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Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Take 5: 'American Idol,' 'Nashville' grab small screen attention

This week’s pop culture headlines ranged from the latest Adele track, to the new TV show that has everyone talking. Take a break from midterms and catch up on the happenings of Hollywood and beyond.

Back for the “Fall”

Although 2011 was perhaps the most successful and gratifying year Adele will ever have, the seemingly infallible songstress receded from the spotlight in 2012 to prepare for the arrival of her new baby with boyfriend Simon Konecki.

Last week, though, she emerged from her hiatus to debut “Skyfall,” the haunting, epic theme song for the latest eponymous James Bond film. The song, recorded with a 77-piece orchestra, ascended the iTunes chart within hours, a reminder to the music industry that few hitmakers are as reliably commercial or musically satisfying as Adele.

Knockout Competition

Tensions are at an all-time high behind the scenes at “American Idol” after new judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj interrupted a recent audition taping with a profane shouting match, during which Minaj reportedly threatened to knock Carey out.

In retaliation, Carey spoke to Barbara Walters about the incident, prompting Minaj to post a series of enraged tweets. Portions of these events may have been concocted or encouraged to generate much-needed buzz, although rumors of conflict have been circulating since September. Nonetheless, the prominence of this story may indicate a renewed interest in this flagging franchise, set to air January.

Nashville’s the Star

ABC’s new hourlong drama “Nashville,” praised by some critics as the best new network show of the season, stars Connie Britton (“American Horror Story”) as a troubled aging country star and Hayden Panettierre as a feisty upstart in the vein of Taylor Swift.

In addition to stirring acting and heightened melodrama, each episode of the show will feature several songs, including country standards and original tunes penned by artists as diverse as Hillary Lindsey, Elvis Costello and T Bone Burnett. Fans of drama and music alike should tune in on Wednesdays at 10 p.m.


After a long career of leading roles that some critics might call “underwhelming,” Ben Affleck stepped behind the camera in 2007 to direct the acclaimed crime thriller “Gone Baby Gone.” Following that film’s success, coupled with an Oscar nomination for his follow-up “The Town,” Affleck has become one of Hollywood’s most in-demand directors for buzzworthy drama projects.

It’s no surprise, then, that his latest film “Argo,” about a curious attempt to free Iranian hostages, has attracted critical buzz at several international film festivals. With a stellar cast including Affleck, John Goodman, Bryan Cranston and Alan Arkin, it’s a must-see.

Damage Control

In the past two years, Jason Aldean has ascended from reasonable success to genuine superstardom in the country music world, having topped the charts with stylistically inventive hits like “Dirt Road Anthem” and “Don’t You Wanna Stay.”

Just in time for the release of his new album “Night Train” (out Oct. 16), fresh controversy has surrounded the married father of two and his inappropriate conduct during a dinner outing with former “American Idol” contestant Brittany Kerr. Aldean is likely hoping that the fallout from this controversy will not hamper album sales or his public image.

As the semester comes to an end and one of the founding members leaves American University, Section 202 has decided to take a trip down memory lane. For our fans, old and new, who are wondering how Section 202 came to be, this episode is a must. Listen along as hosts Connor Sturniolo and Liah Argiropoulos reminisce about the beginning of Section 202 and how it got to where it is now.

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