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

When romance runs aground for any of us, it can feel like the end of a dream. A hole punched through the middle of our month, our year. When romance ends for Taylor Swift, it's the end of the world. It's her own private apocalypse.

And she'd like to share her feelings with her fans on "I Knew You Were Trouble." Sure, she knows she brought that trouble on herself. She should have known better. She did know better. But she courted a connection with a dangerous beau anyway.

It ends badly in the song … and even more so in the video.

The chorus distills Swift's "shoulda known better" lament to its essence: "'Cause I knew you were trouble when you walked in/So shame on me now/ … Now I'm lying on the cold, hard ground/Oh, oh, trouble, trouble, trouble."

Speaking of "cold, hard ground," that's where the video begins. A punked-out Taylor Swift (heavy mascara, pink-tipped hair, leather pants) awakens in what looks like a makeshift landfill in the desert. Toilet paper, plastic garbage bags, discarded and torn tents (among other things) dot the landscape. Swift is the only person around, as if a bomb exploded at Burning Man and left her as the sole survivor.

Ominous, synthesized chords swell in the background as Swift looks around, dazed and confused, trying to make sense of where she is and what has happened. Slowly she begins to recall snippets of the previous night. And we, too, glimpse flashbacks to pulsating lights and the dancing bodies of ravers who'd populated the wilderness party spot hours before.

A drama-drenched voiceover from Swift sets the stage for the song:

"I think," Swift says, "I think when it's all over, it just comes back in flashes, you know? It's like a kaleidoscope of memories. It just all comes back. But he never does. I think part of me knew the second I saw him that this would happen. It's not really anything he said or anything he did. It was the feeling that came along with it. And the crazy thing is, I don't know if I'm ever gonna feel that way again. But I don't know if I should. I knew his world moved too fast and burned too bright."

Then, a bit of a spiritual reflection:

"But I just thought, How can the devil be pulling you toward someone who looks so much like an angel when he smiles at you? Maybe he knew that when he saw me. I guess I just lost my balance. I think that the worst part of it all wasn't losing him. It was losing me."

Credit Swift for learning a hard lesson in retrospect. And hearing her repeat the line, "So shame on me now" could have the effect of discouraging someone from following in her path. But given her own testimony in the song, it was a rough patch she could have easily avoided.

In other words, she already knew the lesson before going to this particular school of hard relationship knocks.

"Once upon a time, a few mistakes ago/I was in your sights, you got me alone," the song itself begins. "You found me, you found me, you found me." She admits she was drawn to this bad boy's devil-may-care demeanor: "I guess you didn't care, and I guess I liked that." It's not long, though, before she starts to suspect that being "found" isn't such a good thing. "And when I fell hard, you took a step back/Without me, without me, without me."

The balance of the song unpacks the emotionally devastating imbalance between Swift's infatuation and her man's cruel nonchalance as he uses her, then moves on: "No apologies, he'll never see you cry/Pretend he doesn't know that he's the reason why/You're drowning, you're drowning, you're drowning." Then there's this dagger: "Now I heard you moved on from whispers on the street/A new notch in your belt is all I'll ever be/And now I see, now I see, now I see/He was long gone before he met me/And I realize the joke is on me, hey!"

Finally, one last regret: "And the saddest fear comes creeping in/That you never loved me, or her, or anything, yeah."

If the song itself deals mostly with the emotional end of the things—the "notch in your belt" line is one of the few we hear that hints at a physical relationship—the video pushes things into territory as dangerous as the "playa" Swift falls for. Once she scrapes herself off the desert floor, a flood of memories takes over as we follow the arc of her relationship with a guy destined to "love" and leave her. Sultry glances between Swift and her Johnny Depp-meets-Jared Leto lookalike soon lead to lots of caressing and kissing. Sometimes he's shirtless. Sometimes they're on a bed. Sometimes he's on top of her.

The cascading montage of memories continues, and this brazen lothario's reckless nature becomes increasingly apparent as he stands up while driving a convertible, picks a fight at a bar that results in a savage beating and, finally, makes out with another woman at the rave—causing Swift to crumple to the cold, hard ground.

And we're right back where we started, asking the question, Will the lesson finally stick this time?

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!