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

MTV must hope that the picturesque town of Lakewood has an inexhaustible supply of pretty teens. Otherwise, Scream might murder itself right out of existence.

Such are the perils of creating a series predicated on a fright-flick-loving, trope-defying serial killer with a yen for offing adolescents. Don't the folks at MTV know that the country's population is aging? That while modern, socially conscious-teens may indeed hug the occasional tree, they don't grow on them?

If this was a movie (like the self-aware Scream series the television show is obviously based on), the killer could kill a few folks and call it a night. After all, movies only need to kil— uh, occupy the space of a couple of hours. But when you have to fill a weekly time slot and pretty much sequester your murders to young, attractive denizens of the local high school (and a sheriff or two), you're really working in a dwindling market. And when half of the teens still living are also suspected of doing the killing … well, let's just say that if families are thinking of moving into Lakewood, they'll probably be thinking pretty hard about homeschooling.

But You Can Make a Killing in Real Estate …

Lakewood didn't always have such (ahem) a killer reputation. Once upon a time, its resident teenagers only had the standard worries of any youth on an MTV show: how to fit in, how to sneak out of the house, how much sex to have, etc.

Ghostface changed all that. Soon, teens were dropping like Japanese interest rates in the 1990s, and only a motley band of Breakfast Club-like misfits stood in the way of the killer's nefarious spree. Ghostface was unmasked at the end of Season One and revealed to be Piper Shaw, host of a morbidly popular podcast. She did not live to see Season Two.

But even though Piper paid hers, there's still plenty to worry about in Lakewood. There are accomplices to catch. Dreams to interpret. Disemboweled bodies to bury—corpses that seem to be accumulating at a surprising rate, considering the killer was caught and cursorily killed. There's apparently a copycat on the loose. Or, perhaps, copycats. And no teen living in Lakewood can feel safe.

Well, unless they're shy and deemed by their peers to be unattractive. In that case, they're totally fine.

A Torturous Show … In More Ways Than One

MTV series are not exactly known for their narrative depth. Many are super-problematic even without a serial killer on the loose.

For the typical MTV telegenic teen, priorities tend to be friends, sex and parties, though not necessarily in that order. Many teens drink without even giving it much thought. A few dabble in more illicit substances. Nearly all seem to be sexually active (and someone is likely involved in a same-sex relationship). Typically in this world, parents orbit their children's lives like distant satellites—ineffectual and outmoded oldsters who stopped being relevant in their children's lives after the family's first carpool to high school. The rare "good" parent, in MTV's eyes, is one who doesn't interfere much, but may arch an eyebrow of concern if a kid comes home with a heroin needle still sticking out of his or her arm.

Scream has all those characteristic problems—plus, of course, the blood ladled all over the place just for good measure.

Of interest is the fact that I watched Scream right before I went to the screening of a horror flick featuring a bloody demon nun. It gave me an unusual opportunity to weigh the gore quotient on two different screens. And you know what? It wasn't even a contest. Scream was much, much, much worse than the R-rated pic—sporting all the restraint of a caffeine-addled hyena in a chicken coop. I saw five times more blood on a show that was half as long.

So, thanks, MTV. Thanks ever so much for creating this kind of entertainment for our children. It's a truly remarkable achievement for a show to have so much blood and so little brain.


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

Scream: May 30, 2016



Readability Age Range



Willa Fitzgerald as Emma Duval; Bex Taylor-Klaus as Audrey Jensen; John Karna as Noah Foster; Carlson Young as Brooke Maddox; Tracy Middendorf as Maggie Duval; Amadeus Serafini as Kieran Wilcox; Kiana Ledé as Zoe Vaughn; Mike Vaughn as Killer; Santiago Segura as Gustavo Acosta; Tom Maden as Jake Fitzgerald; Amelia Rose Blaire as Piper Shaw






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!