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

When last we took notice of John Mayer in 2010, it wasn't really because of his music. Instead, it was to listen to the sometimes over-earnest singer/songwriter defend himself after making racy, eyebrow-raising comments about high-profile exes Jessica Simpson and Jennifer Aniston. Since then, Mayer's mostly kept his promise to refrain from brain-dumping unexpurgated thoughts online or in interviews.

But that doesn't mean he hasn't been thinking. His fifth album, a folksy acoustic effort that would have sounded right at home alongside Joni Mitchell or the Grateful Dead in the late '60s or early '70s, indicates he's been thinking quite a lot, in fact. About his life. About his mistakes. About his struggle to commit. And about his desire to be a better man.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Album opener "Queen of California" establishes the emotional tenor: "Good-bye cold/Good-bye rain/Good-bye sorrow/Good-bye shame." As the songs that follow will illustrate, Mayer's spent plenty of time slogging through shame, and he's decided it's time to quit beating himself up.

"The Age of Worry" rejects our society's tendency at times to bog down in anxiety. Echoing biblical admonitions, Mayer sings, "Alive in the age of worry/Smile in the age of worry/ … And say, 'Worry? Why should I care?'" The song also counsels a realistic assessment of one's hopes and weaknesses ("Dream your dreams but don't pretend/Make friends with what you are").

The title track ponders the passage of time and the sobering reality that the consequences of our choices are ultimately inescapable: "And all at once it gets hard to take/It gets hard to fake what I won't be/'Cause one of these days/I'll be born and raised/ … And it all comes on without warning." The song also looks hopefully to the future and the prospect of making different, wiser decisions ("I still got time, I still got faith") even as it reflects on the value of family ("I call on both of my brothers") and the heartbreak of divorce ("I got a mom, I got a dad/But they do not have each other"). In similar territory, Mayer admonishes himself on "If I Ever Get Around to Living," "When you gonna wise up, boy?/ … I think you better wise up, boy."

Lead single "Shadow Days," allegedly penned as a "farewell letter" to Jennifer Aniston, admits to making mistakes ("Did you know that you could be wrong/And swear you're right?/ … I never meant her harm/But it doesn't mean I didn't make it/Hard to carry on"), describes how brokenness leads to a clear perspective ("I found myself in pieces/On the hotel floor/Hard times help me see") and expresses Mayer's desire to do better ("I'm a good man with a good heart/ … And I'm hoping, knowing somehow/That my shadow days are over"). "Love Is a Verb" recognizes that for love to be real it must be demonstrated in action. "A Face to Call Home" finds comfort and security in a romantic relationship built on mutual acceptance.

"Whiskey, Whiskey, Whiskey" laments an empty pattern of drinking to try to deal with loneliness: "Whiskey, whiskey, whiskey/Water, water, water/Sleep/ … Wake up/And repeat." Then it hints it's a habit he wants to break: "It's just a phase/It's not forever/ … But I still have a ways to go/ … Whiskey, whiskey, whiskey/Cut me off and pour me in the street." "Speak for Me" longs for freedom and wholeness.

Objectionable Content

On "Shadow Days," we hear, "Well it sucks to be honest/And it hurts to be real/But it's nice to make some love/That I can finally feel." On the playful "Walt Grace's Submarine Test, January 1967," a much-maligned man leaves his wife and family behind to pursue his dream of building a submarine.

Summary Advisory

John Mayer, who's been romantically linked to a long list of celebrity lovers, has taken a long look in the mirror—and he isn't sure he likes what he sees. He's started longing for something more that well-publicized trysts with beautiful blondes. At least that's what comes across in these songs.

Cynics might be tempted to suggest that Mayer's contrition and confession here are merely self-serving and self-absorbed. But he seems sincerely aware of the effects of the passage of time and the reality that each decision helps shape a person's destiny. The title track, especially, gets at the idea that one day we will wake up to full weight of the collective influence of those decisions—for better or worse.

Or, put more simply, like the Bible does, that we eventually reap what we sow. The good news here is that the singer repeatedly says he wants to do better in the future than he's done in the past.

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range







Debuted at No. 1.

Record Label





May 22, 2012

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!