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

There is a darkness out there—a cold, hard, crushing blackness that crawls and gasps in society's cobwebbed corners. It may appear in the flickering shadows of the Louisiana bayou or on the sundrenched streets of Los Angeles. And when that darkness is almost too bleak to be imagined, you can be sure that True Detective has already shaped a season around it, bringing it right into your living room.

True Detective's first-season tagline was "Man is the cruelest animal." And the series may be television's cruelest show.

True Prestige

The HBO program, which features Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey in its first season, and Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn in its second, is a brooding work of prickly horror. Its title stems from the pulp crime fiction of the early 20th century, particularly the periodical True Detective. (Which is what drives the show's new plot and new characters each season.)

Season One centers around a murky cult involved in the sacrifice of young women and children on the Louisiana bayou. Women and children disappear, leaving jagged stick sculptures behind. Lives are ruined, souls are devoured. And to make it stop, Detectives Rust Cohle and Marty Hart walk to the edge of sanity and beyond.

While Season Two seems less sensational, it's no less brutal: Ben Caspere, the fictional city manager for the town of Vinci, Calif., is found murdered by the side of the highway, prompting investigators from three separate law enforcement agencies (Vinci detective Ray Velcoro, Ventura County detective Ani Bezzerides and highway patrol officer Paul Woodrugh) to join forces to find the killer.

The first season earned plenty of critical accolades. The second has not been so well received, but it still has all the earmarks of modern prestige television: intricate writing, solid acting, dancing and diving storylines and, of course, deeply problematic content.

True Depravity

True Detective is as violent and profane as any show on television. If its characters aren't hopping into bed with someone, they're likely shooting or beating someone. The f-word flies as frequently as the gore. As well-constructed as this series may be, it's hard to believe that any narrative payoff could be worth such a twisted and terrible ride.

In an episode from Season One, Marty tells Rust why he left the police force. During a case, he discovered that a disturbed mother had tried to dry off her infant in a microwave oven. We watch as he opens the oven and stares, aghast. Sick.

"I didn't want to look at anything like that anymore," he says.

We might well say the same thing.

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

True Detective - July 12, 2015: "Down Will Go"
True-Detective: 3-2-2014



Readability Age Range



(Season One) Matthew McConaughey as Rust Cohle; Woody Harrelson as Marty Hart; Michelle Monaghan as Maggie Hart; Michael Potts as Maynard Gilbough; Tory Kittles as Thomas Papania

(Season Two) Colin Farrell as Det. Ray Velcoro; Rachel McAdams as Det. Ani Bezzerides; Taylor Kitsch as Paul Woodrugh; Vince Vaughn as Frank Semyon; Kelly Reilly as Jordan Semyon






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!