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What to watch on IFC: November 19 – 25

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Screw the sweet potatoes! Forget the turkey! Don’t even start with the pilgrims and Indians. This week we’re thankful for nothing but R. Kelly, Trapped in the Closet and the second season of Whisker Wars. We’re spending Thanksgiving ignoring the family and watching back-to-back chapters of Trapped in the Closet, followed by Trapped in the Closet: The Deluxe Edition at 11. Then on Friday we’re spending the day waiting for the premiere of all new chapters of Trapped at 9/8c and staying tuned for the premiere of the second season of Whisker Wars at 10/9c.

Here’s what to watch this week on IFC:

Monday

Fans of Captain Jean-Luc Picard will want to tune in to watch the first Star Trek: The Next Generation full-length movie, “Star Trek: First Contact” at 10:30 p.m. ET. Watch as Picard (Patrick Stewart), first mate Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and the others set off to stop the half-robot Borg from sabotaging a historic rocket flight in 2063. Resistance is futile, so tune in.

Tuesday

Nothing to make you thankful like watching others’ misfortunes. So tune in to watch “Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III” at 10:15/9:15c. See how rural Texas cannibals do Thanksgiving totally wrongy by waylaying yuppie motorists (Kate Hodge, William Butler) driving from Los Angeles to Florida.

Wednesday

Soothe your holiday travel woes by fantasizing that Jason Statham is driving you to eat Aunt Sherry’s dry turkey or just watch “Transporter 3″ at 8/7c or 10:15/9:15c. In the Luc Besson production, watch as mob courier Frank Martin (Jason Statham) and his a cynical Ukrainian woman (Natalya Rudakova), get shackled together with handcuffs that will explode if they wander too far from his car. Sounds like more fun than dinner at Aunt Sherry’s, eh?

Thursday

Happy R. Kelly day! Happy Thanksgiving, too, but hurry up and polish off that turkey, slice up the pumpkin pie and settle down to watch Part 1 and Part 2 of Trapped in the Closet airing back-to-back all day, starting at 10 am/9 am C. Topping it all off like the gravy on the mashed potatoes is Trapped in the Closet: The Deluxe Edition at 11/10c. It’s a newly remastered and remixed edition of the saga from the very beginning.

Friday

Catch up on chapters 1- 22 of R. Kelly’s hip hopera Trapped in the Closet with Chapter 23, which you can watch below, before the saga continues with all new chapters tonight at 9/8c. Then stay tuned for the second season of Whisker Wars,which kicks off at 10/9c.

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Saturday

Spend Saturday night nose deep in a graphic novel without ever picking up a book. We’re showing Frank Miller’s and Will Eisner’s “The Spirit” at 8/7c followed by Robert Rodriguez’s and Frank Miller’s “Sin City” at 10/9c.

Sunday

In case you missed it, we’re showing Trapped in the Closet: Deluxe Edition again at 8/7c. It’s a newly remastered and remixed edition of R. Kelly’s bold hip hopera. Follow the saga from the very beginning of the humorous and dramatic journey through Chicago with an interesting cast of characters who are connected by a mysterious package.

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As the Spoof Turns

15 Hilarious Soap Opera Parodies

Catch the classic sitcom Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures Television

The soap opera is the indestructible core of television fandom. We celebrate modern series like The Wire and Breaking Bad with their ongoing storylines, but soap operas have been tangling more plot threads than a quilt for decades. Which is why pop culture enjoys parodying them so much.

Check out some of the funniest soap opera parodies below, and be sure to catch Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

1. Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

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Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman was a cult hit soap parody from the mind of Norman Lear that poked daily fun at the genre with epic twists and WTF moments. The first season culminated in a perfect satire of ratings stunts, with Mary being both confined to a psychiatric facility and chosen to be part of a Nielsen ratings family.


2. IKEA Heights

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IKEA Heights proves that the soap opera is alive and well, even if it has to be filmed undercover at a ready-to-assemble furniture store totally unaware of what’s happening. This unique webseries brought the classic formula to a new medium. Even IKEA saw the funny side — but has asked that future filmmakers apply through proper channels.


3. Fresno

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When you’re parodying ’80s nighttime soaps like Dallas and Dynasty , everything about your show has to equally sumptuous. The 1986 CBS miniseries Fresno delivered with a high-powered cast (Carol Burnett, Teri Garr and more in haute couture clothes!) locked in the struggle for the survival of a raisin cartel.


4. Soap

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Soap was the nighttime response to daytime soap operas: a primetime skewering of everything both silly and satisfying about the source material. Plots including demonic possession and alien abduction made it a cult favorite, and necessitated the first televised “viewer discretion” disclaimer. It also broke ground for featuring one of the first gay characters on television in the form of Billy Crystal’s Jodie Dallas. Revisit (or discover for the first time) this classic sitcom every Saturday morning on IFC.


5. Too Many Cooks

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Possibly the most perfect viral video ever made, Too Many Cooks distilled almost every style of television in a single intro sequence. The soap opera elements are maybe the most hilarious, with more characters and sudden shocking twists in an intro than most TV scribes manage in an entire season.


6. Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace

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Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace was more mockery than any one medium could handle. The endless complications of Darkplace Hospital are presented as an ongoing horror soap opera with behind-the-scenes anecdotes from writer, director, star, and self-described “dreamweaver visionary” Garth Marenghi and astoundingly incompetent actor/producer Dean Learner.


7. “Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive,” MadTV

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Soap opera connoisseurs know that the most melodramatic plots are found in Korea. MADtv‘s parody Tae Do  (translation: Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive) features the struggles of mild-mannered characters with far more feelings than their souls, or subtitles, could ever cope with.


8. Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks, the twisted parody of small town soaps like Peyton Place whose own creator repeatedly insists is not a parody, has endured through pop culture since it changed television forever when it debuted in 1990. The show even had it’s own soap within in a soap called…


9. “Invitation to Love,” Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks didn’t just parody soap operas — it parodied itself parodying soap operas with the in-universe show Invitation to Love. That’s more layers of deceit and drama than most televised love triangles.


10. “As The Stomach Turns,” The Carol Burnett Show

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The Carol Burnett Show poked fun at soaps with this enduring take on As The World Turns. In a case of life imitating art, one story involving demonic possession would go on to happen for “real” on Days of Our Lives.


11. Days of our Lives (Friends Edition)

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Still airing today, Days of Our Lives is one of the most famous soap operas of all time. They’re also excellent sports, as they allowed Friends star Joey Tribbiani to star as Dr Drake Ramoray, the only doctor to date his own stalker (while pretending to be his own evil twin). And then return after a brain-transplant.

And let’s not forget the greatest soap opera parody line ever written: “Come on Joey, you’re going up against a guy who survived his own cremation!”


12. Acorn Antiques

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First appearing on the BBC sketch comedy series Victoria Wood As Seen on TV, Acorn Antiques combines almost every low-budget soap opera trope into one amazing whole. The staff of a small town antique store suffer a disproportional number of amnesiac love-triangles, while entire storylines suddenly appear and disappear without warning or resolution. Acorn Antiques was so popular, it went on to become a hit West End musical.


13. “Point Place,” That 70s Show

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In a memorable That ’70s Show episode, an unemployed Red is reduced to watching soaps all day. He becomes obsessed despite the usual Red common-sense objections (like complaining that it’s impossible to fall in love with someone in a coma). His dreams render his own life as Point Place, a melodramatic nightmare where Kitty leaves him because he’s unemployed. (Click here to see all airings of That ’70s Show on IFC.)


14. The Spoils of Babylon

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Bursting from the minds of Will Ferrell and creators Andrew Steele and Matt Piedmont, The Spoils of Babylon was a spectacular parody of soap operas and epic mini-series like The Thorn Birds. Taking the parody even further, Ferrell himself played Eric Jonrosh, the author of the book on which the series was based. Jonrosh returned in The Spoils Before Dying, a jazzy murder mystery with its own share of soapy twists and turns.

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15. All My Children Finale, SNL

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SNL‘s final celebration of one of the biggest soaps of all time is interrupted by a relentless series of revelations from stage managers, lighting designers, make-up artists, and more. All of whom seem to have been married to or murdered by (or both) each other.

Five favorite Winona Ryder roles

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Tonight at 10:30 p.m. ET we are showing Tim Burton’s re-telling of the Frankenstein fable “Edward Scissorhands.” The movie stars Johnny Depp as the scissor-handed creation of a reclusive inventor (Vincent Price) who left his greatest work still unfinished when he died before finishing his sad-eyed invention and replacing his scissor-hands with real ones. Years after his creator’s death, he’s discovered living in a secluded mansion when a local Avon lady (Dianne Wiest) stops by and ends up bringing him home with her. There she introduces him to the wonderful world of The Suburbs, where he becomes something of a local celebrity due to his unique hairstyling and hedge-trimming skills. He also meets her pretty blonde cheerleader daughter Kim (Winona Ryder). She is smitten with the pale, mysterious Edward, but unfortunately already has a boyfriend — the high school’s thuggish star quarterback (Anthony Michael Hall) who causes nothing but problems for Edward from the get go. No spoilers as to how the dark tale ends, but when you see Ryder dancing in the snowflakes that Edward creates for her, you can’t help but smile. Ryder was always so good at projecting emotion off the silver screen whether she was playing a girl, interrupted in “Mermaids” or a dying swan in “Black Swan.” She had a hard fall from her career heights, but when she was good, she was very very good, and we’re sure she will be again.

Here are five of our favorite Winona Ryder roles:

5. Lelaina Pierce in “Reality Bites”

4. Amanda Grayson in “Star Trek”

3. Kim in “Edward Scissorhands”

2. Veronica in “Heathers”

1. Lydia Deetz in “Beetlejuice”

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“Edward Scissorhands” airs tonight at 10:30 p.m. ET; Monday, Nov. 26 at 9:45 PM ET; and Sunday, Dec. 2 at 2:30 PM ET

Behind the Scenes of R. Kelly’s Trapped in the Closet: Acting and Directing

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When R. Kelly yells action, you better believe there will be action. Which is exactly why Kellz is so effective behind the camera on the set of his hip hopera Trapped in the Closet. And when the saga continues on Friday, November 23rd at 9/8c, you will want to tune in to see what action R. Kelly has in store for fans of the interwoven, sprawling and downright awesome story. So how does Kelly elicit such incredible acting out of characters like Twan, Gwendolyn, Big Man and Rufus? By leading by example, of course. As fans know, Kelly plays a bunch of characters in the show, including, of course, Pimp Lucius and Randolph, and he is fully committed to playing the heck out of each and everyone of them.

In this new clip direct from the set of Trapped in the Closet, Kellz tells us all about his motivation, inspiration and drive to succeed as both an actor and director. Watch the clip and be sure to tune in when Trapped in the Closet returns, only on IFC:

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

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