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What to watch on IFC tonight: “Bound” with Gina Gershon and Jennifer Tilly

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Tonight at 8/7c we are showing “Bound,” starring Jennifer Tilly and Gina Gershon as an ex-con and a mob moll who hatch a plan to steal $2 million in dirty money and run off together. At first glance, “Bound” plays like a typical film noir with dramatic camera angles, dramatic dialogue and even more dramatic score, but watch it again and you’ll see that “Bound” is a lot more than that.

When the movie came out, many people ponied up the ticket price just for the steamy love scenes between Tilly and Gershon, but in some ways, “Bound” may actually be the benchmark for LGBTQ (if you don’t know what that means spend more time in Portlandia) cinema. Scott Tobias makes a good case for it over at The AV Club anyway. While Andy and Lana (or rather Larry, at the time) Wachowskis’ film is both noir-ish and steamy, the violent and highly stylized neo-noir thriller throws genre conventions for quite the loop, including casting a same-sex couple as the star-crossed thieving lovers. Their production values and innovative camera work updates the noir genre with a sleekly modern twist, which calls to mind the work of the Coen Brothers with tense plot twists, intense pacing and carefully executed timing. While “Bound” was the Wachowskis’ debut, it’s clear that they knew their way around a film set. It’s no surprise that their next film was the much (much) larger story of Neo in “The Matrix.”

Watch the trailer for “Bound” then tune in tonight at 8/7c:

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“Bound” airs on IFC tonight at 8/7c and on Monday, Jan. 7 at 10:15 PM ET

Soap tv show

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.

DVR Alert: Watch Mr. Show with Bob and David early tomorrow morning

Bob Odenkirk and David Cross in Mr. Show With Bob and David.

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You’re going to want to dig your remote control out of the couch and track down the instructions that came with your DVR so you can record Mr. Show with Bob and David tomorrow and Saturday at 5 a.m. ET/4 a.m. CT.

If you somehow missed Mr. Show (welcome to the world, children!), it’s a sketch comedy series that sprung from the mind of former Saturday Night Live writer/actor Bob Odenkirk (a.k.a. Saul on Breaking Bad) and stand up comedian/actor David Cross. Yes, David Cross of Arrested Development and The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret. We like him. The groundbreaking show aired on HBO from 1995 to 1998 and during that time span managed to mock pretty much everyone from Satanists to hermaphrodites to the Ku Klux Klan. The show featured a lot of fresh-faced talent who have become comedy stars in their own right, including Sarah Silverman, Paul F. Tompkins, Jack Black, Tom Kenny, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Brian Posehn, and Scott Aukerman.

Watch these sketches and then head straight to your remote control to set your DVR to record Mr. Show with Bob and Davide tomorrow and Saturday at 5 a.m. ET:

Anyone have change for a dollar?

Here’s Mr. Show’s take on method acting:

Here’s how they give a guitar lesson:

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Jack Passion goes in alone in this new clip from Whisker Wars, airing tonight at 10/9c

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Tonight at 10/9c we bid a fond farewell to the professional bearding circuit with the finale of the second season of Thom Beers’ Whisker Wars. In the final episode of the season, we find our whisker warriors attempting to shake things up at the venerable German International Beard and Mustache Championships. The bearding boys are looking to make a big old U.S.A.-shaped mark in the birthplace of bearding. With the follicularly fierce competitors of the Austin Facial Hair Club taking charge along with their allies Myk O’Connor, John Buckler and Aarne Beilefeldt, Germany may not stand a chance in the face of such mustachioed machismo.

While many of our favorite Whisker War competitors have banded together to form a united front in Germany, former World Champion Jack Passion is notably absent. Passion suffered a string of defeats on the American circuit and he headed to Germany on a more one-man mission: To reclaim his legacy as the greatest natural Full Beard there ever was.

Watch Jack put on a brave face in this video from Friday’s episode of Whisker Wars and be sure to tune in to the season finale at 10/9c:

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Want the latest news from Whisker Wars? Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter@whiskerwars and use the hashtag #whiskerwars.

The season finale of Whisker Wars airs Friday at 10/9c

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