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

Awful can come in many forms, which makes the degree of awfulness a difficult thing to judge.

A casserole made from liver, Fruit Loops and ketchup would be awful. But is it empirically more awful than, say, a neighbor who scatters tacks across your driveway? Is that, in turn, more awful than an abscessed tooth? Or the national debt? Or the guy who walks by your restaurant table and sticks his whole hand in your linguini? We may agree that all these things are awful. But what, of all these things, is the awfullest?

Take another example: Mackenzie Murphy, the title character for Fox's new comedy The Mick.

Mackenzie, or Mick for short, is awful. This is not a subjective judgment, by the way: I think we can state this fairly empirically. She's the sort of person who really might stick her hand in your linguini if she didn't like the cut of your jib. She might scatter tacks across your driveway for a little giggle. She drinks frequently and excessively. She hides in the bushes whenever she hears a siren. She's the last person that most of us would ever want watching our children.

And yet, here she is: watching children.

When one of those children, teen Sabrina, frets over the fate of a caged owl at school, she facetiously asks Mick how she'd like it if someone pulled her off her favorite barstool and locked her up.

"I cannot count the number of times I've been ripped off a barstool and thrown in a cage," Mick responds.

Just in the Mick of Time

What sort of parents would entrust their progeny to such a woman? Awful ones. Mick's sister (we know her only as Poodle) married a high-society millionaire who's now on the run from the FBI for fraud. They couldn't take their three children with them, of course, so they've left them in the care of their wholly unwilling, unsuitable and mostly un-sober aunt. It's about like entrusting the care of your dog to, say, one of those robotic vacuum cleaners: Both caretakers may move, make noise and consume a lot of trash, but that doesn't make them suitable for the gig.

Granted, it's not like Poodle and her hubby were exactly doing a bang-up job of raising their kids to begin with. Indeed, they're developing some fairly awful traits of their own. (Which, really, is not surprising here.) Sabrina is a stuck-up snob who drinks a fair share herself. Middle son Chip believes there are few problems that a healthy trust fund and an aggressive lawyer can't fix. And Ben—well, Ben's young yet. He's not developed a litany of horrible character traits. But give the kid time.

Is it possible that one type of awful person raising other, differently awful people might turn into a curious sort of math equation? When you add two awfuls together, do you get something … positive? Fox hasn't yet given us an answer to that. But one thing's for sure: All these awfuls do equal a pretty awful show.

Mick Your Poison

The Mick does have moments of wicked humor, of course. Star Kaitlin Olson, best known as Dee Reynolds on the foul, mean-spirited and completely unapologetic FXX show It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, knows how to pull laughs from inappropriate, horrific situations.

Sunny is explicitly about awful people doing awful things: That's the whole point. But there's a different vibe in play when children are in the picture, and doing their horrible misdeeds on a heavily promoted Fox show. And while I'd guess that the network eventually wants Mick and the kids to help each other find better paths, there's little evidence that day will be coming any time soon.

The content here is as bad as I've ever seen on any network television show. Alcohol is as plentiful as the chlorine water in the children's pool. Substance abuse is laughed at and, in a way, encouraged. Sexual content (mostly of the verbal variety) is rife. In the pilot episode, for example, Mick offers sex advice to prepubescent Chip. And while no one actually utters any f- or s-words, euphemisms for such profanities—along with a bevy of milder, un-euphemized, network-approved curse words—proliferate.

So even if Mick does accidentally impart a positive lesson or two to her young wards, she'll also likely teach them how to con, bully and shoplift their way to a living, all without doing a lick of work.

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

The Mick: Jan. 1, 2017 "Pilot"

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

Genre

Comedy

Author

Cast

Kaitlin Olson as Mackenzie Murphy; Sofia Black-D'Elia as Sabrina; Thomas Barbusca as Chip; Carla Jimenez as Alba; Jack Stanton as Ben; Susan Park as Liz

Director

Distributor

Network

Fox

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!