Monkey See is my "Must-See" NPR blog

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Since it began 11 months ago, Monkey See has become my favorite blog on the favorite-blogs-filled National Public Radio website -- and one of my two favorite blogs, period. (The other is Mark Evanier's newsfromme, packed with insights, hilarity, and information that's mostly about things I care about. But I digress, though it must be clear from this that popular culture is one of my ongoing affections.)

To quote its own information, Monkey See aspires "to be a haven for the geek and a translator for the confused, and to carve out a space where both longtime residents and curious visitors can comfortably roam the pop-culture landscape." It is presided over by Linda Holmes, whom I first encountered on Television without Pity, where her remarks (as "Miss Alli") actually kept me following The Amazing Race for a season or two, despite my lack of interest in "reality TV."

Monkey See is a spot that keeps me informed about events at which I could turn out to be entertained -- by its commentary as well as by the events themselves.

Yesterday, for example, there was an intro to Bravo's Top Chef Masters. Such is Linda's skill that she managed to provide a hook that explained the show, evaluated the differences between it and "Top Chef Classic," and concluded with the reason to see the episode in question. Succinct. Entertaining. Enlightening. Even for someone who has never watched Top Chef.

So it is that Monkey See rambles through the forest of pop culture, blazing a trail so that members of its expedition can keep up to date, even on aspects of entertainment to which they're not personally devoted. They provided a link to a Harry Potter quiz that's one of the best current promos I've seen. (I scored 31 out of 35 and would have scored 32, had my screen display made me more aware of precisely which of the films I was supposed to respond to.)

And, as host, Linda presides over other insightful commentators on today's entertainment. For example, Glen Weldon's comic-book commentaries are something I always find intriguing. A recent post, for example, was "Let There Be Bike Shorts: A Profile in Comics-Geek Courage." It's about DC Editor Matt Idelson and Supergirl, it was posted July 1, and it already has 37 comments. Rightly so.

So the link to "Monkey See" on my home page is no accident. It's there to remind me not to miss checking its most recent postings, because I don't want to be out of the pop-culture loop. Do you?


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