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

I've heard it whispered that America is outgrowing its love affair with irony and smug detachment. We're ready to trade in our cynicism and sarcasm, it's said, to set aside our world-weary smirks and push beyond our knowing asides. We're finally eager to embrace genuine warmth and sincerity. In this new age of earnestness, we won't hang demotivational posters in our cubicles or roll our eyes when our bosses tell us to "work smarter, not harder." We might even wear Western shirts with snaps again, just because we think they look nifty.

But if Matthew Perry has anything to do with it, that won't happen for at least a little while longer.

So let us all roll our jaded eyes in the direction of Mr. Sunshine, an ABC sitcom which he fronts. Perry, of course, is a talented actor who, in Friends, practically perfected the sly smirk and clever aside. If he were a superhero, in fact, he might well be called Irony Man.

But in his new series he's simply Ben Donovan, the mild-mannered manager of a San Diego multipurpose arena that's home to basketball games, hockey matches, rodeos, concerts and the occasional circus. It's a pretty cool gig, and Ben greets each new day with all the enthusiasm of a slightly runny omelet. Variety? Responsibility? Large paychecks? Who needs 'em!

It doesn't help that Ben's an Eeyore surrounded by Tiggers.

His assistant, Heather, for instance, is relentlessly cheerful (a trait marred only by rumors that she once set a man on fire). Arena owner Crystal is a collection of eccentricities and illicit drugs. Terminally upbeat co-worker (and former basketball star) Alonzo says that the happiest day of his life was the day he missed a critical buzzer-beater in the playoffs. That allowed him, he says, to switch careers and to better serve the people of San Diego.

And then there's Alice, Ben's one-time part-time squeeze who is now shacking up with Alonzo—a step up, she believes.

"He asks me questions about myself and actually listens to the answers," she tells Ben.

"You know what he sounds like to me?" Ben responds. "A stupid idiot!"

Ben has issues. But he already knows that. Witty rejoinders and knowing smirks do not relationships make, so from the very opening episode, Ben's on a quest to become a more well-rounded individual. Someone who doesn't just demand affection, but who both deserves and reciprocates it. He wants to be someone's … friend. He wants to be there for someone … so they'll be there for him, too.

And that, in turn, illustrates another bit of biting irony in Mr. Sunshine: Ben wants to become less selfish for, essentially, a pretty selfish reason.

The show, like Ben, has problems—particularly when it comes to its casual attitude toward sex and drugs, as well as its predictable penchant for inappropriate humor. So we can only hope that Mr. Sunshine eventually becomes a ray of sunshine in a rather overcast primetime landscape. We can hope that Ben will change and grow and become one of the rare sitcom characters who not only grows funnier, but better, with age. And in today's ironic age, how deliciously ironic such a turn of events would be.


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

MrSunshine: 292011



Readability Age Range





Matthew Perry as Ben; Allison Janney as Crystal; James Lesure as Alonzo; Nate Torrence as Roman; Portia Doubleday as Heather; Jorge Garcia as Bobert; Andrea Anders as Alice; David Pressman as Dave the Mascot






Record Label




On Video

Year Published



Paul Asay

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!