"Did Chuck have AIDS?" someone turn off camera asks Rufus as he's storming the end of frame. The setup is a frank interview, maybe for a fact show, possibly for a Maury-like speak show, and Rufus, a pastor, is refusing to answer questions around the male his wife caught him cheating with chapters and also chapters ago in R. Kelly's Trapped in the Closet saga.

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The cultish Trapped started as a five-song suite at the end of Kelly's TP.3 Reloaded. That integrated contemporary salaciousness into an old-time radio show format, usually sung from the perspective of Kelly's Sylvester character who affair through Mary (later to it is in revealed together Cathy) driven him in the interim in the closet as soon as her husband come home. He at some point came out, literally, as did Cathy's husband Rufus figuratively (with the expose of Chuck as his lover) and also from over there the story ballooned with a watch unending capacity for ridiculousness. A series of videos was released for the very first 12 chapters, and also then in 2007, parts 13 with 22 were released. Over the series' course, over 2 dozen characters were introduced.

Trapped in the Closet is therefore soapy that starts to blur her vision of specifically what is happening after ~ a while. A new, exhausting batch of chapters critical night were unveiled come a reverent audience at brand-new York's Landmark Sunshine. (They'll premiere Friday top top IFC.) The crowed hooted and cackled along as one segment bled to the following (I payment close attention and I have actually no idea what chapter we left off on). The AIDS question, delivered to sound prefer a joke just before a segue come a brand-new scene, elicited the quietest an answer because it to be a cosmopolitan crowd that knew better. I was tempted to boo at the stereotypical association of queer men and also AIDS.

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"Trapped in the Closet is an alien," said R. Kelly last night. "I'm happy to be…

But then ns realized the this was an irreverent recommendation to the critical chapter we saw five years ago, 22, which finished on a whisper-down-the-lane layout dialogue amongst virtually all of the series' characters regarding a "package" the they heard Chuck had actually received, a seeming referral to HIV. The revolve seemed to perpetuate the legend of downlow culture and its function in HIV-spreading, through Chuck being the assumed patient Zero the this pool. It sound distasteful, but, together the Sexist's Amanda Hess mentioned in 2009:

The series' continuous "blame game" discover a far much more insightful truth: everybody is responsible, and also everyone is quick to reprimand everybody else. Those who blame your partners because that infidelity, casual sex, and also homosexual activity are all civilization in no position to pass referee on infidelity, casual sex, or homosexual activity.

Trapped in the Closet is one equal-opportunity offender. There room "bitches," a tiny person described as a "midget," characters whose old age renders them buffoons, a reverend who's so will on selling his book, he insurance claims that it's second only come the Bible. Depravity abounds. If it's not specifically sensitive come gays ("Who would ever thought the bitch to be dykin'?" marvels Sylvester character regarding Tina's relationship with her butch coworker Roxanne), it's because it's not exactly sensitive.

Trapped in the Closet, though, has actually a tone that resembles one of traditionally gay pop culture. Its absence of political correctness accompanies a presentation that amounts to a type of lip-synced drag (R. Kelly sings the native of all of these characters, often in an agitated back-and-forth with himself, and as a result, all of the women in this civilization have a man's voice). The collection is hilarious melodrama, and intentionally so. After the screening, R. Kelly participated in a short Q&A in which he obliterated all concerns of intent as soon as it pertains to Trapped's humor: "I don't have actually a job, therefore I just sit in the studio all day and also think that stupid ingredient to do," the told the crowd. "And this is simply something stupid the I've excellent that's been successful for me and also I've been having a many fun through it."

That is come say that he chosen to it is in camp, a sensibility rooted and forever intertwined with gayness. Is it any kind of wonder that he got an offer from Broadway?

It's weirdly suitable that the personality of lining is treated with an unusual empathy. While his married object of desire wrestles v the demon the his same-sex attraction, attempting to occupational it out v his mam in former of a therapist (one of the seven personalities played by R. Kelly in this brand-new batch the chapters) that gently scolds Rufus for his homosexual affair "despite the reality that you know every indigenous in the Bible," we check out no such inner struggle native Chuck. Every other character has actually something underhanded, if not criminal, underpinning your dalliances yet Chuck is simply a dude in love the misses his man and also cries about in the most emotionally straightforward section of the series (during thing 18). Maybe Trapped is saying that Chuck's homosexuality renders his crime is inherent, however his emotions space the purest and most earnest in a universe that is forever giggling at itself. The love that Chuck has for Rufus is portrayed and also accepted as actual love.

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The humanity extended to Chuck might be the weirdest thing about this exercise in weirdness. Will certainly he end up through Rufus? will he expose a rotten core prefer the remainder of his counterparts? does he have actually HIV and will he it is in demonized as a result? It's the cliffhanger I'm most excited and also scared to check out resolved.