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
9:18 am
Fri September 26, 2014

25 Humble Suggestions For 'The Equalizer' Brand Extensions

Denzel Washington stars as a retired intelligence officer in The Equalizer.
Scott Garfield Sony Pictures

Originally published on Fri September 26, 2014 2:36 pm

Our pal Chris Klimek has a fine review of the film The Equalizer, in which Denzel Washington plays a man who gets revenge on all manner of bad guys, and maybe annoying people, and maybe just other people? Anyway, it seems inevitable that if the movie comes back, they'll be looking for ways to extend the brand. Fortunately, we've got some ideas.

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Monkey See
8:15 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Fall Books And Great Detectives

NPR

When we learned that our treasured friends Barrie Hardymon and Margaret "Hulahoop" Willison (thus named for her actual middle initial, H, as well as her whimsical and irresistible delightfulness) were both going to be in town when we taped this episode, there was only one thing to do: fire Stephen.

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Monkey See
12:18 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Making The Case 'Against Football'

Steve Almond's blistering book Against Football: One Fan's Reluctant Manifesto is exactly what it advertises itself to be: an exasperated, frustrated, wide-ranging argument that the time has come to abandon football — particularly but not exclusively the NFL — as a sport built on violence, racism, economic exploitation of poor kids, corrupt dealmaking with local governments over stadiums, and a willingness to find it entertaining to watch people suffer brain damage.

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Monkey See
8:57 am
Wed September 24, 2014

'Black-ish' And The Color Of Money

Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross star in ABC's Black-ish.
Adam Taylor ABC

Originally published on Wed September 24, 2014 9:30 am

"When brothers start getting a little money, stuff starts getting a little weird."

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Monkey See
8:33 am
Mon September 22, 2014

The Only One: A Talk With Shonda Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes speaks onstage at the How to Get Away with Murder panel during the Television Critics Association summer press tour.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 1:02 pm

I saw Shonda Rhimes at a panel presentation at the Television Critics Association press tour this summer where she helped introduce How to Get Away with Murder, the new ABC drama she helps produce but did not create. I found her pleasantly (and a little amusingly) transparent in not loving some of the questions she was asked (including one about whether she was worried that #HTGAWM, which was printed on the promotional cookies ABC handed out, was an unwieldy hashtag), and I thought, "She is an interview for which you would want to be on your toes."

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Movie Reviews
7:52 am
Fri September 19, 2014

'This Is Where I Leave You' Makes A Family Story Too Ordinary

Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver and Corey Stoll play the quarrelsome Altman siblings, each with their own share of emotional baggage.
Nicole Rivelli Warner Brothers Pictures

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 8:48 am

Ordinariness is a quality in movies that likely bothers critics and enthusiasts more than it does other people. The more films you see, the more the enemy becomes not just poor quality but familiarity, simply because even an inoffensive cliche becomes a cinematic earworm after a while — something that makes your brain flinch simply at the "this again!" of it all. This Is Where I Leave You, a family comedy-drama adapted by Jonathan Tropper from his 2009 novel, is unfortunately a very ordinary film, particularly for one adapted from such a thoughtful and tonally tricky book.

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Monkey See
7:51 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: A Fall Films Preview And Betting On New Television

NPR

We've had a lively summer on PCHH, full of live events and quizzes and special guests and even Stephen hosting episodes (!) (kidding!), but this week, we've got our pal Bob Mondello in the studio for some good old-fashioned movie and TV chatter.

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Monkey See
12:45 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

'Mindy' And 'New Girl' Navigate Their Worlds Of Crazy Love

Danny (Chris Messina) and Mindy (Mindy Kaling) find themselves in a new position in the premiere of The Mindy Project.
Isabella Vosmikova Fox

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 2:48 pm

[This post contains information about where main characters stand relative to each other at the opening of the new seasons of The Mindy Project and New Girl. Be advised.]

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Monkey See
10:55 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Kids, Pants, Booze, Music: Trouble In River City And Always

Robert Preston and Shirley Jones in the film version of The Music Man.
AP

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 11:07 am

Perhaps the most static conversation in American culture is the one about its constant decline. Today's music, today's actors, today's movies, today's media, today's food, today's habits, today's language — it's all going to hell, all of it, and it's taking us with it, no matter when today is.

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Monkey See
7:26 am
Wed September 10, 2014

Toronto, Day 6: Jennifer Aniston, Jon Stewart And Earnestness

Gael Garcia Bernal in Jon Stewart's Rosewater.
TIFF

Cake: Jennifer Aniston plays Claire, a woman we first meet as she's shocking her chronic pain support group with her barbed reactions to the recent suicide of a group member named Nina. Claire's face and body are crisscrossed with scars, and she moves uncomfortably at every moment — which is why she gobbles pain pills and has to constantly invent new methods for getting more. Her marriage has recently broken up, despite the fact that she and her husband (Chris Messina) clearly still care about each other.

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