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 you enjoyed this content. Be sure to share it with family and friends you think will enjoy it as well.

TV Series Review

"Meanwhile, back at the ranch …"

In olden days, when Westerns ruled Hollywood, this clumsy transition was used quite literally. After a fight at the saloon or showdown near the train depot, the narrator would whisk the action back to the ranch, where Ma might be fending off creditors or Pa would be teaching young Billy how to rope. The transition was so familiar that it entered into the realm of cliché. And now, long after Westerns faded from American ubiquity, the phrase is still with us—with a wink and with tongue firmly in cheek.

You don't see a lot of Westerns on television today. Our cable airwaves are saturated with ancient scheming kings and modern rampaging killers, real housewives and the walking dead. But there's still at least one ranch left where viewers can escape all that. It's called Heartland.

Amy and Lou Fleming are the sisters at the center of this gentle CBC drama (imported to the U.S. from Canada by UP). Amy spends her days caring for and training horses (many of them injured and abused), just like her dearly departed mother once did. Lou, who used to live in New York, returned home after her mom's death to help run the Heartland ranch. She and her hubby, Peter, have a little girl named Katie, who by turns charms and exasperates granddad Tim and great-grandfather Jack. And then there's Ty, a one-time foster kid who'd like nothing better than to, you know, ty the knot with girlfriend Amy.

Set in the Canadian Rockies, Heartland has yet to face a zombie attack or an assault of Others from the frozen North. And after galloping through an episode, I'm pretty positive it never will. Both the ranch and the show are grounded in a far more gentle realm of storytelling. Fans worry about whether Caleb gets the tires he needs to return to the rodeo circuit, not whether he's secretly a serial killer. They worry over whether Lou can make her new startup financial service work, not if she'll be a pawn in an international web of intrigue. Back at this ranch, life is filled with homegrown pleasures and less sensational (but, hear me clearly, no less important) problems. In a television landscape dominated by blood and sequins, Heartland's a home-cooked meal, a comfy quilt, an evening spent talking on the porch. It's both strangely familiar to us and yet radically different: a 21st-century version of The Waltons.

In keeping with its downhome feel, Heartland tamps down the problematic content. And at least in the States, even what little is there sometimes gets scrubbed by UP. (I noticed that the audio was muted for a "h‑‑‑" and a "d‑‑n.") Amy and Ty may share an intimate relationship, but the series never shoves viewers' faces in it. Folks may throw a fist or two, but they rarely start shooting up the place.

That makes Heartland a sweet show filled with likable characters who try, for the most part, to do right by themselves and for others. It's filled with the sort of old-fashioned values that, really, never go out of style. And especially in an age when television programming can sometimes feel rough and lawless, it's nice to know there's a ranch to go back to—a place where there's always a countercultural meanwhile.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Heartland: 6-4-2014



Readability Age Range





Amber Marshall as Amy Fleming; Michelle Morgan as Samantha Louise 'Lou' Fleming; Graham Wardle as Ty Borden; Chris Potter as Tim Fleming; Shaun Johnston as Jack Bartlett; Jessica Amlee as Mallory Wells; Kerry James as Caleb Odell; Alisha Newton as Georgie






Record Label





Year Published



Paul Asay

We hope you enjoyed this content. Be sure to share it with family and friends you think will enjoy it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!