Mario Lopez as 'sexy Colonel Sanders' is the absurd cherry we need atop our 2020 sundae
Lifetime/Twitter

At this point it seems like the best choice is to fully lean into the absurdity of everything as we claw our way out of the weirdest, if not the worst, year in recent memory. And from that perspective, Lifetime's new Kentucky Fried Chicken mini-movie—yep, you read that right—totally fits the bill.

I mean, Mario Lopez playing a sexy Colonel Sanders in a murderous love triangle romance thriller plot seems right on schedule, doesn't it? We did the whole "Tiger King" thing early in the pandemic, so it's high time for another "What did I just watch?" guilty pleasure.

Lifetime's "A Recipe for Seduction" is clearly a marketing ploy for KFC, but who cares. The trailer is deliciously wonderful and horrible, leaving me unable to look away long enough to roll my eyes at its ridiculousness. Like, I don't want to admit that I actually want to watch this because I'm not a fan of humiliation, but at the same, I totally want to watch this.


I mean, come on. Watch this trailer and tell me you know exactly how to feel about it. You can't. Because psychology or something.

A Recipe for Seduction | Premieres December 13th | Presented by Kentucky Fried Chicken | Lifetime youtu.be

So, the first issue is that Colonel Sanders is hot. How is that even a thing? Thanks for ruining my childhood. My second issue is that I want to know how this turns out. It's only a 15-minute mini-movie, so it can't be that complicated of a plot. And again, how is this even a thing?

The part that really cracked me up though, was the "Premieres December 13th at noon" part. At noon? Really? What kind of production makes a premiere at noon, for gracious sakes?

The "brought to you by Kentucky Fried Chicken" kind, apparently.

I would love to have been a fly on the wall at the marketing meetings where these mini-movie ideas came to fruition. Like, how did those conversations go? Was it just a bunch of goofy creative types talking about how they could make the silliest branded content ever, but not make it overtly silly, but still somehow make it overtly silly? And how did the filming of it go? The production quality is way up there. It probably took hundreds of people to make this "film." Did they die laughing between takes? Was it just another job for them? Did they weep over what had become of their careers?

I mean, it looks like a soap opera mixed with a feature film mixed with an advertisement mixed with a parody. It's either totally genius or totally not. I genuinely don't know what to think or how to feel.

Maybe that's what this movie/ad/monstrosity/delight is designed to do. Maybe it's an emotional biproduct of this wonky, absurd year. I don't know. All I know is that I'm going to pretend that I'm not going to watch it but will totally watch it when it comes out on December 13th. At noon. Brought to me by Kentucky Fried Chicken.

God Bless America.

Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

This article originally appeared on 11.21.16


Photographer Katie Joy Crawford had been battling anxiety for 10 years when she decided to face it straight on by turning the camera lens on herself.

In 2015, Upworthy shared Crawford's self-portraits and our readers responded with tons of empathy. One person said, "What a wonderful way to express what words cannot." Another reader added, "I think she hit the nail right on the head. It's like a constant battle with yourself. I often feel my emotions battling each other."

So we wanted to go back and talk to the photographer directly about this soul-baring project.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."