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.

Most television shows arrive accompanied by the question, "Is it good?" Revivals of old shows, however, often arrive with the question, "Is it necessary?" The four new 90-minute installments of Gilmore Girls that arrived Friday on Netflix under the title Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life fare better by that adjusted standard than most. Gilmore Girls , which ran from 2000 to 2007, was a good show, and because creator Amy Sherman-Palladino left before the seventh and final season following a...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: This is the part of the summer when NPR TV critic Eric Deggans and pop culture correspondent Linda Holmes pack their bags, head to LA and watch a lot of video teasers of new TV shows. They also bring on the tough questions for network executives, producers and actors, and this has been going on since the end of last month. It's finally the last day of the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour. There's...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Oh, American Idol . You were too good for this world. OK, maybe not too good. Maybe too rooted in people voting via telephone calls. When the show, which concludes its run Thursday night, started in June 2002, the first publicly available iPhone was almost five years away. Imagine starting a show today where you asked people interested in pop music to use a phone to dial a toll-free number. You might as well ask them to vote by waving a fountain pen at a dodo. Sure, text and online voting...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: There are no bats in this year's Oscar nominations. We're going to have to wait until later this year for the big "Batman v Superman" movie. But there are lots of other films to talk about. And joining us to discuss are our film reviewer Bob Mondello and Linda Holmes, who writes for the NPR pop culture blog Monkey See. Welcome to both of you. BOB MONDELLO, BYLINE: Good to be here. LINDA HOLMES, BYLINE:...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: You can call it a sheer product of capitalism, or you can call it a contemporary version of Homer's "Iliad." Actually, people call the new "Star Wars" film both of those things in the comments on Linda Holmes' latest piece for npr.org. Linda's our pop culture blogger, and she's here to talk about this ridiculous pop culture moment that is "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." Hey, Linda. LINDA HOLMES, BYLINE:...

The hard numbers on Sunday night's Primetime Emmy Awards told a story that could look a little dull to the glancing eye. HBO, representing the old guard of premium television at a time when more players are getting attention than ever, won 14 of the night's trophies, leaving the closest competitor — Comedy Central, with four — in the dust. Game Of Thrones , an extravagantly costumed fantasy epic that's been nominated five times, won for Outstanding Drama Series. Veep , which has been...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: The Toronto International Film Festival is underway. It's the 40th year of the fest, and for a week now, our colleagues Linda Holmes and Bob Mondello have been tweeting and blogging from Toronto. Bob is our film critic and Linda is our pop culture blogger, and both liked "The Martian," by Ridley Scott and starring Matt Damon. (SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE MARTIAN") MATT DAMON: (As Mark Watney) I'm entering...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: I'm Audie Cornish with help for those of you who are looking for something to read this summer and you don't necessarily want to escape the heat - you want romance. Luckily for you, NPR Books is focusing on romance novels this summer, and joining me now to talk about it is our pop-culture blogger, Linda Holmes. Hey there, Linda. LINDA HOLMES, BYLINE: Hello, Audie. CORNISH: So first of all, we want to...

Audiobooks have traditionally been tricky to get right and even harder to make special. Very often, they're literally just books read aloud, to the best of the ability of a single, usually highly skilled reader. In fiction, you get readers who are asked to provide voices for however many characters the author invented. Some, like Bobby Cannavale in his fantastic read of Richard Price's New York crime novel Lush Life and Michael Beck with several different John Grisham novels, bend and twist...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: If you would never watch a television show like "The Bachelor," or if it's your guilty pleasure, well, a new drama called "UnREAL" may be equally appealing. (SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "UNREAL") SHIRI APPLEBY: (As Rachel) OK, well, ladies, we are just a few minutes away, so do you want to know who the suitor is? UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As character #1) Oh, my gosh. UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #2: (As character #2)...

[Note: Listen to the audio above to hear a conversation I had with Pop Culture Happy Hour team member Stephen Thompson about the end of the show.] Ahead of its fall programming presentation to advertisers in the afternoon, Fox announced Monday that the 15th season of American Idol, which will begin in January 2016, will be the last. Ratings for Idol have slid precipitously over the last few seasons, but in the words of Joe Adalian at Vulture , " Idol was, for much of its run, the most...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHO1a1kvZGo We learned Monday morning what will become of The Daily Show on Comedy Central after Jon Stewart departs: It will be hosted by Trevor Noah, a 31-year-old South African comedian who joined the show as a contributor in December of last year, where he opened with a joke about fearing the police in the United States more than the police in South Africa. We won't know much about the shape of the new (or at least different) show for a while, but there are...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript (SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE BREAKFAST CLUB") ANTHONY MICHAEL HALL: (As Brian Johnson) You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal. AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: It's been 30 years since the John Hughes film "The Breakfast Club" sent five high school students to all-day attention, where they wrote those words about themselves. And this weekend, the film is back in theaters for an anniversary screening....

Everything old really is new again. Even aliens. Fox announced today that The X-Files , which ran on television from 1993 until 2002 and was accompanied by feature films in 1998 and 2008, will be back as a six-episode "event series," with production beginning this summer. Creator and Executive Producer Chris Carter will be in charge once again, and yes, Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) will be, too. In the statement Fox sent out today, Carter refers to the show's absence...

The rain that fell on Hollywood as the hours of red-carpet coverage wore on may have provided one of the evening's best visuals: actual people running around wearing plastic bags as they guided famous people out of limos, under umbrellas and to the waiting microphones of interviewers who wanted to know who made the dress, the shoes, the jewelry. It was literally the packing up and encasing of humanity to keep reality out: What could be more Oscars than that? Hopes were high for host Neil...

The nominees are in, the arguments have been had , and the ceremony is all that's left of Oscar season. (Well, and the griping over what should have won.) On Sunday night, we'll be where lots of other people will be: on Twitter. NPR film critic Bob Mondello will be tweeting alongside me and my Pop Culture Happy Hour collaborators Glen Weldon and Stephen Thompson, and you can follow all of us — me , Bob , Stephen and Glen — or the hashtag #NPROscars. This is also a good time for non -Oscar...

A presidential election cycle looms, but one of the men most associated with covering presidential politics since the first election of George W. Bush won't be sitting in his usual spot: Comedy Central confirmed on Tuesday that Jon Stewart is stepping down later this year from his post at The Daily Show . Stewart took over the show from original host Craig Kilborn in 1999, and under him, it became not just a popular comedy series, but a source of news and information for its audience, devoted...

As longtime PCHH listeners know, Stephen Thompson hosts a Super Bowl party every year that keeps him hopping and keeps us from discussing the game in real time as we otherwise would. Therefore, we sat down Monday morning to catch up about the game, including the phenomenon of concluding you've witnessed an inexplicable play call from someone who knows much, much more about football than you do. We also talk about the Katy Perry halftime show, the surprisingly sentimental ads and lots more. ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAsjRRMMg_Q http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIxA3o84syY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iq2Sm2XGv_s http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKUy-tfrIHY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1jwWwJ-Mxc After years in which the themes of Super Bowl ads seemed to be bikinis, high jinks and crude things happening to old people, what a surprise to find out that Sunday night, the theme was feelings. Not regular feelings like the ones you have when something actually happens to you,...

[ At the top of this post, you'll find a discussion I had with Stephen Thompson, my Pop Culture Happy Hour co-panelist, about the Oscar nominations. Tomorrow's full PCHH episode more fully covers the film Selma . ] The Oscar nominations are in (you can see the full list here ), and Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel lead with nine nominations each, followed closely by The Imitation Game with eight. Speaking of eight, this year, eight films will compete for Best Picture: American Sniper ,...

The best of comedian and actor Patton Oswalt lies in his ability to truthfully observe what is small but important. That's true in his comedy, but it's true in his writing, too. Here he is in his new memoir Silver Screen Fiend , talking about his desperation to make an impression in his first movie role, a tiny part in the Kelsey Grammer comedy Down Periscope : This was my usual state of mind all through my twenties. Wasn't it everyone's? I wanted to headline comedy clubs. Wanted to get...

It's hard to believe that not only was there no Serial six months ago, there was no Serial three months ago. The hugely popular podcast, a spinoff production of This American Life, didn't even premiere until early October, but since then, it has made its way with great speed into worlds from Sesame Street to Funny Or Die . This is not only journalism; it is pop culture ubiquity, as no podcast has ever achieved it before. The last episode of the show's first season, which re-examined the...

HBO has built a robust and popular online presence over the past couple of years with its app, HBO GO. But to get it — as is the case with many streaming services that offer television over the Internet — you've needed a cable subscription. In other words, HBO GO was an add-on for people who already had HBO, not an alternative way of getting shows for people who didn't. (Although it should be noted: Wide sharing of HBO GO logins with friends and family who don't have HBO has been an open...

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: The biggest film festival in North America is in full swing. The Toronto International Film Festival shows more than 300 films in just 10 days to hundreds of thousands of movie viewers and to lots of critics. Among those critics are NPR's pop-culture blogger Linda Holmes and our movie critic Bob Mondello. They join us from CBC studios in Toronto. Hello, Linda. Hi, Bob. LINDA HOLMES, BYLINE: Hello. BOB...

We could not be happier to bring back our friend Barrie Hardymon, who's out in California but still made time to come and chat with us. In recognition that we are soon to see the live-action Maleficent coming from Disney, we chat about fairy tales. "These are stories we tell our kids to get them to abandon us," Glen says. "We're giving them the psychic armor, the psychic tools, to say goodbye." We talk about old fairy tales, Disney-fied versions, and Glen's recognition that Germany hasn't had...

Transcript WADE GOODWYN, HOST: Twenty-five years ago, Lloyd Dobler raised a boombox over his head and changed the world of movie boyfriends forever. (SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "IN YOUR EYES") PETER GABRIEL: (Singing) All my instincts, they return... GOODWYN: Linda Holmes, of our pop culture blog "Monkey See," was a teenager when she first saw the film "Say Anything..." She says all these years later, she has a new appreciation of it. LINDA HOLMES, BYLINE: Lloyd Dobler is played by John Cusack. He's...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cyHTzkxCpk [ This piece discusses the plot of both the Alice Munro short story on which Hateship Loveship is based and the film itself, although it's frankly nothing you can't intuit from the trailer. ] The Alice Munro short story "Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage" begins with a plain and awkward woman named Johanna arranging a shipment of furniture and shopping for a dress. She's leaving town to go to the man she expects to marry, though he...

Imagine a scene in which a man is sitting on a park bench reading a book. A woman comes up and sits beside him. He looks up at her. She hands him a letter. "It's over," she says. If you were to see this scene in a film, completely out of context, you might look for a variety of clues to figure out what's going on. Some are straightforward: How are the people behaving? What's her tone of voice? What do their faces look like? How close are they sitting? If you've spent some time thinking about...

The big winner was 12 Years a Slave , but there was quite a bit of love to go around at Sunday night's Oscars. What there wasn't, as usual, was a lot of riveting television. Sure, there was John Travolta squinting at the teleprompter and introducing Idina Menzel (to sing the Oscar-winning Best Original Song "Let It Go," from Frozen ) as — no kidding — "Adele Dazeem." And there was a fun dance number featuring Pharrell Williams and his own Oscar-nominated "Happy," which he wore a formal black...

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