WHY WE CARE


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."

YOUR STORIES


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!"

SUPPORT THE WORK OF PLUGGED IN

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

The teen trio known as the Jonas Brothers—OK, yes, I know, technically Kevin is 21, but, hey, they still sound like teenagers—is back with its fourth album. Musically, there’s a bit of everything here. It’s a little bit country, a little bit rock ’n’ roll. A little punk. A little funk. A little ’70s—the band credits the Bee Gees and Neil Diamond as influences—mixed liberally with Chicago-inspired horns. Eighties pop-rock sounds are well represented, too. There’s even some rap on tap. It’s all impeccably produced, of course, given the band’s association with Disney. Equally Disneyfied are the Jonas Brothers’ squeaky-clean-but-angst-ridden reflections on young love gone heartrendingly awry.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

"Fly With Me" (written for Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian) seems to be about making the most of our time with those we love. On "World War III," a guy decides not to respond to his ex-girlfriend's deception in kind ("Telling lies just to feel happy/But I won't retaliate"). "What Did I Do to Your Heart" involves a confused young man wondering why his girlfriend is suddenly so angry, though he says he's done nothing wrong. "Much Better" is a confessional in which Joe Jonas claims "I'm not bitter" following his breakup with another high-profile musician. "Black Keys" perhaps indicates that we can learn important lessons from painful moments, that the black keys on a piano round out the melody of life ("Black keys never looked so beautiful").

Arguably the most interesting song on the album is "Don't Charge Me for the Crime," guest starring Common (a rapper whose solo material has some significant problems). The song tells the story of a young man who almost gets drawn into the illegal activities of a peer before wisely choosing to extricate himself from that tempting and dangerous situation. The song flirts with some gangsta rap conventions, but ultimately it eschews the genre's excesses in route to a positive message. Album closer "Keep It Real" finds the guys trying to do exactly that despite the pressure and temptations of celebrity.

Objectionable Content

A conflict between two feuding romantic partners on "World War III" implies they're living together: "Tonight I walked into the bedroom/You were visibly upset." That implication is reinforced when the song's narrator worries that her angry screaming will "wake the neighbors." A breakup leaves a JoBro whining, "Consider me destroyed" and relying on doctor-prescribed medication to cope ("I'm takin' all the doc's meds"). Two tracks lament the fact that a broken romance means no more cuddling. "Much Better" takes a swipe at Taylor Swift when Joe Jonas says of his former flame, "I'm done with superstars/And all the tears on her guitar" (a reference to one of Swift's most popular songs). A proud young rebel believes he's above the law when he says, "Only God can judge me" on "Don't Charge Me for the Crime."

Summary Advisory

There's quite a lot of hurt on Lines, Vines and Trying Times. Nine out of 13 songs involve painful breakups. "Before the Storm" (featuring Miley Cyrus) is representative of the kind of the adolescent tell-it-to-my-journal angst that's all over this album: "I'm trying to keep the lights from going out," Joe sings, "and the clouds from ripping out my broken heart." Can you say drama? Throughout these high-pitched proceedings, the Jonas Brothers' wholesome image remains pretty much intact. Parents of young fans, however, would do well to remember that these guys are still moving toward maturity. Their perspective on life is long on emotion but short on the big-picture perspective that's necessary to make sense of the romantic wounds chronicled here.

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

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!