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.

Pages

Monkey See
9:10 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Is 'Heaven' Real, Or Just A Place On Earth?

Colton Burpo (Connor Corum) tells Todd (Greg Kinnear) about heaven in Heaven Is For Real.
Allen Fraser Sony Pictures

Heaven Is For Real has an earnestness and an inertness that make it something of a bulletproof fish in a barrel. It's easy to take shots at because it's utterly artless and corny, but it's immune to criticism because it's not intended to be otherwise. It's simply intended to be affirming to people who go to church a lot, encouraging to people who go to church a little, and inoffensively irrelevant to people who don't go to church at all.

Read more
Monkey See
1:04 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

God, Man And Lots Of Corridors In 'Transcendence'

Rebecca Hall plays Evelyn Caster, who makes a tough choice about her husband in Transcendence.
Peter Mountain Warner Brothers Pictures

Transcendence is a science fiction story, but it's very much about faith. Early on, a member of a "neo-Luddite" group confronts Will Caster (Johnny Depp) about his work. Caster is promising a future in which a massive artificial intelligence will contain more knowledge than the world has ever collectively possessed, and the man – played by Lukas Haas, whom many of us first saw as a tiny Amish child in Witness, where he was also counseled about the dangers of modernity and technology – accuses him of trying to create a god.

Read more
Monkey See
11:41 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Lusting For Spring In Our Hearts

A cherry blossom tree on the Potomac. Not bad, eh?
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Read more
Monkey See
11:11 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Ken Burns Tackles Lincoln, Education And Money In 'The Address'

Cooper and Ned are two of the boys working on learning the Gettysburg Address in Ken Burns' latest documentary.
Lindsay Taylor Jackson/Florentine Films PBS

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 7:07 pm

The Ken Burns documentary The Address, premiering on most PBS stations Tuesday night, opens at the Greenwood School in Vermont, where students are being introduced to a longstanding tradition: studying the Gettysburg Address until they can recite it from memory in front of a large audience of students, staff and parents. If they succeed, they receive a special commemorative coin that is only given for this achievement. A first, second and third prize will be awarded — one for middle school, one for high school — for these performances.

Read more
Monkey See
3:12 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

The Bitter Tundra Returns As 'Fargo' Comes To Television

Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard in FX's Fargo.
Matthias Clamer FX

There are a lot of ways to adapt a film to a TV show, and it's not as common as it was for a while there. For a while, you had strange experiments like TV telling the story of Ferris Bueller, TV telling the story of Baby and Johnny from Dirty Dancing, and TV revisiting 9 to 5. Usually, it meant just moving the characters over to a series, having them played by new actors, and following new stories about them. (Melora Hardin as Baby Houseman!) Every now and then, it worked: you might have heard of M*A*S*H.

Read more
Monkey See
9:22 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Kristen Wiig, Alice Munro And Negative Space In Fiction

Kristen Wiig plays Johanna Parry in Hateship Loveship, adapted from an Alice Munro short story.
IFC Films

Read more
Monkey See
5:22 pm
Sun April 13, 2014

'Say Anything' At 25: Nothing Bought, Sold Or Processed

John Cusack and Ione Skye in Say Anything.
The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 6:42 pm

"I don't feel anything."

Those are, surprisingly enough, the first words of the deeply felt Say Anything, which turns 25 years old on Monday. It opened April 14, 1989, and that weekend, it made $5.2 million. It wasn't enough to come anywhere close to what Major League pulled down in its second week ($9.1 million), but it was enough to come in one slot ahead of the opening weekend of the Tony Danza comedy She's Out of Control ($4.6 million).

Read more
Monkey See
9:24 am
Sun April 13, 2014

'Mad Men' Returns, Full Of Footnotes

As Mad Men returns for its seventh season, its entire sprawling cast has plenty to do.
Frank Ockenfels AMC

Originally published on Sun April 13, 2014 9:34 am

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.

Read more
Monkey See
8:57 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Fargo, A Farewell, And Pop Culture Breadcrumbs

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

This week's show opens on a wistful note for us: our pal Trey Graham, a founding member of the PCHH family, has taken his leave from NPR, and thus from us. He checks in with a message about his plans, we all thank him for his profound effects on our personal and professional lives, and Glen points out what is, indeed, "the Trey-Graham-iest mic drop" that could ever be.

Read more
Monkey See
5:50 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

After The Horror Of War, What About Forgiveness?

Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman as Eric and Patti Lomax, the couple at the center of The Railway Man.
Jaap Buitendijk The Weinstein Company

Telling a story about forgiveness in the presence of love is easy. Telling a story about forgiveness in the absence of love is hard.

Forgiveness in the presence of love is done all the time — it's every story about relationships broken by mistakes, repaired by apologies and righted by the making of amends. It's every story that ends, "I'm so sorry, baby." The crack is plastered and sanded; it's a restoration.

Read more

Pages