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The Plugged In Show, Episode 50: When Good Content Goes Bad: Does Anyone Really Want to See Hobbits Without Clothes?


George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones fantasy saga was in many ways similar to J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved Lord of the Rings franchise—both on paper and on HBO.

Except with more sex and nudity. And gore and gratuity.

Lots more.

Thrones’ gratuitous content contributed to the edgy TV show’s massive appeal. And now, as Paul Asay wrote about recently in our blog, Amazon seems determined to “Thrones-ify” its forthcoming Lord of the Rings television show. So let me pause to ponder a rhetorical question: Has anyone ever suggested, “Lord of the Rings would be perfect if there were just more hobbits scampering around au naturel”?

Er, no.

I wish Amazon’s apparent intent to load up its new LOTR series with explicit content was the only example of this trend. Unfortunately, we’re seeing more and more such content creep these days: the introduction of explicit, graphic or age-inappropriate content material into entertainment—including kids shows—in ways we’ve never seen before.

This week on The Plugged In Show, guest host Kristin Smith leads our team in a discussion of this unsettling trend in TV shows airing on various platforms. And be sure to check out the resources and links below that we touched on during our podcast.

Adam R. Holz

After serving as an associate editor at NavPress’ Discipleship Journal and consulting editor for Current Thoughts and Trends, Adam now oversees the editing and publishing of Plugged In’s reviews as the site’s director. He and his wife, Jennifer, have three children. In their free time, the Holzes enjoy playing games, a variety of musical instruments, swimming and … watching movies.

6 Responses

  1. – Yeah, I hope (and expect) that doesn’t go over well. The two Middle-earth games Shadow of Mordor and its sequel were extremely gory and intense, but that fit the setting and premise, and the games weren’t loaded down with ill-fitting sexual content or profanity.

    The weird thing about so many “dark fantasy” stories that I’ve seen is that they’re not nearly as contrarian to classics like The Lord of the Rings as I’d think would be expected.

    “Kings are corrupt?” So were Tolkien’s.
    “Castles are in ruins?”
    “Magic is usually evil?”

    That, and with Game of Thrones’ finale being so infamous that it seemed to rapidly erode a huge amount of the goodwill the series had built up, whereas Peter Jackson’s live-action adaptations of the Lord of the Rings books will probably endure into antiquity, I can’t really fathom what’s left to gain.

  2. – Cyrus being gay on Andi Mack was just the start I guess. Plus I still cringe whenever I notice Sydney to the Max’s period episode is on. It may be a natural part of a girl’s life, but just hearing the characters talk about it while showing pads as well just makes me feel icky inside and this is coming from someone who grew up with two sisters and a mom, lol.

  3. – The new Lord Of The Ring is just a good example of today’s messed up cultural view on entertaining. We think anything that has gore or nudity is entertaining.
    As I said in one of my previous posts, I’m 14 years old and I have known kids who have seen Saws and were ok with it. In fact, the same kids I am talking about are also the same ones who see Anime like Demon Slayer, and Tokyo Ghoul, very gory and dark animes. Some kids play Mortal Kombat. In a club I have for school, we watch Death Battles on superheroes, which were very gory. Some kids make sexual sounds just for fun. In fact, My Teacher and my classmates have play COD (Call of Duties.)
    Some of the kids are my friends.
    Did you know a Family reviewing sight name Common Sense Media gave an R rated movie an ok for kids 14 and up? I get sadder every day when I talk to my friends about today’s culture.
    I don’t know if any Plugged In staff will see this but I have two questions:
    1) Could you start reviewing Animes so Parents (and Myself) can know what’s going on?
    2) Can you pray for my friends and the kids at my school?

    1. – Thanks for reaching out to us and for your suggest to review Anime videos. In response to your prayer request, we will be happy to pray for your friends and kids at your school. As you evaluate your friendships, the influence you might have on them, or even if they start to influence you, we would like to recommend reading a couple of articles from our website. Although, this site is designed for singles in their 20’s and 30’s, you might find the articles helpful. Check out “How to Influence Culture Without Being Seduced by It” ( and “Wisdom for Friendship, Part 1” (