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.

Track Review

Sex has certainly been selling for former Nickelodeon darling Ariana Grande. And the title track and lead single—an incendiary, sensual, guitar-spiced R&B jam—from her third solo album, Dangerous Woman, indicates that she's not even close to done with her sensual marketing plan.

Despite some lyrics early on that pay lip service to independence and empowerment, really all she wants to use her lips for is kissing. And so all those ostensible virtues are quickly put to work in the service of making herself sexually "dangerous."

That means spending "skin to skin" time with a guy who helps her get in touch with her inner naughty girl.

Risky Business

Talking about the song in a YouTube video, Ariana proffers an unusually thorough summary of the themes she believes it communicates:

"This song is about an empowered woman who meets another person that brings out a different side of her. It's her decision to put her fears aside and explore these new feelings. It's about letting someone into your life in an intimate and vulnerable way and not letting that take away from your independence and strength."

She adds, "'Dangerous Woman' is about choice and empowerment and strength and romance. As a person, as a character, as a persona. 'Dangerous Woman' is a fearless, honest, no bulls--- superhuman, and I think all of us have her inside of us and it's just a matter of when we decide to let her out."

So is "Dangerous Woman" all about empowerment and strength and romance? Or is it just plain old dangerous?

The first verse does explore some positive themes, albeit from a fairly feisty, in-your-face stance. "Oh yeah/Don't need permission/Made my decision to test my limits," Grande begins before (perhaps surprisingly) bringing the Almighty into the mix. "'Cause it's my business, God as my witness/Start what I finish." Then she sings, "Taking control of this kind of moment/I'm locked and loaded/Completely focused, my mind is open."

Depending on the context, being focused, testing one's limits, keeping an open mind and being aware of God's constant oversight can be good, empowering things. Though one suspects that Ariana's invocation of God's presence here is more the appropriation of a cliché than something she's taking literally.

And … unfortunately …

What Women Want (And by Women, We Mean Men)

All that empowerment talk serves only one purpose here. Sex. (Are you surprised?) Here's what she sings: "All that you got, skin to skin, oh my god/Don't ya stop, boy."

So from that point, tepid talk of empowerment flies out the window in exchange for the sultry, saucy and suggestive. "The way we're movin' like introducing/Us to a new thing/I wanna savor, save it for later/The taste of flavor, 'cause I'm a taker/ … I live for danger," Ariana coos. "Somethin' 'bout you/Makes me wanna do things that I shouldn't."

Grande then insists that lurking beneath the skin of every woman is a similarly rebellious 'n' naughty girl just waiting to be uncaged: "All girls wanna be like that/Bad girls underneath, like that."

But is it really girls who wanna be like that? Or is it actually boys who wanna make girls wanna be like that? It's worth noting here that the "bad girl" fantasies Ariana's unleashing aren't actually ones she came up with. The song was written by two men, Johan Carlsson and Ross Golan, and produced by Swedish hit maker extraordinaire Max Martin. An argument could—and probably should—be made that even as this 22-year-old woman is making a show out of how empowering to women her song is, it's men behind the scenes who are quietly and savvily exploiting her sexuality … all the way to the bank.

And Speaking of Exploited Sexuality

Ariana Grande also willingly exploits her body for the camera throughout the video for "Dangerous Woman." She wears skimpy lingerie while striking all manner of sexually suggestive and pouting poses as the camera repeatedly zooms in for close-ups of her skin. There's not even the pretense of narrative here. It's just Ariana putting herself on display.

You know, as an exhibition of female empowerment.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

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!