DID YOU READ

Five of our favorite R. Kelly songs

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As you have probably heard by now, “Trapped in the Closet” is coming back to IFC. That’s right, R. Kelly is debuting a new set of stories from his “hip-hopera” on IFC later this year.

In a statement to Rolling Stone, R. Kelly said, “When I first began experiencing the unknown journey of writing Trapped in the Closet I knew after the first chapter that I had tapped into something that was not of this earth,” R. Kelly said in a statement. “Being the nosy person that I am, I more than anyone wanted to know what the second chapter would be. And now here we are at chapter 23, trapped in the million dollar question – what the hell is the package? Well, ladies and gentlemen, not only am I ready to reveal what the package is, but I have many more chapters to share.” When the series first aired on IFC we got 22 chapters of an incredibly complex soap opera all narrated by hip hop legend R. Kelly and we were left with a serious cliffhanger. Now the new saga will unfold on IFC’s air this winter.

But now that we know R. Kelly is coming back, the anticipation is killing us. Luckily the singer has a plethora of music videos to help tide us over for the next chapter in “Trapped in the Closet.”

Here are five of our favorite R. Kelly songs:

1. “To the Homies We Lost”

2. “Ignition”

3. “Step in the Name of Love”

4. “Happy People”

5. “The World’s Greatest”

R. Kelly’s “Trapped in the Closet” returns to IFC in winter 2012

Underworld

Under Your Spell

10 Otherworldly Romances That’ll Melt Your Heart

Spend Valentine's Day weekend with IFC's Underworld movie marathon.

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Photo Credit: Screen Gems/courtesy Everett Collection

Romance takes many forms, and that is especially true when you have a thirst for blood or laser beams coming out of your eyes.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a werewolf, a superhero, a clone, a time-traveler, or a vampire, love is the one thing that infects us all.  Read on to find out why Romeo and Juliet have nothing on these supernatural star-crossed lovers, and be sure to catch IFC’s Underworld movie marathon this Valentine’s Day weekend.

1. Cyclops/Jean Grey/Wolverine, X-Men series

The X-Men franchise is rife with romance, but the steamiest “ménage à mutant” may just be the one between Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), Cyclops (James Marsden), and Wolverine (Hugh Jackman). Their triangle is a complicated one as Jean finds herself torn between the two very different men while also trying to control her darker side, the Phoenix. This leads to Jean killing Cyclops and eventually getting stabbed through her heart by Wolverine in X-Men: The Last Stand. Yikes!  Maybe they should change the name to Ex-Men instead?


2. Willow/Tara, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Joss Whedon gave audiences some great romances on Buffy the Vampire Slayer — including the central triangle of Buffy, Angel, and Spike — but it was the love between witches Willow (Alyson Hannigan) and Tara (Amber Benson) that broke new ground for its sensitive and nuanced portrayal of a LGBT relationship.

Willow is smart and confident and isn’t even sure of her sexuality when she first meets Tara at college in a Wiccan campus group. As the two begin experimenting with spells, they realize they’re also falling for one another and become the show’s most enduring, happy couple. At least until Tara’s death in season six, a moment that still brings on the feels.


3. Selene/Michael, Underworld series

The Twilight gang pales in comparison (both literally and metaphorically) to the Lycans and Vampires of the stylish Underworld franchise. If you’re looking for an epic vampire/werewolf romance set amidst an epic vampire/werewolf war, Underworld handily delivers in the form of leather catsuited Selene (Kate Beckinsale) and shaggy blonde hunk Michael (a post-Felicity Scott Speedman). As they work together to stop the Vampire/Lycan war, they give into their passions while also kicking butt in skintight leather. Love at first bite indeed.


4. Spider-man/Mary Jane Watson, Spider-man

After rushing to the aid of beautiful girl-next-door Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), the Amazing Spider-man is rewarded with an upside-down kiss that is still one of the most romantic moments in comic book movie history. For Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), the shy, lovable dork beneath the mask, his rain-soaked makeout session is the culmination of years of unrequited love and one very powerful spider bite. As the films progress, Peter tries pushing MJ away in an attempt to protect her from his enemies, but their web of love is just too powerful. And you know, with great power, comes great responsibility.


5. Molly/Sam, Ghost

When it comes to supernatural romance, you really can’t beat Molly and Sam from the 1990 hit film Ghost. Demi Moore goes crazy for Swayze like the rest of us, and the pair make pottery sexier than it’s ever been.

When Sam is murdered, he’s forced to communicate through con artist turned real psychic, Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg in her Academy Award-winning role) to warn Molly she is still in danger from his co-worker, Carl (a pre-Scandal Tony Goldwyn). Molly doesn’t believe Oda is telling the truth, so Sam proves it by sliding a penny up the wall and then possessing Oda so he and Molly can share one last romantic dance together (but not the dirty kind). We’d pay a penny for a dance with Patrick Swayze ANY day.


6. Cosima/Delphine, Orphan Black

It stands to reason there would be at least one complicated romance on a show about clones, and none more complicated than the one between clone Cosima (Tatiana Maslany) and Dr. Delphine Cormier (Evelyne Brochu) on BBC America’s hit drama Orphan Black.

Cosima is a PhD student focusing on evolutionary developmental biology at the University of Minnesota when she meets Delphine, a research associate from the nefarious Dyad Institute, posing as a fellow immunology student. The two fall in love, but their happiness is brief once Dyad and the other members of Clone Club get involved. Here’s hoping Cosima finds love in season four of Orphan Black. Girlfriend could use a break.


7. Aragorn/Arwen, Lord of the Rings

On a picturesque bridge in Rivendell amidst some stellar mood-lighting and dreamy Elvish language with English subtitles for us non-Middle Earthlings, Arwen (Liv Tyler) and Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) bind their souls to one another, pledging to love each other no matter what befalls them.

Their courtship is a matter of contention with Arwen’s father, Elrond (Hugo Weaving), who doesn’t wish to see his daughter suffer over Aragorn’s future death. The two marry after the conclusion of the War of the Ring, with Aragorn assuming his throne as King of Gondor, and Arwen forgoing her immortality to become his Queen. Is it too much to assume they asked Frodo to be their wedding ring-bearer?


8. Lafayette/Jesus, True Blood

True Blood quickly became the go-to show for supernatural sex scenes featuring future Magic Mike strippers (Joe Manganiello) and pale Nordic men with washboard abs (Hi Alexander Skarsgård!), but honestly, there was a little something for everyone, including fan favorite Bon Temps medium, Lafayette Reynolds (Nelsan Ellis).

In season three, Lafayette met his mother’s nurse, Jesus, and the two began a relationship. As they spend more time together and start doing V (short for Vampire Blood), they learn Jesus is descended from a long line of witches and that Lafayette himself has magical abilities. However, supernatural love is anything but simple, and after the pair join a coven, Lafayette becomes possessed by the dead spirit of its former leader. This relationship certainly puts a whole new spin on possessive love.


9. Nymphadora Tonks/Remus Lupin, Harry Potter series

There are lots of sad characters in the Harry Potter series, but Remus Lupin ranks among the saddest. He was bitten by a werewolf as a child, his best friend was murdered and his other best friend was wrongly imprisoned in Azkaban for it, then THAT best friend was killed by a Death Eater at the Ministry of Magic as Remus looked on. So when Lupin unexpectedly found himself in love with badass Auror and Metamorphmagus Nymphadora Tonks (she prefers to be called by her surname ONLY, thank you very much), pretty much everyone, including Lupin himself, was both elated and cautiously hopeful about their romance and eventual marriage.

Sadly, the pair met a tragic ending when both were killed by Death Eaters during the Battle of Hogwarts, leaving their son, Teddy, orphaned much like his godfather Harry Potter. Accio hankies!


10. The Doctor/Rose Tyler, Doctor Who

Speaking of wolves, Rose “Bad Wolf” Tyler (Billie Piper) captured the Doctor’s hearts from the moment he told her to “Run!” in the very first episode of the re-booted Doctor Who series. Their affection for one another grew steadily deeper during their travels in the TARDIS, whether they were stuck in 1950s London, facing down pure evil in the Satan Pit, or battling Cybermen.

But their relationship took a tragic turn during the season two finale episode, “Doomsday,” when the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) and Rose found themselves separated in parallel universes with no way of being reunited (lest two universes collapse as a result of a paradox). A sobbing Rose told a holographic transmission of the Doctor she loved him, but before he could reply, the transmission cut out, leaving our beloved Time Lord (and most of the audience) with a tear-stained face and two broken hearts all alone in the TARDIS.

Coming Soon: Whisker Wars, Season 2

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This winter, we’re putting a beard on it, because Whisker Wars is coming back. As everyone who watched last season’s show knows, bearding is a sport and the world of competitive beard and mustache growing is as fierce an arena of battle as any Olympic sport. Well, maybe not the luge, because those guys are badasses, but definitely the Olympic curlers. But these athletes don’t run or leap great heights or run really quickly. Instead, they grow the longest, wildest, and bushiest beards in the entire world. Welcome to “Whisker Wars”. The unlikely show comes from the mind of Thom Beers who has made a career crafting compelling television out of less than interesting sounding subjects. Specifically, crab fishing in “Deadliest Catch” and equipment hauling in “Ice Road Truckers.”

Last season we met the stars of Whisker Wars, the group of men who travel the country in search of top honors in a host of competitions, from the National Beard and Mustache Championship in Bend, OR to the World Competition in Norway. The coming season will once again follow Jack Passion (Calif.), a world beard champion and author of “Facial Hair Handbook;” Myk O’Connor (Brooklyn, NY), a member of the Gotham City Beardsmen Alliance; Aarne Biederfeld out in California, and Bryan Nelson and Allen Demling and the rest of the Austin Facial Hair Club as the face off, literally. The show doesn’t premiere until winter, so you have plenty of time to start growing your beard.

Here’s a clip from the upcoming season:

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Want the latest news from the Whisker Wars battlefront ? Like us on Facebook and follow us on @WhiskerWars and use the hashtag #WhiskerWars.

Whisker Wars season two premieres Winter 2012

Coming Soon: Bunk

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When you hear about IFC’s new show Bunk, it’s a little hard to imagine a comedy game show where a panel of comedians compete in inane challenges to win surreal prizes. That’s because no one has really done it before. But if you meet someone who hasn’t had pizza before, what do you tell them? It’s The Best, right? Well, we’re here to tell you that Bunk is The Best. At the live performances of the show, the audience has been rolling on the floor laughing. Pants may have been wet, no judgment, of course. So what makes this show so darn doubled-over funny? Everything. The comedian contestants are armed with nothing but their wits as they respond to images they’ve never seen before, make up songs on the spot, complete drawing and sculpture challenges and interact with modern dancers, puppies, babies, gospel singers and more, all under the watchful eye of host Kurt Braunohler. The biggest laughs get the strangest prizes, the smallest laughs get even more surreal winnings. The show is so delightfully strange and downright hilarious that we know you are going to love it.

BUNK is produced for IFC by Avalon Television; Eric Bryant, Ethan T. Berlin, David Martin, Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner serve as executive producers. Kurt Braunohler and Dan Lubetkin serve as co-executive producers.

Watch a sneak peek here:

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Want to know more? Here’s host Kurt Braunohler talking to Chris Gethard about Bunk at SXSW [WARNING: Puppy shaming is discussed]:

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Bunk is premiering on IFC on Friday, June 8

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