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.

Album Review

Simon Cowell no longer enjoys the kind of cultural power he wielded at the height of American Idol's popularity. But make no mistake: The sarcastic, black T-shirt wearing British music mogul is still influencing global pop culture in ways that extend far beyond his judging roles on the British and American versions of his Idol-like show X Factor. Cowell helped envision and launch the boy band One Direction, one of the biggest new acts to emerge from any of those reality singing competitions in recent years. And now he hopes to replicate that chart-dominating success with the girl group Fifth Harmony.

As was the case with One Direction, each of the five members of Fifth Harmony (Ally Brooke Hernandez, Normani Kordei, Dinah Jane Hansen, Camila Cabello and Lauren Jauregui) auditioned as soloists for X Factor but didn't make it very far in the competition on their own. Enter Cowell, who shepherded the five singers into a group initially known by the acronym LYLAS (Love You Like a Sister), then 1432 (text shorthand for "I love you too"). The ladies eventually placed third on the second season of the American version of the show, and Cowell gave their online fans a chance to choose the group's current moniker: Fifth Harmony.

The glamor-minded girls have since been traveling with Demi Lovato and Austin Mahone, polishing their sassy, sensual synthesis of pop, R&B and hip-hop.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

"Them Girls Be Like" is a girl-power anthem that critiques stereotypical female insecurities. It begins, "Do my [fill-in-the-blank silence] look fat (or not)?/Should I call him back (or not)?/Wear my hair like that (or not)?" The song celebrates women strong and authentic enough to be who they really are without succumbing to self-doubt stemming from what others think, largely in the social media realm. The girls sing, "Do you ever post your pics with no filter?/#I woke up like this too/ … That's what we be like, yeah/Lovin' this life 'cause we really don't care." "BO$$," meanwhile, name-checks Michelle Obama as a positive role model worth imitating ("Use common sense, I'm on my Michelle Obama"). The song also brims with self-respect ("C-O-N-F-I-D-E-N-T/That's me, I'm confident") and praises hard work ("Working for the money/'Cause that's what my momma taught me").

"Suga Mama" tells a would-be boyfriend he needs to get a job ("Is you gon' get a job/And make some of that green?/You tryna take me out/But you can't pay for me"), then repeatedly affirms, "I can't be your suga mama." In a similar vein, "We Know" finds a woman confidently telling a wealthy, manipulative ex, "I know I'm better off without ya/ … I won't believe a thing you say this time."

"Everlasting Love" involves a patient, self-respecting woman waiting expectantly for an "exceptional, original" guy. And lines could even be heard as advocating saving sex (or at the very least emotional intimacy) for the right person ("I know it sounds crazy/But I hope you save all you got for me").

Objectionable Content

That desire for respect on "BO$$" gets diluted by profanity ("So yo a-- better show me some respect") and tired, go-to rap symbols for material excess ("I'm a Maybach and you's a Volvo"). Healthy self-confidence morphs into narcissism on "Reflection," where we hear, "Ooh, where you from?/Must be heaven/You'd be rich if looking good was your profession/Think I'm in love, 'cause you so sexy/Boy, I ain't talkin' about you, I'm talking to my own reflection."

Then "Worth It" demands, "Give it to me, I'm worth it." And as to what the "it" in question is, we learn that it's rough sex: "I'll tell you what to do/Come harder just because/I don't like it, like it too soft/I like it a little rough/Not too much, maybe just enough." Guest Kid Ink asks, "In the club with the lights off//What you actin' shy for?" "Sledgehammer" moves from being anatomically suggestive ("I feel the fever and I won't lie/I break a sweat/My body's telling/All the secrets I ain't told you yet/ … You're turning me on/And my fire's waitin' for your spark") to plainly expressing a woman's sexual appetite ("I've had enough/Undress my love/I'm coming over"). Similarly, "Like Maria" defines romance almost exclusively in carnal terms ("Your loving takes me higher/You set my heart on fire/When you touch my body/Got me singing like Mariah"). Guest Tyga objectifies a woman, singing, "Sit on my lap, angel body/I'm a king and need a goddess, gotta love it."

Several lines on "Top Down" are easy to hear as sexual double entendres revolving around engines, trucks, convertibles and "ridin'." The Black Eyed Peas-esque "This Is How We Roll" idealizes life as a sexy, crazy, nonstop party. And "Top Down" chimes in with, "Passed out real/And I woke up realer." "Them Girls Be Like" includes a repeated, partially censored s-word. "D--n" shows up on "Suga Mama" and "We Know."

Summary Advisory

With a title like Reflection, the obvious question about Fifth Harmony's debut is this: What cultural values are these five young women actually mirroring? Ally, Normani, Dinah, Camila, and Lauren are clearly trying to lay claim to messages about self-respect and being unapologetically strong. But too often healthy self-respect slides into unhealthy self-objectification. And the truly lasting image we see here—from the way these girls present themselves to the things they sing about—is one of casual sex serving as the primary route to meaning and purpose in relationships and in life.

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range







Debuted at No. 5.

Record Label

Epic,Syco Music




February 3, 2015

On Video

Year Published



Adam R. Holz

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!