF '12: Sex, Kindness, And Polio In 'The Sessions'

John Hawkes and Helen Hunt star in The Sessions.
Red Camera Pulls Toronto International Film Festival

[Monkey See will be at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) through the middle of next week. We'll be bringing you our takes on films both large and small, from people both well-known and not.]

I'll say this: The Sessions is probably the most lighthearted movie about sex and polio you'll see this year.

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