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, 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 of the time, Slate's Dahlia Lithwick covers the Supreme Court. She's been doing that for the last 13 years. But recently, you may have seen her name floating around in connection with the piece she recently wrote that she discusses with Scott Simon on Saturday's Weekend Edition.

Meryl Streep asks an interesting question about the fact that movies aimed at women often make a lot of money and still lose out to big-budget summer tentpoles when it comes to actually getting made: "Don't they want the money?" [The Guardian]

If you make movies that have anything to do with science, please note: Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium, pays attention.

If you're into the pastime of lamenting the state of publishing and bookstores, it's very important that you read this post from The Atlantic about the tiny number of bookstores that existed in the United States in 1931 and what that meant for publishing and reading. It's a great reminder. [The Atlantic]

There is a certain honesty with which I believe critics must exist — a willingness to look yourself in the eye. A willingness to say, "This is the absolute truth as I experienced it."

I come not to praise the Burger King bacon sundae, nor to bury it. I come merely to point out that sometimes, the particular flavor of contempt with which you choose to address something is as important as the contempt itself.

Today in great fun: a look at the execution of difficult stage directions, such as — but not limited to — "Exit, pursued by a bear." [The Guardian]

It's safe to say that if you find yourself on the new Lifetime show My Life Is A Lifetime Movie, something has gone wrong. [Crushable]

Bret Michaels has given Tom Cruise the thumbs-up for Cruise's performance in Rock Of Ages. So that's one thing you don't have to worry about today. [L.A. Times]

The advent of serious, thoughtful, artistically ambitious television has brought us many marvelous shows: Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Good Wife. And the growth of comedies with strong points of view has allowed oddball projects like 30 Rock and Community to emerge and earn praise.

It's always an interesting feeling when people react to things completely differently than you do, and this is a great example — this newspaper account talks about how James Corden dedicated his Tony Award (for One Man, Two Guvnors) to his girlfriend, and calls it "cringeworthy." I was going to say "adorable." [The Telegraph]

We'll be here at 7:45 p.m. to live-blog the 2012 Tony Awards, with Marc Hirsh and me monitoring the ceremony at home and Trey Graham on site at the Beacon Theater.

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We enjoy the Tony Awards here at Monkey See — it's often the awards ceremony with the largest quantity of actual merit, by far. True performers! True performances! Admittedly, one of the most famous moments the Tonys have had in the past few years was Bret Michaels getting hit on the head with scenery, but normally, they are very dignified.

It's Prometheus week, and you know what that means: extraterrestrials. Specifically, the many different kinds of extraterrestrials you meet in the movies and on television. We generally divide them into a few categories, based on their levels of malevolence and evil.

Lev Grossman writes about the problem of reading while walking, explaining that on the one hand, he knows it's "foolish," but he can't help himself. [Time]

The Television Critics Association (which I'm part of) has announced the nominees for its annual awards, which will be handed out during press tour in late July.

Mark-Paul Gosselaar is curiously resilient for a guy who started out on Saved By The Bell. In a new interview, he talks a little about the writing on that show not necessarily being so great, and he discusses his TNT show Franklin & Bash, where he yuks that as long as he gets paid more than co-star Breckin Meyer, he doesn't even care which of the guys he's playing: "I could be the ampersand." [Yahoo TV]

So Taylor Swift wrote this song about John Mayer a couple of years ago, and now John Mayer is like, "Not cool, Taylor Swift," and it's in Rolling Stone. Frankly, it is kind of "cheap songwriting," as he says, to write about your famous exes by name. But then, so is writing a song about Kanye West just to tell him you forgive him for interrupting you. [Rolling Stone]

Lindsay Lohan has tried a lot of things to escape her own image, which has been battered for years by her legal, personal, and substance difficulties. You may remember that in 2008, she sat for a series of photos in New York Magazine specifically calling back to a Marilyn Monroe shoot six weeks before her death. (Some of those, by the way, are topless photos, so use your judgment if you look at them.)

You may have heard me talk in the past about the "onomatapology," an invented term for the celebrity or politician statement that sounds like an apology and makes noises like an apology but actually is not an apology. Jason Alexander said some dopey things on Craig Ferguson's show a while back, and what he has issued in the aftermath? That is what an apology is like. [OutSports]

Let's say this first: Popular television is bad at lots of things, and one of them is representations of people with disabilities. Even where they're present – Artie on Glee, or Walter, Jr. on Breaking Bad – they tend to be in isolation. When there's more than one person in a wheelchair, for instance, like when Jason Street was in rehab on Friday Night Lights, the story is usually about the disability itself.

It turns out that Off-Broadway plays, in particular, are so reliant on the feedback they get (and the revenue they get) from preview performances that they sometimes schedule a longer period of previews than regular perfomances. [The New York Times]

I admit it's a bold statement, suggesting that the most glamorous and prestigious awards ceremony Americans watch all year could learn something from an event that once had a category called "Biggest Badass Star." Certainly, I wouldn't want to see the Oscars replaced with the MTV Movie Awards, given that the first Twilight movie won five of them.

Jim Meskimen is the only person I've ever heard open an interview with NPR's Scott Simon in the voice of NPR's Robert Siegel.

In fairness, he's the one most likely to do so, since he is a noted impressionist. He acknowledges "you don't see people doing their Robert Siegel in nightclubs much," though he's noted what he calls Siegel's "bemused kind of delivery."

Yesterday, after being acquitted of one of six campaign finance fraud charges against him and seeing the jury deadlock on the other five, John Edwards held a brief press conference in which he said this:

On this week's episode of Pop Culture Happy Hour, our pop-culture roundtable podcast, I administered to my co-podcasters a quiz about summer television that explores not only how weird summer television is, but — arguably — how weird my brain is, since it required me to make up a lot of imaginary summer television that was designed to seem like it might be real.

Well, this is certainly not a timid way to put out your first trailer.