WHY WE CARE


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."

YOUR STORIES


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!"

SUPPORT THE WORK OF PLUGGED IN

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

If we could change one thing in the past, would we? Should we?

Jake Epping is determined to try. Due to a convenient wrinkle in the space-time continuum that shows up in a local diner closet, Jake has easy access to the fall of 1960. Hats and tailfins are in vogue. Slices of pie cost 60 cents. There's a tight election race underway between Vice President Richard Nixon and the young Senator John F. Kennedy.

All we know of that turbulent decade is still to come—the assassinations, the wars, the social upheavals. The future is a slate unwrit. Or so it would seem.

Revival

Al Templeton, Jake's longtime friend and owner of the diner, spent his life trying to change the past—to prevent the assassination of JFK. Al believed preventing that one death could save thousands of others'. Maybe even change the world. Save John's life, and his brother Robert stays alive, too. The Vietnam War never escalates. The U.S. retains the promise it once had and bounces toward the 21st century with buoyant optimism. That's the thought, anyway. So when he succumbs to cancer, he passes the diner keys over to Jake and gives him the same quixotic quest.

But the past is a stubborn thing. It does not take change kindly, and when someone tries, it pushes back—hard. The bigger the change, the harder the push, and it seems that with each life saved, another must be spent. Perhaps the past will not allow Jake to rewrite world history, he begins to wonder. But someone's personal history? A little favor for a broken friend? Perhaps it will acquiesce to that.

Misery

Based on a book by Stephen King, produced in part by Hollywood golden boy J.J. Abrams and starring James Franco, 11.22.63 is Hulu's highest-profile show to date. This eight-episode series is a high-gloss effort, with King's words working, in some ways, better in this small-screen serialization than in his movies, which tend to be hit-or-miss affairs. Here, his neatly crafted characters and built-in cliffhangers make for a near-perfect miniseries match.

Alas, King's compulsive "tune in next week" narrative abilities stand in stark contrast to the crude content he ladles into his books and, by extension, the films and TV shows based on them. And while CBS' surprisingly long-lasting series Under the Dome (also based on a King book) managed to throttle things back enough to be allowed on broadcast television, Hulu has no such restraints. Blood flows easily and often, staining the story's supposedly more innocent time. Sexual trysts are, if not core to the story, still a threat in every episode. Obscenities gravitate toward the f- and s-word variety.

The Dead Zone

A show like 11.22.63 would, in terms of its story and sci-fi vibe, feel right at home in 1960s—what with The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents in full swing back then. I'd venture to say that Rod Serling and Alfred Hitchcock, given the space and time, could have brought this show to life as effectively as J.J. Abrams and his team does for Hulu.

And, to be honest, I really would have liked to see what that looked like. Because they would have culled out most of that "extra" (read: unneeded) content, preserving the story and the vibe without smearing us with grime.

Advertisement

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

11.22.63 - Feb. 14, 2016 "The Rabbit Hole"

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

Author

Cast

James Franco as Jake Epping; Sarah Gadon as Sadie Dunhill; Cherry Jones as Marquerite Oswald; Lucy Fry as Marina Oswald; George MacKay as Bill Turcotte; Daniel Webber as Lee Harvey Oswald; T.R. Knight as Johnny Clayton; Josh Duhamel as Frank Dunning; Chris Cooper as Al Templeton

Director

Distributor

Network

Hulu

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

Released

On Video

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

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!