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
12:10 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Halftime Shows And Love Stories

NPR

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 10:26 am

  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

When it's early-mid February, the mind naturally turns to those fundamentals of the good life: love and football.

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Monkey See
10:50 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Remembering Central Park Birder Starr Saphir: 'Time Has A Different Meaning'

Starr Saphir, seen here at an HBO event in 2012, died on Tuesday.
Michael Loccisano Getty Images/HBO

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 9:15 am

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Monkey See
9:55 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Get Severance: Interview With An Iron

The Monopoly iron token that was replaced by the new cat token.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 5:07 pm

Wednesday, Hasbro announced that it was welcoming a new member of the Monopoly-token family. And because it asked the Internet, it wound up with a cat. (For whatever reason, the Internet was not offered Gotye or a bacon cupcake.)

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Super Bowl XLVII
7:56 am
Mon February 4, 2013

That Was A Great Blackout Last Night

Kicker David Akers of the San Francisco 49ers waits during a power outage that occurred in the third quarter that caused a 34-minute delay during Super Bowl XLVII.
Ezra Shaw Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 10:38 am

Great blackout last night, right?

It's been clear for some time that substantially more people watch the Super Bowl than have the slightest interest in watching the actual football game. That's why there's such hubbub over the halftime show and the commercials — it gives non-football types something to pay attention to instead of football.

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Monkey See
7:23 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Choosing Sides: How To Pick Between The Ravens And The 49ers

Sourdough Sam, the mascot for the San Francisco 49ers, looks on in January 2012.
Doug Pensinger Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 9:13 am

Headlines were circulating last week about how, as Slate put it, "almost everybody" is rooting for the San Francisco 49ers over the Baltimore Ravens in Sunday's Super Bowl. Of course, it turns out that what this actually meant was more like "substantially more than half of the area of the country is included within counties in which more people like the 49ers on Facebook than like the Ravens on Facebook."

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Monkey See
12:17 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: '30 Rock,' Getting Meta, And The PCHH FAQ

NPR

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 10:59 am

  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

In case a thousand thousands of internet words haven't informed you, last night was the final episode of 30 Rock, and in addition to taking a moment to appreciate the show itself, we decided to use it as a jumping-off point for a discussion of "meta" humor — what it is, when it works, and when it just comes off like a crutch. You might be surprised to hear meta traced all the way back to childhood, but hey, that's what we're here for.

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Monkey See
12:03 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Morning Shots: Lois Lane Has An iPad, And Linda Gray Has A Story About Her Leg

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 8:15 am

Does Lois Lane's iPad mean that Zack Snyder's approach to Superman will be fresher and more modern than people are expecting? [The Guardian]

Too much? Too little? How much information are you supposed to hand out in a movie trailer anyway? [The New York Times]

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Monkey See
12:34 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Doing The Work: What '30 Rock' Meant For Women On Television

Tina Fey as Liz Lemon.
Ali Goldstein NBC

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 11:04 am

I have never considered Liz Lemon a feminist icon of any kind, nor have I ever considered 30 Rock especially strong when it comes to gender politics.

I don't care for the obsessive joke-making about how Liz is ugly/mannish/old/awkward, and I haven't always been comfortable with the way some of the "she's baby-crazy!" or "she's relationship-crazy!" comedy has played. I was ambivalent about the way the Jezebel parody and the "women aren't funny" storylines were executed.

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Monkey See
10:38 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Coastal Snobbery, 'The Masses,' And Respecting The Lowest Common Denominator

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 11:03 am

There are three phrases that are almost always bad news for a piece of cultural writing.

They are:

1. "The masses."

2. "Middle America."

3. "The lowest common denominator."

All three are ways to separate the writer and her sensibility — which are presumed to be congruent with the reader and her sensibility — from invisible and undefined others, for whom bad cultural content is produced and by whom it is unquestioningly gobbled up.

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Monkey See
10:18 am
Wed January 30, 2013

How '30 Rock' Found Its Tone When Liz Lemon Didn't Marry Her Cousin

Tina Fey as Liz Lemon on NBC's 30 Rock.
Ali Goldstein NBC

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 1:49 pm

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