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
3:11 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Grief And Community In 'Broadchurch'

Olivia Colman and David Tennant in Broadchurch.
Colin Hutton BBC America

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 9:14 am

It's hard to import a European murder mystery without importing baggage along with it — expectations of a gray chill, of relentless and austere severity.

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Monkey See
9:10 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Death And Walter White

Bryan Cranston as Walter White on Breaking Bad.
Ursula Coyote AMC

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 10:57 am

This piece discusses plot points in detail from the first four and a half seasons of Breaking Bad, but nothing from the Aug. 11 season premiere.

If television's golden age has taught viewers anything, it is to expect that explosive, violent death is an integral part of serious storytelling. The history of literature and the history of film teach that there are other ways to achieve high stakes. But if you go looking for premium, celebrated television dramas that don't involve a lot of bloody kills, you will narrow your options considerably.

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Monkey See
8:50 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Rushing The Revolution: Television Is Disrupted! (Sort Of)

Vasca iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 9:58 am

Television is in the middle of a cataclysmic upheaval, in which there's no more season or midseason, no more requirement that a series run for 22 episodes at a time, no more stigma surrounding film actors going to television, no more assumption that television is watched on a television, no more assumption that people watch things when they're on, an explosive presence for social media that unites fans, and a growing sense on the part of a lot of people that television is pulling just as much of the cultural storytelling weight as film.

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Monkey See
10:58 am
Tue July 30, 2013

Mike Tyson And The Questions Not Asked

Director Spike Lee and Mike Tyson speak onstage at a panel in Beverly Hills on Thursday.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 26, 2013 10:53 am

HBO's press tour presentations this year were quieter than they've sometimes been. They don't have a big, splashy new drama series to talk about — in part because they still make a limited amount of original programming and don't have a lot of room when they're happy with how things are going. They have a comedy series with Stephen Merchant, but since we haven't seen it, most of the questions touched in one way or another on how tall he is.

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Monkey See
8:44 pm
Sat July 27, 2013

Keith Olbermann Talks Sports, ESPN, And The Secret Identity Anthony Weiner Stole

Keith Olbermann speaks onstage during the Olbermann panel at the ESPN portion of the 2013 Summer Television Critics Association press tour.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 8:07 am

"Carlos ... Danger," says Keith Olbermann with utter awe, and arcs his hand across his field of vision.

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Monkey See
8:43 pm
Sat July 27, 2013

Rob Lowe On Playing JFK Without Sounding Like You're On 'The Simpsons'

Rob Lowe as John F. Kennedy in the National Geographic Channel's film, Killing Kennedy.
National Geographic Channel

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 6:51 pm

The National Geographic Channel is a little all over the place when it comes to their programming. There's some nature material, there's some fairly sensational reality stuff (Doomsday Preppers, for instance), and there are historical documentaries and, sometimes, historical scripted films.

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Monkey See
8:22 pm
Sat July 27, 2013

Welcome To The Television Critics Association Press Tour

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 10:03 am

For the next two-plus weeks, I'll be in California, hearing all about the next six months in television. It's the annual press tour of the Television Critics Association, and it's always a combination of interesting discussions, weird little stories, and increasingly punchy critics.

You can see, for instance, all of last year's coverage here.

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Monkey See
7:20 am
Mon July 22, 2013

20 Really Great Royal Baby Titles For Classy Parents

Marat Sirotyukov iStockphoto.com

Look, it's possible that I don't completely understand how British titles work. But it's 100 percent true that Prince William is also called Baron Carrickfergus. (You may Google that. I'll wait.)

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Monkey See
3:09 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Hey, Kid: Thoughts For The Young Oddballs We Need So Badly

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 2:21 pm

Rian Johnson, who wrote and directed films including Looper and Brick, not to mention directing a few episodes of Breaking Bad, tweeted early this morning: "To me the great hope is one day some little fat girl in Ohio is going to make a summer movie where skyscrapers don't fall over like dominoes."

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Monkey See
9:49 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Netflix Storms The Emmy Nominations, But How Much Has Really Changed?

House Of Cards, starring Kevin Spacey, received nine Emmy nominations this morning.
Melinda Sue Gordon Netflix

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 9:48 am

Even a year ago, the original programming on internet outlets like Netflix and Hulu was an asterisk. We all knew Netflix would be premiering House Of Cards starring Kevin Spacey this spring, and Arrested Development a bit later, and that there were other projects coming. But it all seemed a little abstract, like not-quite-television, like maybe it would feel more like ... renting movies?

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