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 this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

TV Series Review

When we hear the word terrorism, we tend to think of 9/11 and roadside bombs, of Middle Eastern extremism or Baltic upheaval, of explosions in downtown London or New Dehli.

But terror—that word is something different, something far more carnal. We get jittery walking dark streets, we wring our hands over imagined dangers. We're scared of what's under our beds or around the corner or what might happen years from now. We can become terrified of the unknown: The dangers we suspect but can't see, the hidden threats that might be across the street, or in our house, or even lurking in our very own minds and souls.

Homeland is a show about both the terrorism we know and the terror we fear. And it pulls no punches along the way.

Two characters lie at the center of this show's deceptively simple premise: Nicholas Brody, a lauded American war hero and secret al-Qaeda operative, and Carrie Mathison, the one-time CIA operative who, for most of Season One, tracked Brody's every move and gesture.

The show has a 24-like feel, at least on the surface. And much of the plotting feels straight out of Fox's long-running serial thriller: a secret terrorist operating in the government's highest stratum; an obsessed counterterrorist expert bent on bringing the guy to justice; a complex, sometimes convoluted storyline that probes deeper questions about safety and law while keeping viewers on the edge of their seats. Indeed, The Atlantic describes Carrie as "'the thinking person's' Jack Bauer."

But this cat-and-mouse story often is more restrained, violence-wise, than 24 was, and it goes quite a bit deeper than Jack ever got, particularly in its treatment of the main characters. Brody's not just a terrorist, but a family guy who in the midst of his duplicity tries to protect and care for his wife and kids. Carrie's undeniably driven and occasionally brilliant—but she's dealing with a bipolar disorder that makes her actions erratic and her judgments suspect. She's an exasperating hero, as Brody's a pretty likable villain at times. And we get a sense that the greatest terror either of them faces is buried deep inside their own psyches.

Spiritually, Homeland explores Brody's conversion to Islam, his devotion to the Quran, and his family's reaction to it all. We're shown how his newfound beliefs put him in perilous predicaments, both politically and personally. But judgment one way or the other about them isn't really the onscreen point. Faith seems to appear here as "merely" a plot point, not something of deep spiritual substance.

As for its politics, I'll leave that discussion to the likes of The Washington Times, which reports, "Agent Mathison has no qualms about bending the rules, and at times confirms everything a cynic might assume the intelligence community is capable of justifying in the name of national security. Any naiveté about the ends justifying the means is surrendered early in the first season when Agent Mathison sets up unauthorized round the clock surveillance on Sergeant Brody."

An instant staple on the premium cable channel Showtime, Homeland is one of television's most critically acclaimed shows. It rode off from the 2012 Emmys with a boatload of statuettes—including ones for Best Actress (Claire Danes as Carrie), Best Actor (Damian Lewis as Brody) and Best Drama. I can see why.

But the show's quality doesn't mitigate its explicit Showtime sensibilities. Almost every episode of this TV-MA series would be rated R if it trundled out to theaters—sometimes for graphic sex scenes, sometimes for torture and violence, and almost always for its really raw language. And while you can sometimes find edited versions on YouTube, Homeland never cleans up to anything better than a TV-14.

Terror, Homeland tells us, can take many forms. It tells us we should be ever vigilant about guarding our hearts and hearths from bad, destructive influences. At times it suggests we can never be too careful.

Perhaps we should apply that lesson to Homeland itself.


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

Homeland: 10-7-2012



Readability Age Range



Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison; Damian Lewis as Nicholas Brody; Morena Baccarin as Jessica Brody; David Harewood as David Estes; Diego Klattenhoff as Mike Faber; Jackson Pace as Chris Brody; Morgan Saylor as Dana Brody; Mandy Patinkin as Saul Berenson






Record Label




On Video

Year Published


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!