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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Monkey See
11:08 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Ten Clues That The Zombie Outbreak Being Announced On Your Television Is Not A Hoax

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 2:25 pm

As reported on Tuesday's Morning Edition, KRTV in Great Falls, Mont., was apparently the victim of hackers who broke in and broadcast a warning of attacking zombies. The station now says that it was a hoax, fortunately.

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Monkey See
10:55 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Get Severance: Interview With An Iron

The Monopoly iron token that was replaced by the new cat token.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 6:07 pm

Wednesday, Hasbro announced that it was welcoming a new member of the Monopoly-token family. And because it asked the Internet, it wound up with a cat. (For whatever reason, the Internet was not offered Gotye or a bacon cupcake.)

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Monkey See
8:46 am
Mon February 4, 2013

That Was A Great Blackout Last Night

Kicker David Akers of the San Francisco 49ers waits during a power outage that occurred in the third quarter that caused a 34-minute delay during Super Bowl XLVII.
Ezra Shaw Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 11:38 am

Great blackout last night, right?

It's been clear for some time that substantially more people watch the Super Bowl than have the slightest interest in watching the actual football game. That's why there's such hubbub over the halftime show and the commercials — it gives non-football types something to pay attention to instead of football.

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Monkey See
8:23 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Choosing Sides: How To Pick Between The Ravens And The 49ers

Sourdough Sam, the mascot for the San Francisco 49ers, looks on in January 2012.
Doug Pensinger Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 10:13 am

Headlines were circulating last week about how, as Slate put it, "almost everybody" is rooting for the San Francisco 49ers over the Baltimore Ravens in Sunday's Super Bowl. Of course, it turns out that what this actually meant was more like "substantially more than half of the area of the country is included within counties in which more people like the 49ers on Facebook than like the Ravens on Facebook."

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Monkey See
12:13 am
Sun January 20, 2013

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

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

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

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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Monkey See
12:13 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Lance Armstrong And The Cheapening Of Indignation

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

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

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Movies
12:11 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Oscar Nominees Announced: 'Lincoln' Leads With 12

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 3:04 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And this morning here in Los Angeles the nominations for the 85th Academy Awards were announced. The movie with the most nominations: Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln," with 12 nods.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "LINCOLN")

DANIEL DAY-LEWIS: (as Lincoln) Euclid's first common notion is this: Things which are equal to the same thing are equal to each other. That's a rule of mathematical reasoning. It's true because it works.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "LIFE OF PI")

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Monkey See
8:56 am
Fri January 4, 2013

In NFL Football, As In Hollywood, Does Anybody Know Anything?

Head coach Andy Reid of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on during a game against the Washington Redskins on Dec. 23, 2012 in Philadelphia.
Alex Trautwig Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 1:30 pm

Baseball: The San Francisco Giants, in winning the 2012 World Series, participated in 16 playoff games — and they'd have had more, had they not swept Detroit 4-0 in the World Series itself.

Football: The San Francisco 49ers played 16 games in their entire regular season. Three more wins would make them Super Bowl champions.

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Monkey See
10:07 am
Tue January 1, 2013

2012 In Review: 50 Wonderful Things From The Year In Pop Culture

Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) in the pivotal Mad Men episode, "The Other Woman."
AMC

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 10:08 am

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Monkey See
11:04 am
Thu December 13, 2012

The 'Calm Act' Will Quiet Down Commercials, So What Should Congress Do Next?

iStockphoto.com

COME RIGHT DOWN RIGHT NOW BUY SOME FURNITURE EVERYTHING MUST GO WE ARE LIQUIDATING MERCHANDISE FOR THE THIRD TIME SINCE LAST FEBRUARY AND THIS TIME WE REALLY MEAN IT WE ARE GOING OUT OF BUSINESS ANY REASONABLE OFFER WILL BE ACCEPTED OR MY NAME ISN'T CRAZYPANTS MCGILLICUDDY.*

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Monkey See
4:07 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

PBS Remixes 'Reading Rainbow,' Delights Map And Book Nerds Everywhere

LeVar Burton and 7 year old Shane Ammon exploring the all Reading Rainbow adventure app at the "Reading Rainbow Relaunch" event in June.
AP

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 4:48 pm

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Monkey See
3:23 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Neil deGrasse Tyson Helps His New 'Bud' Superman Get A Glimpse Of Home

From Action Comics 14, Neil deGrasse Tyson greets Superman to help him with a problem.
DC Comics

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 8:29 am

On Monday's Morning Edition, Hayden Planetarium director and pop-culture go-to science guy Neil deGrasse Tyson tells NPR's David Greene the story of how he came to lend a hand to Superman.

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Monkey See
12:56 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Top Ten Things I Am Not Going To Do During This 'Les Miserables' Screening

Anne Hathaway in Les Miserables.
Universal Pictures

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 12:44 pm

It's just about that time when members of the press begin to attend screenings of Les Miserables. I hereby vow to engage in none of the following conduct.

1. Throw crusts of bread at the screen and yell, "HEY, JEAN VALJEAN, ARE YOU HUNGRY?"

2. Do my imitation of Amanda Seyfried singing "There are so many questions and ah-nswers that somehow seem wrong," even though it's really funny and quite terrifying.

3. Refer to the short-haired Anne Hathaway as "Ruth Buzz-y."

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Monkey See
5:04 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Running A Comedy Machine: How Chuck Lorre Makes Hits

Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons in The Big Bang Theory, one of Chuck Lorre's three popular comedies currently on CBS.
Sonja Flemming CBS

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 5:51 pm

On Tuesday's Morning Edition, NPR's Neda Ulaby has a story about Chuck Lorre, the producer whose name is attached to three of the five highest-rated comedies on American television last season: The Big Bang Theory, Two And A Half Men, and Mike & Molly.

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Monkey See
5:01 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

Rob Delaney Talks About Gratitude, Perspective, Spaceships And A Career With Teeth

A screenshot from Rob Delaney's standup special, "Live At The Bowery Ballroom."

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 5:57 pm

Full disclosure: The first thing I said when I saw that Rob Delaney would be talking to NPR's Audie Cornish on today's All Things Considered was that I was curious to see whether he had ever said anything on Twitter — where he has almost 670,000 followers (including me) as of this writing — that they thought they could read on the radio. It's an exaggeration. But not by that much.

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Monkey See
5:09 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

'We Killed': Women In Comedy, From Stand-Ups To Sitcoms

We Killed: The Rise Of Women In American Comedy is a sprawling oral history that grew out of a Marie Claire piece. It has the loose structure of most similar books (of which there are more and more), though the introduction unfortunately ties it to the tired "women aren't funny" assertions that apparently we're not through talking about yet.

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Monkey See
7:34 am
Tue October 16, 2012

A Judge Dismisses 'The Bachelor' Discrimination Lawsuit, But Not Its Concerns

Seen here in April 2012, Christopher Johnson and Nathaniel Claybrooks sued over the casting of The Bachelor.
Mark Humphrey AP

Yesterday, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by Christopher Johnson and Nathaniel Claybrooks, two black men who had auditioned for The Bachelor, who claimed that the show discriminates against people of color both in choosing the primary bachelor/ette and in choosing the people he or she will have to choose from.

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Monkey See
9:00 am
Mon October 15, 2012

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

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

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

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.

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Monkey See
6:07 am
Sat September 29, 2012

Damian Lewis On The Conflicts And Complexities Of 'Homeland'

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

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

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.

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Monkey See
12:47 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Women, Men And Fiction: Notes On How Not To Answer Hard Questions

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 1:32 pm

Nothing is more vexing than a question where 10 percent of the public discussion is spent trying to answer it and 90 percent is spent arguing about whether it matters.

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Monkey See
10:26 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Help Us Choose The Next 'I Will If You Will' Book Club Selection

Andreas G. Karelias iStockphoto.com

So far, the I Will If You Will Book Club — a very occasional project of Monkey See — has read Twilight, Moby-Dick, and Neil Gaiman's The Sandman: Dream Country. It has been much too long since we read a book, so we will do so now.

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Monkey See
11:20 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Manifestations Of Grief And Extra Book Material

NPR

What's that you say? You wanted more Barrie Hardymon? Well, this week, Stephen is in Wisconsin probably eating some cheese or something, so we have Barrie back for a second consecutive week (hooray!).

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Monkey See
1:04 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Pop Culture Happy Hour: On Fall TV And Whether Criticism Is Too Nice

NPR

This week, I managed to return from press tour, but we are still without Trey Graham. Fortunately, that means that the lovely Barrie Hardymon joined us for this episode, which kicks off with me fully (and exhaustively — sorry!) debriefing the team about fall television as I experienced it out in Los Angeles.

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Monkey See
11:35 am
Fri August 10, 2012

On Already Missing The Angry, Passionate Writing Of David Rakoff

David Rakoff, seen here in 2010.
Larry Busacca Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 5:00 pm

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Monkey See
11:34 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Good Business, Bad Quality: How NBC Is Both Right And Wrong On The Olympics

Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates winning gold in the Men's 100m Final yesterday. If you get your Olympics coverage on television, you didn't see it live.
Alexander Hassenstein Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 3:36 pm

The following exchange has played out over and over in the last ten days:

Point: "NBC's coverage of the Olympics stinks, because everything is tape-delayed and cut to shreds, and also the announcers are awful and they only care about American athletes, and by the time I get to watch anything, I already know what happened."

Counterpoint: "People are watching in huge numbers."

Point: "But quality."

Counterpoint: "But business."

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Monkey See
12:03 am
Sun July 15, 2012

The Id, The Ego And The Superhero: What Makes Batman Tick?

Christian Bale as Batman in The Dark Knight Rises.
Ron Phillips Warner Brothers Pictures

Originally published on Sun July 15, 2012 11:11 am

When you look at Batman with a coldly analytical eye — and he's hard to avoid these days, with The Dark Knight Rises set to come out Friday — a few things stand out as potential red flags: the secrecy, the lair, the attraction to danger, the blithe self-sacrifice, the ... cape.

It's unusual, all of it, you have to admit. Sure, he's handy to have around in an emergency, and you can't beat a fella who can be summoned with a giant light in the sky in the event you've got no cellphone reception.

But is he entirely ... well?

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Monkey See
1:03 am
Sun June 17, 2012

Can Men And Women Be Friends?

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 9:41 am

It's a question that kicks around endlessly without resolution: Can men and women really be just friends? On Weekend Edition Sunday, NPR's Rachel Martin talks to Faith Salie and Mario Correa, hosts of WNYC's RelationShow, about this very topic.

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Monkey See
6:08 am
Sat June 16, 2012

Explaining Muppet Theory: Are You An Ernie Or A Bert?

Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie in the 2005 Tournament of Roses Parade. They even look like a clash between Order and Chaos, don't they?
Matthew Simmons Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 2:22 pm

Most of the time, Slate's Dahlia Lithwick covers the Supreme Court. She's been doing that for the last 13 years. But recently, you may have seen her name floating around in connection with the piece she recently wrote that she discusses with Scott Simon on Saturday's Weekend Edition.

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Monkey See
4:03 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Neil deGrasse Tyson Investigates The Space Science Of Summer Movies

There's plenty of starfield action going on in Prometheus.
Twentieth Century Fox

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 10:56 am

If you make movies that have anything to do with science, please note: Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium, pays attention.

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Monkey See
6:43 am
Sat June 2, 2012

For Impressionist Jim Meskimen, The Voice Is 'A Sample Of Who We Are'

Jim Meskimen arrives at the premiere of Frost/Nixon in November 2008.
Vince Bucci Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 2, 2012 11:50 pm

Jim Meskimen is the only person I've ever heard open an interview with NPR's Scott Simon in the voice of NPR's Robert Siegel.

In fairness, he's the one most likely to do so, since he is a noted impressionist. He acknowledges "you don't see people doing their Robert Siegel in nightclubs much," though he's noted what he calls Siegel's "bemused kind of delivery."

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