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 might seem that the phrases "existential pathos" and "animated talking horse" would be, in most conceivable worlds, mutually exclusive. Like, say, "liver" and "ice cream" or "skateboard" and "goldfish," it doesn't seem like one should have anything to do with the other.

But that was before Netflix's BoJack Horseman rode into town.

A Horse Is a Horse, of Course … of Course?

BoJack is a horse. And a man. He's also the former star of Horsin' Around, a wildly popular (if critically scorned) 1990s sitcom that propelled him to a life of comfort and C-list celebrity. He lacks for little.

And yet, he still feels like there's something missing. That his past success isn't enough to fill the aching void in his life. He wonders what would make his life feel more worthwhile. A return to the top of the celebrity heap? A hit movie? An Oscar? What about a new, wildly sexual relationship with a buzzy reality star? Or is he missing something deeper? Something more intrinsic?

But before he can delve too deeply into such questions, his agent, a cat named Princess Carolyn, gets him a gig on a TV game show. Or he has to bail his shiftless, slacker human friend and former roomie, Todd, out of jail. Or deal with friend-rival golden retriever, Mr. Peanutbutter. It's always something.

Yes, BoJack Horseman is a very strange show—one that might explore the insanity of celebrity while a character holds a book titled "A Tale of Two Kitties," or mull middle-age melancholy by a jukebox playing "Macaque the Knife."

Hoofing It

The Season Three poster for BoJack Horseman namechecks some of television's most notoriously angsty antiheroes: "Soprano. Draper. Underwood. Horseman." It's a joke, only not really. Which neatly encapsulates the show itself. It's funny, only not really.

Few folks really knew what to make of BoJack Horseman when Netflix unveiled it in 2014. But critics have warmed to the show: It sports a 100% "freshness" rating on Rotten Tomatoes and won the Critics' Choice Television Awards for Best Animated Series in 2016.

And the series does have some merit. In fact, in its own strange way, BoJack emphasizes many of the same messages that we're always harping on at Plugged In. Its surreal take on Hollywood and celebrity culture emphasizes just how crazy it all is in real life. And BoJack's selfish, vacuous existence—and his occasional misgivings about it—reminds viewers that it's far better to have a real connection with others than it is to have fame and fortune.

"I'm thinking about my legacy now," BoJack tells an artsy, avant-garde spider who's asked BoJack why he's pursuing an Oscar. "I want to do things that connect with people. Things that matter. Things that last."

"But that's the whole point," the spider says. "Nothing lasts." Lines like that one remind us that it's not just talking horses that can set the wrong priorities, imagining that fleeting fame and fortune might satisfy. We do it, too.

But while Plugged In can mine a few decent messages from BoJack Horseman, that hardly mitigates the show's messes.

Just Say Neigh

Netflix rates BoJack for mature audiences only, and it earns that rating every five minutes or so. In the midst of his perpetual existential crisis, BoJack sleeps around a lot. We hear banter about sex and sometimes see BoJack and his latest conquest in various stages of animated undress. Abortion and forbidden relationships have popped up as plot points, too.

And while violence isn't a regular part of the show, it can rear its horsey head at times. Indeed, sometimes sex and violence mix, such as the time BoJack was accused of murdering a stripper in Season Three. Meanwhile, in Season Four we see BoJack's grandmother allow her daughter to drive—never mind that the older woman is drunk and that she tries violently to grab the wheel.

Then there's the language: Uncensored s-words fly, along with a stable of other profanities. Bojack and others have also relied heavily on alcohol, and sometimes on illicit drugs, to get them through the day. (However, the latest season begins with Bojack checking himself into rehab and trying to get his life back in order.)

BoJack Horseman makes me a little sad, and not just because of the show's bleak, melancholy tone. This animated dramedy has something to say. But the way it says it leaves a lot to be desired. This is one horse you don't want to look in the mouth: You never know what might be going in it or coming out of it.

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

Oct. 25, 2019: “A Horse Walks into a Rehab”
Sept. 14, 2018: "The Light Bulb Scene"
BoJack Horseman: Sept. 8, 2017 "See Mr. Peanutbutter Run (Episode 1)"
Bojack Horseman: June 22, 2016 "Start Spreading the News"



Readability Age Range



Will Arnett as BoJack Horseman; Amy Sedaris as Princess Carolyn; Alison Brie as Diane Nguyen; Aaron Paul as Todd Chavez; Paul F. Tompkins as Mr. Peanutbutter; Angela Bassett as Ana Spanikopita; Andre Braugher as Governor Woodchuck Coodchuck-Berkowitz; Rami Malek as Flip McVicker; Stephanie Beatriz as Gina Cazador; Natalie Morales as Yolanda Buenaventura






Record Label




On Video

Year Published


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!