As the Transformers movies have taught us, there is such a thing as too many sequels.
Some series live on well past their expiration date, clinging to scraps of relevance: Those Sookie Stackhouse books keep happening; Meat Loaf still dusts off Bat Out of Hell every decade or so; The Office is still inexplicably on television. There’s an air of sadness in going back to the well, and it often kills the stature of the original great idea that spawned so many bad ones.
Then again, some series should never die, and will always be greeted as conquering heroes upon their return. This is a long-winded way of expressing the importance of and glee associated with the return of Trapped in the Closet, R. Kelly’s soap operatic R&B opus.
A few months ago, Kels teased that he had written a whopping 32 new chapters of the convoluted series, which began as a simple love triangle and eventually blossomed into a sprawling narrative about stuttering pimps, gay pastors, gun violence, and little people hiding underneath the sink.
The wheels are in motion: Kelly has announced that he is co-producing the new entries with IFC (his broadcast partner during the previous run). In a statement released this morning, he called the Trapped in the Closet “not of this Earth.” (Obviously, its origins must be “Sex Planet.”)
Originally conceived as an experimental addendum to Kelly’s 2005 album TP.3 Reloaded, Trapped in the Closet rapidly became a much bigger project, resulting in the opus that ran on IFC and inspired this utterly ridiculous performance at the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards.
When we last left Trapped in the Closet — look, it’s probably just best if you relive it yourself:
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In addition to the new chapters of Trapped, Kelly has a forthcoming autobiography called Soulacoaster. There’s also new music in the works both for himself (a new solo album called Write Me Back, itself a sort of pseudo-sequel to his excellent 2010 album Love Letter) and music for the upcoming film Sparkle (which marks the late Whitney Houston’s final performance).
What do you expect from the new Trapped in the Closet chapters? Sing it in the comments.