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
8:55 am
Fri March 28, 2014

The Tyranny Of Release Dates, Part II: 'The Lunchbox'

Saajan Fernandes (Irrfan Khan) is a widower whose correspondence comes in an unlikely package — a lunchbox.
Ritesh Batra Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 1:16 pm

The romantic comedy-drama is not dead; it's just being platformed.

I saw The Lunchbox, the first feature from director Ritesh Batra, at the Toronto International Film Festival in September of last year. Starring Irrfan Khan and Nimrat Kaur, it takes as its jumping-off point the dabbawalas of Mumbai, guys on bikes who run a lunchbox-delivery system that brings hot, delicious lunches to people working in offices. (Spoiler alert: you will envy this system by film's end.)

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Monkey See
8:06 am
Thu March 27, 2014

'Tell Me Two Things Good': A Happiness Experiment

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 1:16 pm

One of my old pals used to come walking into a room at the end of a long day, sigh, look around, and say, "Tell me two things good." They could be big things, small things, anything — he had to hear two things, and they had to be good things, and you had to think of them right away.

Wednesday night, I asked Twitter this crucial question. Here are some of the responses.

Monkey See
9:31 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Would You Order The Grande Soy Oprah?

Howard Schultz, left, chairman and CEO of Starbucks Coffee Company, clinks tea cups with Oprah Winfrey, right, to announce their partnership to offer Teavana Oprah Chai tea.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 6:12 am

Say this to yourself: "I'd like a grande skim Oprah."

Let it roll off your tongue. Let it echo in your head. Let it burn itself into your brain. Really feel it.

On Wednesday, Starbucks announced that, in partnership with Oprah Winfrey, it had developed Oprah Chai Tea, which will be available either as regular tea or as a chai latte. When will it be here? "In time for Mother's Day."

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Monkey See
11:01 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: The Naked And The Nerds

NPR

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 5:41 am

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A while ago, we devoted a segment to the matter of profanity, and now, as summer follows spring and spring (supposedly) follows winter, we are moving on to the issue of nudity. When is it decorative? When is it exploitation? And how would they see all of this from Europe?

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Monkey See
11:01 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Step Right Up: 20 Very Silly Inventions Actually Pitched On 'Shark Tank'

The Moberi bike-powered smoothie stand is demonstrated for the investors of Shark Tank.
Michael Ansell ABC

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 1:55 pm

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Monkey See
9:24 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Every Reality Show Is A True Story, And Other 'Bachelor' Lessons

This is what "I didn't pick you" looks like, coming from Bachelor Juan Pablo. Sorry, Clare.
Rick Rowell ABC

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 5:10 pm

Every reality show is an entirely true story.

It is not the story that it claims to be — the story of two tribes building a new civilization, the story of America's search for its next superstar — but it is a true story nevertheless. It is, or at least it contains, the true story of the conception, creation, marketing, viewing, analyzing and evolution over time of a piece of entertainment that lives in the swampy, foggy, half-real version of the truth that it creates.

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Monkey See
10:33 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: The Oscars, 'Drag Race' And Shut-Ins Edition

NPR

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 8:11 am

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When we taped this show on Tuesday, we had all had quite a lot of the Oscars, to be honest. And we secretly suspect that with the all-out pile-on that continues for months before the ceremony, you might not require an all-out assault on the whole thing. So this week, you'll hear a quick wrap-up of how we felt about the hosting, some of the speeches, some of the great moments of Adele Nazeem-ing it up, and then we'll bid the entire thing farewell until next year. Next year, Oscars.

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Monkey See
9:40 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Yes, I Added A Pageant Coach To My Dream Team Of TV Advisers

Kim Gravel stars in Kim Of Queens on Lifetime, and also on the advisory board of my imagination.
Karolina Wojtasik Lifetime

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 11:29 am

When you watch a lot of silly television, one of the things you learn is that there are all kinds of people who are theoretically Here To Help.

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Monkey See
9:18 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Oh, Donna: On Loving One Of Television's Great Women

Donna Meagle (Retta), seen with April Ludgate (Aubrey Plaza), is not a lady whose Mercedes you want to bump in a parking lot.
Colleen Hayes NBC

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 3:41 pm

Parks And Recreation features one of the most impeccable collections of characters ever assembled for one comedy. To a person, they are funny, human, beautifully realized, individual, and — perhaps most important — lovingly rendered.

But as much as I love everyone on that show, I will admit that I have a favorite, particularly when it comes to the characters on this particular show who are missing from practically every other show, and that's Donna Meagle, played by Retta.

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Monkey See
12:43 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

Oscar Spoiler Alert: What We Already Know About The Winners

Actress Lupita Nyong'o may very well win an Oscar Sunday night. And if she does, she will have gotten votes from people who can't be bothered to learn her name.
Gabriel Olsen Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 9:38 am

Sunday night's Oscars will include a Best Picture race that's apparently narrowed to three films: 12 Years A Slave, Gravity, and maybe American Hustle. Matthew McConaughey for Best Actor? Maybe. Or Leonardo DiCaprio? What about Cate Blanchett, a seeming shoo-in despite Meryl Streep delivering, in August Osage County, the biggest, chewiest, most Oscar-friendly performance of all time?

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Monkey See
9:59 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Bob And Linda Read Internet Movie Reviews, Part Nine: '12 Years A Slave'

Bob And Linda Read Internet Movies Reviews
NPR

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 6:42 am

This year, we wanted to look back at the nine best picture nominees and remind ourselves — and you — that reactions to film are complicated, hilariously varied and wonderfully individual. So we looked over every comment for every nominee at RottenTomatoes.com, and we brought you some of our favorites.

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Monkey See
9:55 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: The Oscars Omnibus Of 2014

NPR

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 8:41 am

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Sunday night, the Oscars will come around once again, and we'll be watching. But before we do, we got together with All Things Considered film critic, silly video partner, emoticon learner and all-around great pal Bob Mondello to talk about all nine of the Best Picture nominees: American Hustle, Dallas Buyers Club, Nebraska, Philomena, Her, Wolf Of Wall Street, 12 Years A Slave, Gravity, and Captain Phillips.

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Monkey See
1:19 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Hurts So Good: Getting A Kick Out Of A Movie Punch

Don't mess with Liam Neeson! He will get you with his phone! Or whatever else is handy! He will beat you up, is what we're saying.
Universal Pictures

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 6:34 am

My favorite parts of Non-Stop, in which Liam Neeson adds airplane bathrooms to the list of things out of which he has beaten the snot, are the silliest parts. The slow-motion parts. The gravity-defying parts. The parts where everybody in the audience cracks up, but not unkindly.

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Monkey See
8:52 am
Tue February 25, 2014

A Boozy New Sitcom Lowers (And Lowers) The Bar

Adam Campbell as Ron, Adan Canto as Dominic, Alexis Carra as Jessica, Craig Frank as Cal, Ginger Gonzaga as Maya, Blake Lee as Tom, Vanessa Lengies as Kacey, Andrew Santino as Bruce, Frankie Shaw as Fabienne and Kate Simses as Liv.
Joseph Viles ABC

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 7:14 am

Romantic comedy, like some of the activities in which it ideally culminates, is something too many people believe they can do well with little effort. For example, writers Jon Lucas and Scott Moore had enormous success with The Hangover in 2009, which is one of those movies people are talking about when they explain the better and better projects on which Bradley Cooper has risen.

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Monkey See
2:01 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

A New Shine On Old Problems: How to Clean The Nastiest Stains

iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 7:01 pm

It's hard to take not one but two genres that are typically thought of as staples of old-fashioned "media for women" – the advice column and the collection of household hints – and make them feel at all relevant to women now, who may or may not have time for all the fussing that perfect housekeeping ideally entails and may or may not live lives in which it's their responsibility, or their priority.

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