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
1:00 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Kristin Chenoweth On God, Comedy, And Dolly Parton

Kristen Chenoweth stars in the new ABC series GCB.
Karen Neal ABC

Originally published on Sat March 3, 2012 2:00 pm

Kristin Chenoweth talks to Jacki Lyden on today's Weekends on All Things Considered, and if the only thing you got from the interview was Chenoweth warbling a bit of the first solo she ever did in church, it would be well worth it.

The Emmy-winning actress stars on ABC's new GCB, a sort of Desperate-Housewives-ish dishy, soapy comedy-drama premiering Sunday night at 10. She's come quite a long way since, as she explains, her father negotiated her first contract.

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Monkey See
11:42 pm
Sun February 26, 2012

'Artist' Comes Out On Top As Oscars Regroup, Reminisce

Jean Dujardin accepts the Oscar for best actor in a leading role for The Artist during the 84th Academy Awards on Sunday.
Mark J. Terrill AP

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:00 am

It's perhaps fitting that during a year when Hollywood made even more films than usual about the love of film itself, the two big winners at the 84th Academy Awards on Sunday night were the movies most overtly about cinephilia: The Artist, a silent black-and-white film about silent black-and-white films, and Hugo, the story of a boy who meets a reclusive filmmaker and helps him rediscover his love of his art.

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Monkey See
9:01 am
Tue January 24, 2012

The Oscars: 'Hugo' Leads, But Expect An 'Extremely Loud' Outcry

Thomas Horn stars as a grieving boy in Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close — dismissed by many critics but nominated for Best Picture.
David Lee Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 11:12 am

In the end, there were nine nominees for Best Picture announced on Tuesday morning, and eight of them were entirely predictable: The Artist, The Descendants, The Help, Hugo, Midnight In Paris, War Horse, The Tree Of Life, and Moneyball.

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Monkey See
3:00 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

'I'd Rather Be A Mystery': John Hawkes On Keeping His Hat Pulled Down

John Hawkes and Elizabeth Olsen in 2011's Martha Marcy May Marlene.
Fox Searchlight

Originally published on Mon January 23, 2012 5:25 pm

John Hawkes' conversation with Melissa Block on today's All Things Considered begins as many of his conversations might: with her noting that when she told people she was coming to talk to him and rattled off his credits, she got a response that he undoubtedly gets a lot: "Ohhh, he's that guy."

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Monkey See
11:01 pm
Thu December 29, 2011

A Complex 'Separation' In Iran

Leila Hatami as Simin in Asghar Farhadi's A Separation.
Habib Madjidi Sony Pictures Classics

The Iranian drama A Separation has popped up on more than a few critics' lists of the best films of 2011, despite little exposure in the U.S. thus far. It will open in limited release December 30, and as Howie Movshovitz of Colorado Public Radio reports on Friday's Morning Edition, it serves as both a family drama and a piece of social observation about life in Iran.

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Monkey See
3:00 pm
Fri December 23, 2011

For 'Downton' Fans, A New Season And A New Book

Brendan Coyle is John Bates and Joanne Froggatt is Anna Smith in Downton Abbey, which returns January 8 to PBS.
Nick Briggs PBS/Masterpiece

Originally published on Thu December 29, 2011 7:08 am

It's almost here. And by "it," we mean the new season of Downton Abbey, the UK-produced drama about the Crawley family and their servants that PBS imported for Masterpiece Classic with great success. Series two has already run in the UK, but if you've been good and patient and resisted the urge to obtain it by illicit means, your wait is nearly over: the new season begins on PBS on January 8th.

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Monkey See
11:34 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Holiday Greetings From The World Of Politics: Dogs, Churches, And Plaid Shirts

Mitt Romney's holiday card for 2011 shows his entire large family.

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Monkey See
12:55 pm
Wed December 21, 2011

Callin' Oates: The Hotline You Don't Need (But Might Call Anyway)

John Oates (left) and Daryl Hall (right) of pop duo Hall & Oates, seen here in 1987. These days, they're available on your phone.
Dave Hogan Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 29, 2011 5:08 pm

Is it pure whimsy that makes something like "Callin' Oates" appealing?

If you pick up your phone and call 719-26-OATES — at least as of this writing — you'll get a computerized woman's voice telling you what numbers to press to hear one of four Hall & Oates songs.

The question, of course, is ... why?

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Monkey See
11:01 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

Diablo Cody Explores The Ugly Side Of Pretty In 'Young Adult'

Charlize Theron plays Mavis Gary in Young Adult.
Phillip V. Caruso Paramount Pictures

Charlize Theron is ugly in Young Adult, the new film from the Juno team of director Jason Reitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody — both literally and personally. In parts of the film, she still looks like her knockout movie-star self, but in other parts, she looks like she's aged a year for every day since her character, Mavis Gary, left high school.

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Monkey See
11:03 am
Thu December 8, 2011

So The Mythbusters Punched A Hole In A House With A Cannonball. Now What?

The exit hole from a misfired cannonball is seen in the second story wall after it traveled through a Dublin, Calif., home on Cassata Place on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011.
Doug Duran AP

Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 3:59 pm

So ... now what?

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Monkey See
7:35 am
Wed December 7, 2011

Raise A Glass Of Butterbeer As Potter's 'Wizarding World' Comes To Hollywood

Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 7:36 am

You might think Harry Potter fever would be petering out now that the books and the films have come and gone. You, of course, would be wrong, as Ben Bergman reports on today's Morning Edition.

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Monkey See
2:15 pm
Fri December 2, 2011

Bow Bow, Chk-a-Bow: Five Voices Rise To The Top Of TV's A Cappella Competition

Pentatonix performs on The Sing-Off.
Lewis Jacobs NBC

Originally published on Fri December 2, 2011 6:00 pm

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Monkey See
8:57 am
Tue November 22, 2011

How Hugh Grant Wants To Make You Rethink Tabloid Culture

British actor Hugh Grant attends a fringe meeting during the Conservative Party Conference at Manchester Central on October 4, 2011.
Jeff J. Mitchell Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 22, 2011 10:34 am

From a pop culture perspective, Hugh Grant's testimony yesterday about ethics in journalism is a fascinating step for a guy who's already had a pretty interesting trajectory.

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Monkey See
1:08 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

Eddie Murphy Will Not Host the Oscars

Eddie Murphy, seen here in October 2011, will not host the 2012 Oscars after all.
Theo Wargo Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 9, 2011 2:42 pm

Following the exit of producer Brett Ratner from the upcoming Oscars telecast yesterday, Eddie Murphy — whose new film Tower Heist is also Ratner's latest directorial effort — has stepped aside as host of the 2012 show, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today.

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Monkey See
4:12 pm
Tue November 8, 2011

Leonardo DiCaprio Brings The Complex 'J. Edgar' To Life On Film

J. Leo: DiCaprio as Hoover in J. Edgar.
Keith Bernstein Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Wed November 9, 2011 10:42 am

In Clint Eastwood's new film J. Edgar, Leonardo DiCaprio plays J. Edgar Hoover, the controversial longtime FBI director, from youth through old age. And when you play a man for that long, you might expect to sympathize with him somewhat. But DiCaprio tells Guy Raz on today's All Things Considered that he doesn't have sympathy or empathy for Hoover.

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Monkey See
2:03 pm
Tue November 8, 2011

'100 Yards To Glory': What Eli Manning Told Bob Costas About His Pores

Bob Costas, co-author of a new book and DVD set counting down the greatest moments in NFL history.
NBC Universal Photo Bank

On today's All Things Considered, Robert Siegel poses an important question to Bob Costas, one of the authors of a new book about the greatest moments in football: With football so popular and beloved and money-making, why is baseball still considered our national pastime? What does football have to do to get a little love?

"Hey, leave baseball something," Costas says of the special, nostalgic language with which we often speak of it. "In every other measurable way, football has surpassed it."

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Monkey See
11:01 pm
Fri October 28, 2011

Justin Timberlake On Music, Comedy, And Wearing Out His NPR T-Shirt

Justin Timberlake arrives at the premiere of In Time on October 20.

Frazer Harrison Getty Images

It was almost two years ago now that Justin Timberlake, while filming The Social Network, cemented his place in the NPR collective heart by being photographed wearing our logo across his chest like a tattoo, only fabric, and temporary, and less painful. (Back then, by the way, that shirt wasn't in our shop. Now, you can have one! It's with our "best-sellers," even now.)

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Monkey See
11:04 am
Wed October 26, 2011

'Shame,' Sex And Violence: Can We Reclaim The NC-17 Rating?

Actor Michael Fassbender attends the 'Shame' premiere during the 55th BFI London Film Festival on October 14, 2011 in London, England.

Gareth Cattermole Getty Images for the BFI

Certain facts regarding movie ratings are not in dispute.

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Monkey See
2:30 pm
Mon October 17, 2011

'Why Read Moby-Dick?': A Passionate Defense Of The 'American Bible'

iStockphoto.com

We have a bit of history with Herman Melville's Moby-Dick here at Monkey See. It was the second selection in our I Will If You Will Book Club after Twilight (true story!), and we read the entire thing together in the spring of 2010.

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Monkey See
2:30 pm
Wed October 12, 2011

New Girl Scout Badges Offer Different Choices To Smart Cookies

Today on All Things Considered, Alisha Niehaus of the Girl Scouts of America talks to host Guy Raz about a big update: for the first time in a quarter-century, they've updated the badges that Scouts can earn.

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Monkey See
7:52 am
Thu October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs: How Apple's CEO Helped Transform Popular Culture

Steve Jobs, seen here in June 2010, passed away Wednesday at 56 after battling cancer for years.

Justin Sullivan Getty Images

When the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was announced last night, if you were following Twitter, what you saw was a spasm of grief. Writers, actors, musicians, your friends, comedians ... the genuine sadness was palpable, not only because he was 56 years old, but because so many saw the news while holding one of his products in their hands. This is very much what popular culture is: this hive mind, this hum of collective response.

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Monkey See
2:11 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

Apple Announces A New Phone And Voice Recognition, But Not The iPhone 5

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks at the event introducing the new iPhone.

Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 4, 2011 5:01 pm

Today was widely expected to bring the announcement of the iPhone 5 — maybe with a bigger screen, a different home button, or a differently shaped case — at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, California.

It didn't.

That's not to say Apple didn't say anything of note at its rather lengthy presentation. Not at all. But the big game-changing piece of new hardware didn't come to pass. Aficionados waited, wondering and chattering on liveblogs and on Twitter to see if it would come at the end in Apple's traditional "one more thing" fashion.

It didn't.

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Monkey See
9:31 am
Mon October 3, 2011

ABC News And Yahoo! Open A New Partnership With A Presidential Chat

George Stephanopoulos of ABC News is a big part of the new partnership between ABC and Yahoo!, announced today.

Lou Rocco ABC

ABC News and Yahoo! announced today that they are teaming up in a "strategic online news alliance" they hope will reach 100 million U.S. users a month. And they're not starting small: George Stephanopoulos will interview President Obama at 2:35 this afternoon for a webcast on ABCNews.com and Yahoo.com. The partnership will make ABC News, according to the press release, "the premier news provider on Yahoo! News." The press release says that Yahoo!

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Monkey See
8:00 am
Mon October 3, 2011

Andy Rooney Says Goodbye

Andy Rooney tapes his final segment for 60 Minutes.

AP

Sunday night, 92-year-old Andy Rooney bid farewell to his regular weekly segments on 60 Minutes, explaining that he sees himself as a writer and not a "television personality," and after all, "writers don't retire," but he's no longer going to be talking on television every week about fruit or the post office or whatever other nagging matter has his attention.

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Monkey See
10:16 am
Wed September 28, 2011

Amazon Unveils Its Tablet, The Kindle Fire: Can It Compete?

Jeff Bezos, Chairman and CEO of Amazon.com, introduces the Kindle Fire at a news conference, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Wed September 28, 2011 3:41 pm

Today, Amazon announced the debut of its 7-inch tablet, the Kindle Fire. Available for $199, the Kindle Fire is being positioned as a device that will deliver Amazon's e-books, MP3s, magazines, web browsing, and streaming video for less than half the price of full-featured tablets like the Apple iPad. The Fire is available for preorder starting today, and will ship November 15.

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