Linda Holmes

Linda Holmes appears in the following:

Black Widow, Scarce Resources And High-Stakes Stories

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

[This post about the plot and characters in Avengers: Age Of Ultron discusses the plot and characters in Avengers: Age Of Ultron.]

We were never going to avoid gender politics with a character named "Black Widow."

The entire concept – arachnoid but especially pop-cultural – of the Black Widow is ...


What Is Upfronts Week, Anyway?: 5 Questions Answered

Monday, May 11, 2015

What's upfronts week, anyway?

Upfronts week is when the broadcast networks, in this order and in general, (1) make final decisions about canceling or keeping existing shows, (2) unveil their schedules for the fall and spring seasons, and (3) present their new shows to advertisers to kick off their ad ...


The End Of 'American Idol'

Monday, May 11, 2015

[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 ...

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'Grace And Frankie' Looks At Life Unexpectedly Alone

Friday, May 08, 2015

The opening credits of the new Netflix comedy (maybe comedy-drama) Grace And Frankie lay out the show's high concept using the song "Stuck In The Middle With You" and a set of wedding cake toppers. You see two couples, then two couples with kids, then the husbands kissing, then the ...


Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron,' Pop Culture Pariahs

Friday, May 08, 2015

You may have heard about a plucky little indie film called Avengers: Age Of Ultron, which opened last weekend. (You might remember our show about the previous Avengers movie, but I don't, because I wasn't there.) We send you into this weekend with a not-too-spoilery discussion of the movie, ...


'I Am Big Bird' Finds An Artist Under The Feathers

Thursday, May 07, 2015

The film I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story, which focuses on the life of puppeteer Spinney, avoids a few common pitfalls in the biographical documentary. It doesn't occupy its entire running time with people saying how amazing Spinney is or with testimonials to the importance of his work. ...


Amy Schumer Puts Her Own Looks On Trial

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

On the fantastic advice podcast Judge John Hodgman, one of the things Hodgman always says in getting litigants to relay their stories is that "specificity is the soul of narrative." Specificity is also the soul of parody, as we saw Tuesday night on Inside Amy Schumer. Schumer and ...


'Mad Men' Skates Across A Changed And Changing Landscape

Monday, May 04, 2015

Sunday night's Mad Men was the antepenultimate episode of the series – a word we don't get to use enough, but one that can be surprisingly significant in television. The second to last episode is often (rightly or wrongly) understood and analyzed as finale table-setting, so this third to last ...


Pop Culture Happy Hour: Free Comic Book Day And Rabbit Holes

Friday, May 01, 2015

Another year, another Free Comic Book Day!

This year, we had our comics guide, Glen Weldon, take a break from reviewing the entire haul of 50 comics available this year at participating shops and bring a handful of comics to each of the rest of us on the ...


The Hard Work And Close Bonds Of Competitive College A Cappella

Saturday, April 25, 2015

It's been many years since I did my three semesters of college a cappella, but it remains a genre of performance for which I have enormous affection. In 2012, the arrival of Pitch Perfect meant that suddenly, I knew a lot more people who even knew what a college a ...


Pop Culture Happy Hour: Food In Pop Culture And Going Back To College

Friday, April 24, 2015

Just a very quick post this week while I work my way through my emotions about the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella.

On the show this week, we're joined by our pals Gene Demby and Kat Chow to tackle the issue of food in culture, including cooking shows that ...


George Lucas Sneezes, And Other Moments From His Talk With Colbert

Saturday, April 18, 2015

It's fair to say George Lucas is a person who has had a lot of attention paid to him.

Largely because of his creation of the Star Wars universe (though he also co-wrote the story of Raiders Of The Lost Ark), Lucas is a figure of enormous pop-cultural weight. When ...


The Challenges Of War At A Distance

Friday, April 17, 2015

The opening moments of Good Kill, a new drama starring Ethan Hawke and written and directed by Andrew Niccol (who also directed Hawke in Gattaca), almost eerily resemble the opening moments of American Sniper. A man watches and tries to interpret the movements of a woman and child who don't ...


Is There Anything Left To Say About 'Saturday Night Live'?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Why open a film festival whose reputation is for independent voices with a documentary salute to Saturday Night Live?

There is a perplexing optical illusion around SNL: it looks less significant the closer you get to it. At a certain distance, it's massive simply because of the careers it has ...


The Hapless 'Veep' Staff Trips Itself Up As Selina Ascends

Monday, April 13, 2015

One of the central conceits of the first season of HBO's Veep was the carnival of humiliations suffered by Selina Meyer, played so brilliantly by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, in her capacity as vice president. She battled for relevance while waiting for the phone to ring, surrounded by a staff even more ...


Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'The Comedians' And Cameo Appearances

Friday, April 10, 2015

This week, paired with the return of Louie, FX introduced a comedy series called The Comedians, which features Billy Crystal and Josh Gad as ... well, as Bizarro Billy Crystal and Josh Gad, forced to work together on a fictional FX sketch comedy show.

Does that make sense?

We talk ...


Small Batch Edition: 'Wolf Hall' On PBS

Thursday, April 09, 2015

It's always a pleasure to welcome Barrie Hardymon to any Pop Culture Happy Hour, even a short one. So this week, we sat down to chat about Wolf Hall, the prizewinning novel an adaptation of which just started airing on PBS. Barrie and I talk sweating sickness, intrigue, kings, sad ...


Small Batch: The March Madness Of Friends On Opposite Sides

Monday, April 06, 2015

I've written before about how I became a fan of Duke basketball. Stephen Thompson has talked before about being from Wisconsin (and, yes, even attending the University Of Wisconsin). As you can imagine, Monday night's men's final between our basketball teams will put us in a very tricky ...


The Times Grow Messier As The Last Chapter Of 'Mad Men' Begins

Monday, April 06, 2015

["Spoiler" alert: This review of the season premiere of Mad Men discusses the season premiere of Mad Men.]

The first time I watched "Severance," the Mad Men episode that aired Sunday night and kicked off the show's final seven-episode run, I had one of my strongest reactions to the moment ...


Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Kimmy Schmidt' And Derivative Culture

Friday, April 03, 2015

Those of you with Netflix may have had a chance by now to catch up with Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, a show created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock (of 30 Rock) that was originally intended for NBC before winding up at its online home. We spend some time with the ...