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.

TV Series Review

TV Guide recently asked actor/teen evangelist Stephen Baldwin, “As a born-again Christian, how do you justify hosting Scare Tactics, a show that encourages people to tell elaborate lies and set their friends up for public humiliation?” Fair question. The weekly Sci Fi channel hidden camera show—a cross between Punk’d and href="/movies/movies/a0001541.cfm">The Texas Chainsaw Massacre—creates menacing situations that make clueless targets squirm, jump, cry and scream.

“Oh, I don’t think they’re publicly humiliated,” Baldwin replied. “The people who are getting the biggest kick out of the show are the victims themselves. When [the pranks] are over, they look back and realize how funny they are. It’s all in good, clean fun.” Indeed, the underlying issue of young people punking one another isn’t the main problem; it’s how the show goes about it that makes Scare Tactics irresponsible trash, and has Baldwin regretting signing on the dotted line.

Sometimes the pranks are just wacky fun, such as when girls are led to believe that aliens have landed and are skulking around their house. But more often than not, shenanigans rely heavily on gore, sleaze and fear of imminent death. To scare one hapless girl, actors posing as vampires pretend to suck blood from the neck of a slain police officer before turning on her. A deranged “soldier of God” tries to coerce a mark to help him assassinate demons who’ve assumed human form. With blood dripping from his mouth, a horned “demon-boy” assails another dupe, and a young woman is made to think she’s assisting a killer chef who serves his victims for dinner.

Intense situations lead to many barely bleeped f- and s-words, as well as totally uncensored profanities. In addition, the show has a warped fixation with topless women. Wearing nothing more than a thong, a porn star acts out a death scene. When lewd pranks feature strippers, tops come off and the camera keeps staring. Producers may blur small portions of the women’s bodies, but young viewers still get an unhealthy eyeful, such as when a topless woman gives a “victim” a lengthy lap dance.

Baldwin acknowledges that Scare Tactics features content that, in his own words, “a follower of Christ can’t support.” Clearly, he never should have taken the job. But since he’s there, he hopes to influence the show’s future. He assured Plugged In, “I have told the producers, who want me to host next season, that I will absolutely not do so unless there is no nudity or sexual content, and unless they do a better job of editing out all cursing.” That’d be an improvement, but families may still have a hard time considering Scare Tactics good, clean fun.

Episodes Reviewed: Nov. 17, Dec. 1, 8, 15, 22, 2004

Advertisement

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!