This Week in Pop Culture: November 26 - 30, 2018

We've scoured this week's entertainment news and rounded up our favorite vocab words from the stories that everyone's buzzing about.

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. arduous
    characterized by effort to the point of exhaustion
    “I like to do [shows] these days in short bursts rather than have these very long, arduous, never-ending tours where you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.” - The Wall Street Journal (Nov. 27, 2018)
    The Rolling Stones are gearing up for a short, 13-date tour of stadiums in the United States. Mick Jagger, the lead singer of the Stones, is 75 years old and his one concession to age is the fact that he no longer goes on world tours that last for months. The “No Filter” Tour starts in April in Miami.
  2. bevy
    a large gathering of people of a particular type
    The Hamilton Mixtape set boasts a bevy of stars covering and reinterpreting tunes from the top 10-charting Original Broadway Cast Recording of Hamilton: An American Musical. - (Nov. 25, 2018)
    In music news this week, a new album where rock and pop acts sing the songs from The Greatest Showman musical film was released. Like The Hamilton Mixtape before it , the set features a bevy, or a whole lot, of stars, including Panic! at The Disco, Pink, and The Zac Brown Band singing the score.
  3. bias
    a partiality preventing objective consideration of an issue
    Jay-Z won a court battle on Wednesday in a lawsuit against his company Roc Nation, on somewhat unusual grounds: The rapper-entrepreneur argued that the lack of African-American arbitrators presiding over the case left him susceptible to unconscious racial bias. - Rolling Stone (Nov. 29, 2018)
    Jay-Z, who once rapped "How can you fairly assess something from the outside looking in?," got a lawsuit against him delayed this week, arguing that having a panel of arbitrators without an African-American on it was inherently unfair to his case. In addition, on the list of about 200 arbitrators provided by the court, only 3 were African American, which Jay-Z's lawyers argue is really "no choice at all." The case, involving the RocaWear clothing label, will resume on December 11.
  4. imbue
    spread or diffuse through
    Steve imbued 'SpongeBob SquarePants' with a unique sense of humor and innocence that has brought joy to generations of kids and families everywhere. - USA Today (Nov. 27, 2018)
    Steven Hillenburg, the creator of Spongebob Squarepants died this week at the age of 57. Hillenburg died from complications of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. To imbue an atmosphere with some quality is to fill it slowly and thoroughly, so that the quality comes to exist everywhere.
  5. imperative
    some duty that is essential and urgent
    For years, Swift has loudly defended the rights of laborers in her industry from the imperatives of capital—and matched her rhetoric with action. - Slate (Nov. 26, 2018)
    Taylor Swift has moved to a new record label, and her deal has some interesting provisions, not just for her, but for musicians everywhere. Essentially, a portion of the proceeds of her record label's sale of Spotify stock will go to her and the other artists on the label. This is to help balance things out after Spotify paid a much lower royalty rate to musicians to stream their music. With 83 million paid subscribers, Spotify is pretty powerful. But not as powerful as Taylor Swift.
  6. opportune
    suitable or advantageous especially for a particular purpose
    It’s an opportune time for a sequel. There’s been countless think pieces about how the grim future that Atwood foresaw when she wrote “The Handmaid’s Tale” in 1985 — one in which a patriarchal and totalitarian society subjugates women — is beginning to resemble the kind of society that certain sections of the population would desperately like to put in place. - (Nov. 28, 2018)
    Margaret Atwood announced that she is writing a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale called Testaments . The original novel is considered a modern classic of dystopian literature and has been adapted into a television series which is entering its third season. Opportune means especially appropriate given what is going on at a particular moment in time.
  7. portray
    assume or act the character of
    While Kendrick seems to be able to playfully forget being a part of Twilight, her costar Robert Pattinson doesn’t quite have that luxury, having gained worldwide fame after portraying Edward Cullen. - (Nov. 26, 2018)
    It's the ten year anniversary of the first Twilight movie being released. One star of the film is so busy, she forgot for a moment that she was even it. Anna Kendrick, who portrayed Jessica Stanley in the Twilight series, tweeted her shock at remembering that she was in the saga earlier this week. Kendrick has gone on to star in films like A Simple Favor , Into The Woods , and the three Pitch Perfect movies. Hey, she is busy!
  8. protege
    a person who receives support from an influential patron
    Building slowly and deliberately, the performance found Hudson’s powerful vocal taking a back seat to the soulful pipes of her protégés. - Rolling Stone (Nov. 28, 2018)
    One of the musical highlights of the week was Jennifer Hudson, a judge on The Voice, singing a version of Bette Midler’s “The Rose” with the members of her team. Hudson let her protégés shine and the version was all the more powerful for the restraint she showed. Spelling protégé with the accent marks is the French way, because it indicates how the vowel sounds in French. English spelling often drops these kinds of accent marks, so either way is acceptable.
  9. spate
    a large number or amount or extent
    The San Fernando Valley has experienced a spate of celebrity burglaries this year, including break-ins at the home of rapper Wiz Khalifa. - LA Times (Nov. 28, 2018)
    Thirteen men, all members of the same L.A. gang, have been charged with a series of burglaries of celebrity homes. Celebrities targeted include Rihanna and Dodgers star Yasiel Puig. Police say that the robbers had elaborate plans to break into the homes of LeBron James and Matt Damon as well, but ten of the men were apprehended before they could go through with those crimes.
  10. tepid
    feeling or showing little interest or enthusiasm
    Lionsgate’s “Robin Hood” pocketed an tepid $14.2 million at 2,715 venues for the five-day period and $9 million for the weekend, a potentially disastrous result given the live-action adventure’s roughly $100 million production budget. - (Nov. 25, 2018)
    Ralph Breaks the Internet and Creed II were big winners at the box office this week , but the new version of Robin Hood had disappointing ticket sales. This latest remake of the classic tale stars Taron Egerton as Robin and Jamie Foxx As “ Petit Jean” or “Little John.” Because it cost so much to make, Robin Hood could end up as one of the biggest financial disasters of the cinematic year.

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