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The Plugged In Show, Episode 173: And the Oscar Goes To … (Plus Southern Gospel)


The Oscars are over. The winners have stuck their golden statuettes on their mantels or thrown them in their closets. The losers have blown their noses and dried their tears. And we at Plugged In still have plenty of thoughts to share.

Did Everything Everywhere All at Once really deserve every Oscar, too? What about all those shout-outs to Mom and Dad during the telecast? Did Lady Gaga—she who just years before was wearing meat dresses to awards shows—really perform without even a lick of makeup?

We’ll discuss all this and more on our podcast. And then we’ll turn our attention to a new Christian movie that brings up some interesting questions about just how Christian movies should deal with problematic content.

And of course, we want to hear all about what you have to say, too! Did you play D&D as a kid? As an adult? Did you parents want you to stay away from that—or something else in popular culture? How did you respond in the moment? Looking back, is your perspective different now? Would you do things differently with your own kids? Chime in on Facebook and Instagram. Write us an email ([email protected]). We promise we won’t play you off the stage.

And click the links below to read more about everything we mention.

Additional Resources:

Paul Asay

Paul Asay has been part of the Plugged In staff since 2007, watching and reviewing roughly 15 quintillion movies and television shows. He’s written for a number of other publications, too, including Time, The Washington Post and Christianity Today. The author of several books, Paul loves to find spirituality in unexpected places, including popular entertainment, and he loves all things superhero. His vices include James Bond films, Mountain Dew and terrible B-grade movies. He’s married, has two children and a neurotic dog, runs marathons on occasion and hopes to someday own his own tuxedo. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

One Response

  1. Thank you for providing links to the articles “Setting Media Standards”, “Making Wise Entertainment Choices” and “How to Develop Media Intelligence In Your Home”. Those are all very thoughtful, very deep articles, articles which you should write more often and make easier to find on this website. We should spend less time telling Hollywood/big technology/the entertainment history how to do their jobs and more time helping parents do theirs.

    However, I have a few concerns about the “Making Wise Entertainment Choices” article. I fear that it may encourage the behavior it intends to prevent.

    You say that watching violent movies and/or playing violent games makes people more aggressive and desensitizes them. The alternative to being aggressive is being passive. The alternative to being desensitized is being overly sensitive. A lot of kids reading that article will think, “I’m tired of being such a wimp/pushover/doormat/scaredy-cat. I’m tired of letting everybody else walk all over me. I’m going to start watching violent movies and/or playing violent games. That’ll toughen me up and people will finally start treating me with respect.”

    So if you want to discourage kids from watching violent movies and/or playing violent games, here’s what you should tell them:

    1. Playing violent games and/or watching violent movies makes it harder for you to do well in school. There have been scientific studies that have proven this.

    2. Not everyone enjoys violent movies or violent games. You could strengthen this point by giving a few concrete examples. You shared excerpts from three people named Sarah, Matt, and Tricia who liked dark and edgy material. Why not share excerpts from several people who are the exact opposite? You could also talk about Highly Sensitive Persons, who do not enjoy violence in entertainment at all.

    3. The entertainment industry is not trying to make the world a better place. They’re just out to get your money. Tell kids how they are targeted in advertising strategies for R-rated movies and M-rated games. That way, if they’re watching those movies or playing those games to rebel, their rebellion will seem pointless. Also tell how microtransactions work. The next time you review a game, tell how many hours it took you to finish it. Then calculate the cost of all the microtransactions you could have used to complete the game faster. If that makes the reviews dramatically longer than reviews on gaming sites such as or, wonderful. Then kids will be more likely to take you seriously because you’ve shown you’ve played the game, you’ve gone through it with a fine-tooth comb, and that you know what you’re talking about.

    4. A lot of kids and adults play M-rated games as a form of stress relief. There are better ways to handle stress, and you should share them on this website.

    5. When you review movies and games, share their development cost. For example, it cost $265 million dollars to make Grand Theft Auto V. And if you dislike that movie or that game, tell how that money could have spent in other ways. $265 million dollars could have been used to purchase 5,300 new cars. $265 million dollars could have been used to add 13,250,000 new books to libraries.

    I may come up with more ideas in the future. But this is all I have for now. Have a great day.