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
11:59 am
Wed September 18, 2013

True Love, Book Fights, And Why Ugly Stories Matter

The cover of Eleanor and Park

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 12:06 pm

Regular Monkey See readers know that I've been a fan for some time of Rainbow Rowell, whose first book, Attachments, was a thoughtful romance that utterly charmed me. (Full disclosure: It was after I began reading her books that I got to know Rowell a bit, enough that we actually met in person for the first time Tuesday night for dinner, ahead of her Wednesday night event at Politics & Prose in Washington, where she'll be talking about her new book, Fangirl.)

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Monkey See
10:37 am
Mon September 16, 2013

'Breaking Bad' Presents 'Ozymandias,' The Great And Terrible

Bryan Cranston as Walter White on AMC's Breaking Bad.
Frank Ockenfels AMC

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 9:44 am

[This post describes in detail plot points up to and including Sunday night's episode of Breaking Bad.]

We need to talk for a minute about evil.

There are those who don't really believe in evil, who believe that anyone who cannot be redeemed is more ill and broken than infected with wickedness and viciousness and brutality.

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Monkey See
12:30 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Toronto 2013: Some Film Festival Highs And Lows

Julianne Nicholson, Meryl Streep, and Julia Roberts in August: Osage County.
Toronto International Film Festival

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 11:52 am

Tastiest Scenery To Chew: August: Osage County, the John Wells-directed adaptation of the Tracy Letts stage play, stars Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Juliette Lewis, Chris Cooper, Margo Martindale, Benedict Cumberbatch, and a generally very impressive cast. But Streep is cranked up to 11 as the miserable, pill-popping matriarch. I expect her to win an Oscar for this role, simply because it's so over-the-top and because she is compelling in it.

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Monkey See
3:31 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

A Toronto Film Chat, From Two Jake Gyllenhaals To Three Daniel Radcliffes

Jesse Eisenberg stars in The Double, which is screening at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Toronto International Film Festival

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 4:20 pm

Bob Mondello and I took a break from our time at the Toronto International Film Festival today for a chat withAll Things Consideredand host Audie Cornish. We filled her in on just how many movies we've both seen, the surplus of stories about doppelgangers, the adventures of Daniel Radcliffe, and what we think are the early awards contenders.

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Monkey See
2:47 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Toronto International Film Festival, Days Three And Four: '12 Years' And 'Gravity'

Chiwetel Ejiofor (right) plays Solomon Northup in 12 Years A Slave. Benedict Cumberbatch plays one of the slaveowners who claim ownership of him.
Jaap Buitendijk Toronto International Film Festival

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 5:45 am

The weekend brings some higher-profile screenings, and my schedule on Saturday and Sunday reflects that. If some of the Thursday/Friday films were an opportunity to see what you may never hear about again, some of the Saturday/Sunday films are a chance to get a jump on the next four or five months of chatter.

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Monkey See
7:09 am
Sat September 7, 2013

Toronto International Film Festival, Days One And Two

Irrfan Khan in The Lunchbox.
Toronto International Film Festival

Two days into the Toronto International Film Festival, I'm 10 films in. We'll talk more about all of these later, but it seemed only fair to share some basic impressions, since I'm certainly logging the seat time to earn them. So here are the 10 I've seen so far.

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Monkey See
10:24 am
Thu September 5, 2013

The Devil's In The Details: Welcome To The Toronto International Film Festival

Daniel Radcliffe has horns in the film ... Horns.
Toronto International Film Festival

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 8:57 pm

"You're looking again."

These are the words I say to NPR's Bob Mondello as he sits across from me and we try to figure out how to plan the next six-and-a-half days at the Toronto International Film Festival. Bob is looking at the Press & Industry schedule, a colorful grid that lists, for tomorrow, 61 possible screenings we could attend. We're also allowed to go to a certain number of public screenings — the public schedule has 21 options, because it's the first day and they're keeping it light.

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Monkey See
11:23 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Voices And Changing Bands

NPR

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 9:42 am

  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

On this week's roundtable podcast, we open with Lake Bell's movie In A World, which takes place in the world of voiceovers. We chat about the movie itself, and about Bell, but also about where voiceovers stand right now. Are they still important? As important as they used to be?

Then, we take a reader suggestion and talk about reconstituted bands — replaced singers, replaced drummers, and sometimes entire new versions of bands you thought you knew. This takes us into the story of Journey, the matter of The Beach Boys, and much more.

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Monkey See
9:48 am
Wed August 21, 2013

When The Paints Go Marching In: Down The Well-Appointed Rabbit Hole Of Home Decor

Matthias Kulka iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 8:54 am

Okay, background information first.

As an apartment-dweller, I have lived for 20 years in a series of white-walled boxes with neutral carpets. I have assembled and eventually ripped apart the kind of furniture that comes with an Allen wrench. And I have had my adventures. When leaving an apartment in Brooklyn, I tore a sofa bed apart with my bare hands and feet — broke it and destroyed it — because it was old and I knew I'd never get it through the door again.

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Monkey See
8:10 pm
Sat August 17, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Jodie Foster's Accent, Fall TV, And Other Masterpieces

NPR

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 11:00 am

  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

I am very happy to be back this week after being gone for two episodes (thank you to Audie Cornish, Gene Demby and Kat Chow for being great while I was gone).

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