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."


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!"


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.

Album Review

When 29-year-old R&B diva Jennifer Hudson begins the first song of her sophomore album with the line, "I've been through some things," you'd better believe that confession is an exercise in understatement.

Hudson burst onto the scene during the third season of American Idol in 2004. Though the show's voters weren't terribly taken with her powerful, gospel-tinged alto (she finished in seventh place), Hudson has since become one of Idol's runaway success stories, winning both an Oscar (for her role as Effie in 2006's Dreamgirls) and a Grammy for her self-titled  debut album in 2008.

But if the highs have been oh so high, the lows for Hudson have, tragically, been lower than low. On the heels of those career triumphs, she endured the murder of her mother, brother and nephew in October 2008.

She's had a son since then, sung the national anthem at Super Bowl XLIII and shed 80 pounds as a Weight Watchers spokeswoman. So its natural to wonder what Jennifer Hudson's latest effort says about her perspective on life and love and loss. As it turns out, I Remember Me brims with resilient confidence as she belts her way through a collection of soul-filled songs penned by heavy hitters R. Kelly, Alicia Keys, OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder and country music's Ronnie Dunn.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Through the years, Hudson has talked about her Christian faith and her upbringing (and singing) in her Chicago church. That spiritual influence is most evident in her gospel-tinged take on Brooks & Dunn's "Believe." On it, Hudson tells the story of an old war veteran who's lost his wife and son. When she asks, "How ya keep from going crazy," he replies, "I'll see my wife and son in just a little while." The chorus, written from his perspective, adds, "I raise my hands, bow my head/I'm finding more and more truth in the words written in red/They tell me that it's more to life than just what I can see/Oh, I believe." The song ends with a blazing, "With all that I been through, I still believe/Yes, I do/ … Lord, I still believe."

"Still Here" delivers a heartfelt tribute to, presumably, Hudson's mother, whom she credits with shaping her self-image ("It's because of you I knew how it felt to be loved/You made me feel beautiful, 'cause you believed I was"). The chorus poignantly adds, "When I close my eyes/I still see you/ … You're still in my heart."

"I Got This" bursts with enthusiastic optimism as Hudson proclaims, "I got this, ain't no stopping me." The song also says, "God believes, smiles at me/'Cause when I fall, I won't drop/Something in me won't let me stop until I reach the top." On the title track, she seems determined not to forget the past but, at the same time, is equally determined not to let the past's wounds define her. "Everybody Needs Love" delivers exactly that message. And "Feeling Good" sums up Hudson's attitude with the words, "It's a new dawn, a new day/A new life for me/And I'm feeling good."

"Where You At" chides a smooth-talking beau for not making good on his promises, while "Don't Look Down" encourages a current flame not to focus on potential problems but to maintain a hopeful stance toward the future.

Objectionable Content

Some mildly suggestive hints of sensuality creep onto a couple of tracks. On "No One Gonna Love You," Hudson sings, "Why run from what's gonna hold you tight/Through any complications, baby, maybe we can start tonight/ … Ain't no one/ … Show you what I could show you." On "Angel," she says of her man, "Heaven's in your arms." Likewise, on "Gone," she shudders to think of what life would be like apart from her lover's embrace ("Can you imagine if we never got to spend those nights in each other's arms?").

Summary Advisory

In March 2009, about six months after a murderer claimed the lives of three close family members, Jennifer Hudson told Us magazine that she was coping with grief by "praying every morning and thanking God for every single blessing. [That] keeps me grounded and motivated to be the very best that I can be in everything that I do."

That posture is apparent on I Remember Me, as Hudson neither fixates on the losses she's endured, nor forgets them. Instead, she seems determined to forge a positive, hopeful path forward. Compared to some of the much more questionable material on her first release, Hudson seems more sure of herself here and light-years more mature. With two or three very brief exceptions, I Remember Me is a solid, hopeful, at times faith-inflected offering from a woman who's facing life head on with a smile on her face.

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range









Debuted at No. 2 with first-week sales of 165,000 units.

Record Label





March 22, 2011

On Video

Year Published



Adam R. Holz

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!