DID YOU READ

R. Kelly’s Trapped in the Closet premieres at NYC’s Sunshine Theater

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You guys, Trapped in the Closet is forever. R. Kelly said it, we believe it, and that settles it. In other news: R. Kelly is heading to Broadway. And that’s not all that was revealed during last night’s debut of the next installment of Trapped in the Closet, which premieres right here on IFC on Friday, November 23 at 9/8c. Not only did Kellz announce that a Broadway production of Trapped in the Closet is in the works — and we’re going to start camping out for tickets now — but he also said that he already had 85 chapters ready to be filmed. You excited yet? You should be.

The announcements came during a Q&A session that followed a screening of the all-new chapters in the continuing saga of Kelly’s hip-hopera at New York City’s Landmark Sunshine Cinemas. Taking the mic after the screening, Kellz, clad in a sharp tuxedo, red leather gloves, indoor sunglasses, and a cigar burning despite NYC’s ban on smoking inside public places, announced that “‘Trapped in the Closet’ is an alien, and I’m happy to be one of the astronauts.” While only Kelly himself is entirely sure of what that means, he did admit that he never thought his “silly” idea would become a cultural phenomenon. He also seemed genuinely surprised and grateful when the audience roared their approval when the lights went up after the show. “I’m just having a lot of fun,” said Kelly to the rapt audience. “I don’t have a job, so I sit in the studio all the time and think of stupid stuff to do. And this is just something stupid I’ve done that’s been successful. I’m having a lot of fun with it.”

Kelly, the multi-platinum recording star with a dozen hit albums, seemed as nervous as a middle schooler at a talent show when he came out to introduce the next chapters of Trapped. While it’s hard to imagine Kelly being nervous in front of an audience that was happily singing along to “I’m A Flirt (Remix)” right before he hit the stage, he noted, “I am so nervous, but so excited to show you this.” The audience, composed mostly of members of the press along with cast, crew, and friends of Kellz were excited to see the new chapters, which were five years in the making.

While we had to pinkyswear and make an oath on a stack of R. Kelly albums not to spoil anything about the new chapters, we can tell you that some of your favorite characters including Sylvester, Pimp Lucius, Randolph, and Rosie the Nosy Neighbor are back and that Twan’s biceps really are that big. When you tune in on Friday, November 23rd at 9/8c, you’ll also meet a bunch of new characters, but if we told you about them, we’d have to give up our copy of “Soulacoaster” and/or our first born and we could never make that choice.

The veteran crooner explained that the five-year lapse between installments of Trapped was the product of laziness, but said that getting back into the swing of writing and directing was easy. “It’s not hard somehow. When you commit to something and have fun with it, it appreciates you, the gift, and it starts to help you out,” he said. “It cheats through things for you and it kind of writes itself. I’m having so much fun with this thing. I’m so committed to it, it just happens. It just continues to happen. Every time I put the [opening sound] track on, I hear these new stories and new characters.” Let’s hope that Kelly keeps cranking that soundtrack for years to come and that Kelly makes good on his word and that Trapped in the Closet is forever.

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Trapped in the Closet returns to IFC on Friday, November 23rd at 9/8c.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.