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
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
11:01 pm
Fri October 21, 2011

'Klitschko': Brothers And Boxers Who Fight Hard, But Never Each Other

If you think your kids have the potential for major sibling rivalry, consider the Klitschko Brothers, Wladimir and Vitali. They're the first brothers to hold world boxing titles simultaneously.

Director Sebastian Dehnhardt tells their story in a new documentary simply called Klitschko, and they talk about their story with Scott Simon Saturday on Weekend Edition.

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Monkey See
11:01 pm
Wed October 19, 2011

Amy Poehler: Playing Politics, But Only On Television

Amy Poehler, seen here with Aubrey Plaza as April Ludgate and Chris Pratt as Andy Dwyer, plays idealistic bureaucrat Leslie Knope on NBC's Parks And Recreation.

Ron Tom NBC

Amy Poehler joined Saturday Night Live in 2001 — a time, she says, when no one was really sure comedy was going to ever be okay again. She left in 2008 after playing Hillary Clinton during the show's coverage of an election cycle when, she tells Ari Shapiro on Thursday's Morning Edition, "the country was really paying attention to politics."

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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
7:46 am
Sat October 8, 2011

Sports From 'The Onion': A New Book Explores 'The Ecstasy Of Defeat'

Brett Favre, seen here looking bummed in 2010, is one of the many sports figures taking a drubbing in the new sports book from the editors of The Onion.

Jamie Squire Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 8, 2011 4:04 pm

I'm going to make a confession. I have enjoyed many of the same Onion headlines as everyone else over the years, from the exploits of presidents and Congress to the activities of store clerks and sad dads. But their sports coverage, while it's passed around somewhat less often and is a bit less well-known, is generally my favorite stuff they do.

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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
11:01 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

Skipping The Ads On TV? Get Ready For The Shows That Are The Ads

My Pretty Pony is a Hasbro toy, but it's also a Discovery/Hasbro TV show on The Hub.

The Hub

You know regular product placement, right? Top Chef and its plugs for frozen meals and Gladware, cars being name-checked by action stars speeding away in them, and — of course — the carbonation-off currently taking place between American Idol (COKE! COKE! COKE!) and The X Factor (PEPSI! PEPSI! PEPSI!). But as Elizabeth Blair reports on Wednesday's Morning Edition, you haven't seen anything yet.

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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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Monkey See
7:42 am
Wed September 28, 2011

Idris Elba: The Man Who Is Luther, Was Stringer, And Could Be James Bond

Idris Elba as John Luther in Luther, which returns on BBC America Wednesday night.
Kerry Brown BBC America

Idris Elba tells Linda Wertheimer on Wednesday's Morning Edition that he didn't come to the United States from the UK to play "black roles," but merely "roles." And he has: roles like Stringer Bell on HBO's dark drug epic The Wire and John Luther, the central character of Luther, a drama series that returns for a second season tonight on BBC America.

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Monkey See
11:01 pm
Fri September 23, 2011

Rin Tin Tin: From Battlefield To Hollywood, A Story Of Friendship

The original Rin Tin Tin was born in 1918 and died in 1932.
Courtesy of Simon and Schuster

The story of how Rin Tin Tin became one of the most celebrated animals in film history is almost as Hollywood-tinged as cinema itself.

The short version: Lee Duncan, an American serviceman during World War I, found a mostly destroyed dog kennel right on the field of battle. Duncan rescued the pup who became Rin Tin Tin, brought him home to California, and later put him in the movies.

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Monkey See
7:33 am
Mon September 19, 2011

Netflix Won't Send You DVDs Anymore; Now They'll Come From 'Qwikster'

Say goodbye to the red Netflix envelope, which the company is phasing out in favor of a new DVD delivery service called "Qwikster."
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 19, 2011 12:37 pm

Netflix has figured out that people are very upset about its decision to split streaming video and DVD delivery — a decision that got it in huge hot water earlier this year. Customers who had previously gotten both streaming and DVDs for a single price would now have to pay separately. If you only use one or the other, you could pay less, but if you still wanted both, you'd pay more.

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Monkey See
7:08 am
Mon September 19, 2011

The Emmys: Satisfying Winners Elevate A Sloppy Show

Melissa McCarthy accepts the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series award onstage with Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Martha Plimpton, Edie Falco, and presenters Rob Lowe and Sofia Vergara.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 19, 2011 7:51 am

Watching Sunday night's Emmy Awards was a little bit like going to the very bad wedding of people you really love: the happiness you feel for the people involved almost makes up for how otherwise unremarkable the experience is.

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Monkey See
11:01 pm
Thu September 15, 2011

Jane Lynch: A Life Of 'Happy Accidents'

Voice

It's a big week for Jane Lynch. Her memoir, Happy Accidents, was released on Tuesday, and this Sunday night, she'll be hosting the Primetime Emmy Awards. And she's a reasonably good bet to pick one up, too: her second in a row for playing the scheming cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester on Fox's Glee. On Friday's Morning Edition, she talks to David Greene about her career, her book, and the difficult process of telling her parents she was gay.

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Monkey See
3:03 pm
Tue September 6, 2011

Eddie Murphy Will Host The Oscars

Eddie Murphy will be the host of the Oscars in February 2012.
Dimitrios Kambouris Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 6, 2011 2:23 pm

It's been rumored for a few days, and now it's official: Eddie Murphy will host the Oscars in 2012, the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences announced today.

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Monkey See
3:49 pm
Wed August 31, 2011

Pets Or Meat? Let's Play Guess-The-Victim With 'Shark Night 3D'

Sara Paxton and Dustin Milligan star in Shark Night 3D.
Steve Dietl Relativity Media

Originally published on Wed August 31, 2011 2:36 pm

About two years ago, I introduced all of you to a game. I quote from that entry:

"Any time a scary movie apparently involves a decent-sized cast of people placed in a closed environment, it's a good time to play a game I like to call Pets Or Meat.

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