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

I've never lived in a trendy Los Angeles apartment complex. But if I did, I'm sure it would be just like Melrose Place.

I would lose weight, gain hair and grow a chiseled jaw. I would get a buzz-worthy job—perhaps as a struggling actor or fabulously talented but underappreciated screenwriter. I would develop hidden virtues and sad but screenplay-friendly flaws: Alcoholism, perhaps, or a penchant for stealing fine art from my estranged father's house. I would be simultaneously attracted to and repelled by every other fabulously gorgeous female tenant in the building.

I would feel compelled to tell them my deepest, darkest secrets, and they would tell me theirs. We'd get into fistfights or give each other cold, knowing looks. And, occasionally, we'd attack one another with a knife or breadbasket or something.

And then we'd have a barbecue.

You Can't Go Home Again
The CW's Melrose Place, a reboot of Fox's long-running primetime soap, picks up the story several years later. Sydney, one of the original series' stalwarts, shows up onscreen to link the two programs together—before she's unceremoniously stabbed to death and thrown into the complex pool. It is, perhaps, an indication of how desperate this series is to make quick ratings hay: It spends its "Who shot J.R.?" capital within its first 10 minutes. Surely, one of the renters will start jumping up and down on the back of a mako shark by Episode Five.

But I digress. While Sydney's mysterious murder will almost certainly serve as an important plot element throughout the season (and she herself will continue to surface, thanks to a deluge of flashbacks which show who might've had motive to kill her), it's the lives of the rest of the residents we're supposed to care about. We don't, but that's beside the point. Two get engaged. One struggles with alcoholism. Another runs a stolen goods racket. Still another becomes a high-market prostitute to pay for her medical school tuition. And nearly all, of course, are preoccupied with sex, career and making catty remarks.

"Karma sucks," says Ella, the pretty publicity flack who serves as the show's official, um, not-very-nice woman. ("Stab enough people in the back and eventually you'll get a knife of your own.")

Wrong Time, Wrong Place
Melrose Place, backed by an ostentatiously sleazy ad campaign, is exactly what you'd expect: a series predicated on the three B's of booze, breasts and backstabbing. Sexual salaciousness populates the show like fire ants. We see folks steal, lie, swear, drink, use cocaine, drop their drawers, fight with their estranged parents and ransack three boxes of Lucky Charms for their green clover marshmallows.

And we've only watched two episodes, people.

"Where the 90210 spinoff ... took a while to find its decadent, over-the-top tone," writes Time magazine's James Poniewozik, "[Melrose Place's] skips over its forebear's early attempts at earnestness and goes straight for the trashy stuff."

But here's the curious thing: Shows such as Melrose Place—programs predictably dedicated to elevating the worst behavior human beings can muster—have encased within their miserable trappings a heart of gold.


Audiences gravitate toward these shows because they're so obviously bad. But to enjoy such fare, one must come bearing some sort of idea of what right and wrong mean. And so, in turn, must the show. Fans cheer when good-guy filmmaker Jonah refuses to take hush money (and a huge career advancement) from a big shot producer for the wrong reasons. They shake their heads when Lauren dives into the sack with a rich benefactor to earn her overdue tuition money.

Weirdly, Melrose Place and its kin are like hyper-graphic 19th century melodramas, where audiences were encouraged to cheer for the heroes and lustily hiss the villains. It seems almost that TV's most immoral shows simply can't exist at all without overtly acknowledging bedrock morality.

Does that excuse their bad behavior? Hardly. C'mon, we're talking about Melrose Place. Asking that question is akin to asking whether you should eat that third bacon-encrusted, triple-glazed doughnut.

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



Readability Age Range










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!