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

Doughnuts had their day.

Oh, we still eat them. Frankly, I'd eat a dozen right now if my wife would let me. But their fluffy, high-fat, glazed goodness is less appreciated in our more health-conscious age, and stand-alone doughnut shops are about as scarce as beaver-hat boutiques these days. The rare doughnut eatery to survive in the 21st century must have something special going for it.

Something superior, you might say.

Chicago's Superior Donuts is, admittedly, a dinosaur of a business—just like the guy who owns it. Arthur Przybyszewski opened the thing in 1969 and has seen no reason to change anything for the last 40-odd years. I suspect even the grease in the shop's ancient deep-fat fryer is original.

But time has been hard on Arthur's sugar-sprinkled concoctions. And even the best of businesses can grow a bit stale. Enter Franco Wicks, a hip young employee who believes he can help Superior not just survive, but thrive. All it takes is a little know-how, a little innovation and maybe a WiFi hotspot to keep the people streaming through the doors. (Oh, and maybe a little sriracha, too. Old-fashioned Boston cream is soooo 1990.)

Fixing the Show With a Firm, Steady Glaze

CBS's Superior Donuts mines much of its comedy from generational differences—a setup we've seen before. Why, even CBS's own sitcom The Great Indoors is predicated on this clash of old vs. new, with Joel McHale's wizened Jack Gordon trying to teach a handful of Millennial pups that life extends beyond their smartphone screens.

Superior takes the same setup and flips it: Here, young Franco is the teacher, not the clueless student, encouraging Arthur to set aside his typewriter and learn to Skype a little. The donut shop could clearly use some updating, and Franco gently guides Arthur through this strange, sometimes painful process of change.

They're joined by a motley band of donut shop regulars: 'Tush' Tushinski, who runs a series of makeshift, seat-of-your-pants businesses from Superior; Fawz, the dry-cleaning tycoon who wants to put Superior out of business (even though he buys coffee there every day); idealistic college student Maya, who spouts Bernie Sanders' slogans behind her laptop. And, of course, it wouldn't be a doughnut shop without a couple of police officers in house: officer Randy DeLuca and her geeky partner, James Jordan.

Together, they all form a tight-knit (if dysfunctional) family of sorts, all united around Arthur's jelly-filled calorie bombs. It's a little like Cheers, perhaps, with doughnuts instead of beer and a canned laugh track subbing in for actual laughs.

An Opportunity Frittered Away

Superior Donuts, the show, feels about as anachronistic as the shop itself, what with its two-camera format and setup-punchline patter. The jokes can taste a bit stale as well. And while these characters do care about one another, it's hard to give the show too much credit for this. I mean, I don't know how many folks would tune into a sitcom where everyone despised each other.

But when I tuned in, I was hoping that if Superior Donuts wasn't original, at least it'd be relatively clean. Most of its episodes bear a TV-PG rating, which encouraged me. That was before I watched the thing. Alas, this doughnut shop has a few holes in it.

Probably the biggest drawback here is the language. While we don't often hear much stronger than "d--n" or "h---," we hear a steady patter of those words and other mild profanities. Sexual innuendo can be found in the deep-fat fryer as well.

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

Superior Donuts: Apr. 16, 2017 "Wage Against the Machine"

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

Genre

Comedy

Author

Cast

Judd Hirsch as Arthur Przybyszewski; Jermaine Fowler as Franco Wicks; David Koechner as Carl 'Tush' Tushinski; Maz Jobrani as Fawz; Anna Baryshnikov as Maya; Katey Sagal as Randy DeLuca; Darien Sills-Evans as James Jordan; Rell Battle as Sweatpants

Director

Distributor

Network

CBS

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

Released

On Video

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

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!