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

Disney's at it again—minting the next generation of multi-platform teen idols. And one of them is Ross Lynch, one-fifth of the pop-rock outfit R5.

"Ross Lynch?" you ask quizzically. "R5?"

Even if those names are new to you, they're likely not to anyone born after 2001. That's because Ross Lynch is gunning for the title of Next Big Disney Thing after starring in the series Austin & Ally, as well as handling leading man duties in the Mouse House's wildly popular throwback flicks Teen Beach Movie and Teen Beach 2.

Disney, of course, never wastes an opportunity. And so it's hardly a surprise that Ross' three siblings, Riker, Rocky and Rydel (plus friend Ellington Ratliff), have now formed a band alliteratively (of course) referencing their five R-tinged names.

It's a formula Disney's relied upon since the days of Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello and all those original beach movies. But if Disney's patented template for manufacturing stars hasn't changed much over the ensuing decades, the messages these young, influential members of the Lynch clan are glorifying surely have … and not for the better.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

We hear a handful of sweet, romantic sentiments that don't descend into suggestive territory. "Smile" confesses, "I dream on, dream about you/What can I do to make you feel alright?/ … I wanna see you smile." And on "Do It Again," we hear, "If I could give you the world tonight/Then I would, I'd still give you all my time/And I'd be rich, 'cause love is everything."

A reference to alcohol on "Wild Hearts" seems to critique addiction to it ("Yeah, one by one they fall/Taken out by alcohol/Poor souls"). Near the end of "Repeating Days," a guy clinging to a cheating girlfriend summons the courage to let her go for good.

Objectionable Content

And then there are all the songs that do descend into suggestiveness. Album opener "All Night" is rife with lyrics alluding to a hookup. Ross asks a girl who "gets me so high," "Can we live for the moment/Can you live for tonight?" And as the night wears on, that "living" gets pretty steamy. We hear, "And now it's midnight/And I can feel your electricity/Give me that skin tight/Good girls ain't never makin' history." As for what constitutes good or bad, Ross doesn't much seem to care, singing, "Take on the wrongs and rights/ Forget them all and just say, say, say/ … We'll be all right."

"We better live our lives up to the fullest" sounds like it could be a positive sentiment, but in the context of "Wild Hearts" it serves a more primal, animalistic purpose ("Wild hearts run, we're all animals inside"). And for R5, that wildness involves deliberately breaking rules ("Draw a line and we'll cross for fun"). Later, God gets linked to indulging excess with, "Mmm, money, power, want a taste/Pray to God it don't go to waste."

"Dark Side" tries to convince a young woman to cheat ("You say your man don't take the time/Don't see no fancy ring, ahh yeah") and let go of other inhibitions she might have ("Give in to your dark side, your dark side/ … Oh, I know you've got a dark side/Oh, won't you give it to me?"). Elsewhere, the song alludes to drunken kissing ("My lips are numb, can't walk the line/ … I like the red, hope you don't mind/And it tastes so good on you"). Even though the couple just met ("Falling in love on the first date/I don't even know your last name"), this practiced playa seductively says, "Just close your eyes, let the night take you whole." The next song, "Let's Not Be Alone Tonight," repeats that titular sentiment, pairing it with the rationalization, "Not wrong if you come on strong, 'cuz life is too short."

The good feelings Ross pines for on "F.E.E.L. G.O.O.D." are largely sexual ones ("Stay for the night/I wanna show you what the real you is like/ … Give me the night/I wanna know what lucky secrets you hide/Lay by my side"). "Did You Have Your Fun" narrates a couple's torrid tryst in the street after leaving a dance club ("Underneath the street lights/There was smoke in the air/She said she's never like this while she's pulling my hair/Said put your hands where I won't see/Baby, I won't say a thing/Stop leaving stains on cigarettes and come put your lips on me/She's so bad she's good for me/The girl knows ways you won't believe").

"Repeating Days" mostly focuses on a guy who catches his girlfriend cheating ("Climb the stairs to your apartment/Just to see you holding him") but rationalizes staying with her far too long ("So I keep coming back again/ … But even when we fight, I can't stop from loving you"). A short, hidden, segment of the song after the main track says, "All I got is cheap wine/Do you mind? All I got is love for you."

"Smile" harbors this romantic fantasy: "Today I feel like running naked through your street/To get your attention." If that doesn't get the job done, this guy's willing to bankrupt himself to impress the woman in question ("Today I feel like blowing all my cash on you/ … Until I'm broke").

Summary Advisory

On "Smile," Ross Lynch croons, "Let me take your picture, baby/I'll save it for a rainy day/I don't need much/I guess I'm just old fashioned in that way."

No. He is not.

Old fashioned would involve restraint and respect for the women this tuneful tempter courts, two qualities that are almost wholly absent from R5's appropriately titled Sometime Last Night. Instead, adolescent lust (Ross is 19) runs unchecked on this second effort from the Littleton, Colo., band, imagining a consequence-free reality where all the bad stuff we do tonight feels good for now and won't matter tomorrow.

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!