Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live. Through reviews, articles and discussions, we want to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."


Family uses Plugged In as a ‘significant compass’

"I am at a loss for words to adequately express how much it means to my husband and me to know that there is an organization like Focus that is rooting for us. Just today I was reading Psalm 37 and thinking about how your ministry provides ways to 'dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.' We have two teenagers and an 8-year-old in our household...Plugged In has become a significant compass for our family. All three of our kids are dedicated to their walk with Christ but they still encounter challenges. Thanks for all of your research and persistence in helping us navigate through stormy waters."

Plugged In helps college student stand-up for his belief

"Thanks for the great job you do in posting movie and television reviews online. I’m a college freshman and I recently had a confrontational disagreement with my English professor regarding an R-rated film. It is her favorite movie and she wanted to show it in class. I went to your Web site to research the film’s content. Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined. The prof said that she was impressed by my stand and decided to poll the whole class and give us a choice. We overwhelmingly voted to watch a G-rated movie instead! I’ve learned that I can trust your site and I will be using it a lot in the future.”

Plugged In brings ‘Sanity and Order’ to Non-believer

“Even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, I find your Plugged In Web site useful and thought-provoking. No one reviews movies like you do. Instead of being judgmental, you put entertainment ‘on trial.’ After presenting the evidence, you allow the jury of your readers to decide for themselves what they should do. In my opinion, you bring sanity and order to the wild world of modern day entertainment. Keep up the good work!”

Mom thinks Plugged In is the ‘BEST Christian media review site’

"Our family doesn't go to the movies until we go online and check out your assessment of a given film. I think this is the BEST Christian media review website that I've found, and I recommend it to my family and friends. Keep up the good work!"


Our hope is that whether you're a parent, youth leader or teen, the information and tools at Plugged In will help you and your family make appropriate media decisions. We are privileged to do the work we do, and are continually thankful for the generosity and support from you, our loyal readers, listeners and friends.

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Album Review

Hawaiian-born Peter Gene Hernandez had a breakout year in 2010. Better known as Bruno Mars, the 25-year-old with the silkiest tenor the music pop/R&B world has heard in quite some time was impossible to avoid on pop radio. First came big-splash collaborations with B.o.B. (" Nothin' on You") and Travie McCoy (" Billionaire"), songs he co-wrote and sang on. Then came his debut album, from which sprang " Just the Way You Are" and " Grenade." And as 2010 gave way to 2011, Mars' efforts were rewarded with a whopping seven Grammy nominations, including a nod to his work as a co-writer and producer for 2010's most controversial song, Cee Lo Green's "F**k You."

That tune's certainly a hooligan. "Just the Way You Are" is straight-up doo-wop. What's the balance Bruno strikes on the rest of his songs?

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

"Count on Me" majors on loyalty and dependability, with Mars promising he'll go to great lengths to help a friend in need. "If you ever find yourself stuck in the middle of the sea," he sings, "I'll sail the world to find you." On "Just the Way You Are," he wants the object of his affection to know that he thinks she's beautiful, no matter what she thinks she looks like. "Grenade," in contrast, finds the singer on the other end of the romantic spectrum, lamenting that the woman he would have given his life for turned out to be a cunning deceiver. "Talking to the Moon" lurks in similarly melancholy territory, as Bruno tells the moon and stars about his broken heart … and hopes, somehow, that the one who broke it might hear him ("At night when the stars light up my room/I sit by myself/Talking to the moon/Tryin' to get to you/In hopes you're on the other side").

Give "Runaway Baby" credit for its honesty as Bruno advises potentially interested ladies that he's actually "a wolf in sheep's clothing" and that the only wise response to his seductive ways is to get away as soon and as far as possible: "To every girl that I meet here, this is what I say/Run, run, run away, run away baby."

Objectionable Content

"Our First Time" is not, as you might have guessed from the suggestive title, about a couple's first cup of coffee. Instead, it's about Mars trying to convince someone he doesn't seem to have known long ("'Cause it's so brand new, baby") to shed her inhibitions and clothes to have sex with him—never mind that she might be hesitant to do so. "Girl, don't need to be nervous," Bruno sings. "Just go with it/ … And I will go real slow/ … It's our first time." He's apparently successful in his seductive attempts, because soon he's suggestively cooing, "Oh, girl, you're so delicious/Like ice cream on a sunny day/Gonna eat you up before you melt away."

Then he coolly assumes the role of shameless sexual predator on "Runaway Baby." "Well looky here, looky here," he leers. "Ah, what do we have?/Another pretty thang ready for me to grab/ … So many eager young bunnies that I'd like to pursue." That's followed by a not-so-subtle double entendre: "There's only one carrot, and they all gotta share it."

Bruno's breezy attitude toward sex shows up again on "The Lazy Song," where he daydreams about hanging around watching MTV before finding someone to hook up with: "Meet a really nice girl, have some really nice sex/She's gonna scream, 'This is great!" Other lazy-day activities include walking around his house naked ("I'll just strut in my birthday suit/And let everything hang loose").

The title of "Marry You" suggests something more romantic than what actually transpires. "We're looking for something dumb to do/Hey baby/I think I wanna marry you," it reads. "Is it the look in your eyes//Or is this dancing juice?/ … Who cares if we're trashed/ … Shots of Patrón/And it's on, girl." Bruno is equally blasé when it comes to the likelihood of this quickie marriage coming to a quickie end: "If we wake up and wanna break up, that's cool."

"Liquor Store Blues" speaks of staving off despair with whiskey and cigarettes, while a trio of singers on "The Other Side" (Bruno, plus Cee Lo and B.o.B.) tries to convince a girl to sample the forbidden pleasures of the night life. "'Cause this ain't Wonderland," B.o.B. sings, "It d‑‑n sure ain't Narnia/And once you cross this line/You can't change your mind."

Summary Advisory

In his profile article on Bruno Mars shortly after Doo-Wops & Hooligans was released in October 2010, New York Times contributor Jon Caramanica described him as "one of the most versatile and accessible singers in pop, with a light, soul-influenced voice that's an easy fit in a range of styles, a universal donor. There's nowhere he doesn't belong."

Intentionally taking Mr. Caramanica's assessment out of context, I'd argue there are plenty of places that Bruno's sometimes suggestive songs don't belong. And not taking Mars' lyrics out of context at all, I'll add that the singer himself is indeed a "wolf in sheep's clothing." So as for that question of balance: Despite a handful of "Aww, that's sweet" moments, Bruno's debut disappointingly proves to be a whole lot more hooligan than doo-wop.

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!