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.

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

It's tricky to make a gripping miniseries when everyone knows the ending.

Take NBC's A.D. The Bible Continues, a follow-up to Mark Burnett and Roma Downey's spectacularly successful History Channel miniseries The Bible. This sequel of sorts begins with the death and resurrection of Christ and then goes on to chronicle the very earliest days of the Christian church—essentially the first several chapters of Acts.

It's a given that most of us at least know the big narrative plot points of Christ's death and resurrection. We've already been told that Peter recovers from his Good Friday bout of cowardice, and that Saul won't always be the jerk we meet at first. Even non-believers know that Christianity survived those tense early days to become the biggest religion on Earth. The faith may look fragile here, but as reliably as Rocky, it'll still be standing at the end.

Without that element of suspense to push the series forward, A.D. must rely on the drama in the details—the whos and wherefores and whys. And those details in this 12-week miniseries—one that Focus on the Family has taken an active role in supporting—make for worthwhile watching, both as a television show and as an expression of faith.

And make no mistake, A.D. is indeed an expression of faith. Burnett and Downey have not crafted some imaginative, quasi-biblical story like Noah, wherein the source material is gutted and stuffed with the director's own divergent vision. Instead, just as they did with their Bible project, they've approached the story with reverence and a true believer's understanding. "[God] might not always call the qualified," Downey said during a visit to Focus on the Family, "but He always qualifies the called."

This is not to say that Burnett and Downey don't take liberties with the original script. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Burnett estimates that about half of the events from A.D. were pulled directly from the Bible. "We colored in between the lines with what we think would have been going on," he said. Biblical timelines are also muddied a bit. In the opening episode, for instance, Peter denies his Lord three times as Jesus stands in front of a jeering crowd—not in the wee hours of the morning while sitting in a courtyard, as the Bible stipulates. And a rooster doesn't even register a cameo.

Burnett understands that some Christians will be troubled by the extra-biblical material, and he's prepared for the inevitable crit. "As Christians, we tend to eat our own young," he quipped at Focus on the Family. While he and Downey wanted to create an epic that was true to the spirit of the Bible, they also wanted to craft a compelling TV series that'd grab your attention while sandwiched between the likes of Blacklist and Homeland. As such, A.D. spends much of its time concentrating on the fractious political and religious landscape of turn-of-the-epoch Roman Judea—a time and place filled with power plays, intrigue and the rumblings of rebellion. "This is mainstream programming," Burnett told The Hollywood Reporter. "It's like taking House of Cards and dropping it into 1st-century Jerusalem."

Fortunately for families, A.D. does not take the sort of content license that House of Cards does. No ear-blackening language here. And visual representations of 1st-century sordid sexual situations are at least restrained if still suggestive and evocative. Violence, not so much, though. The crucifixion of Christ is grisly, for example, full of agonized cries and copious amounts of blood. ("We're not going to pull punches on that," Burnett told Focus.) While early Acts doesn't tell of anyone getting fed to the lions, it does chronicle moments of martyrdom. A.D. also adds violent/debauched elements related to the movers and shakers of the time.

A.D. serves as both a lavish spectacle and a tense dramatic narrative. What sets it apart from its peers is that it also encourages viewers to crack open their Bibles or visit a local church. Indeed, that's what Downey and Burnett hope will happen, gladly turning over their viewers to churches that can untie what they call the "fishing knots" of their production. So while some may say that A.D. The Bible Continues is hardly perfect—and they'd be right—Focus on the Family president Jim Daly counters (in a promotional video for the miniseries), "I believe that God is using these adaptations of Scripture to touch the hearts and to call people to Himself."

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

A.D.: May 24, 2015
A.D.: April 5, 2015



Readability Age Range





Adam Levy as Peter; Babou Alieu Ceesay as John; Chipo Chung as Mary Magdalene; Emmett J. Scanlan as Saul; Juan Pablo Di Pace as Jesus; Vincent Regan as Pilate; Richard Coyle as Caiaphas; Jodhi May as Leah; Joanne Walley as Claudia; James Callis as Antipas; Greta Scacchi as Mother Mary






Record Label




On Video

Year Published



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!