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.

Track Review

Is there anything more universal these days than the adolescent yearning to fit in? To be ... cool?

Theoretically, the only kids who don't experience that longing are those whose natural beauty, athleticism or self-evident awesomeness mean they never have to grapple with such mortal insecurities. And of course even they have more secret self-esteem struggles than they'd admit.

But for all those coming of age somewhere further down the popularity food chain, there's inevitably a certain amount of lonely lingering outside the in group, wondering what it would be like to ooze that most ephemeral of social attributes: being cool.

That's exactly what "Cool Kids" deals with. It's the first big hit from the Los Angeles-based alt-pop quartet Echosmith, the latest YouTube group to make the jump from covering others' hits to producing their own. The song initially made a small ripple on the charts when it was released last year. And after a long underground percolation, it's reemerged and is climbing toward the upper echelons of hipness ... metaphorically fitting for a song about wanting to fit in.

Two simple, evocative verses in this undeniably cool pop song (which stylistically echoes another song about angst and alienation, " Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster the People) explore the pain of not being cool, one from a girl's perspective, the other from a boy's.

"She sees them walking in a straight line, that's not really her style," sings 17-year-old frontwoman Sydney Sierota (who's backed by her three brothers, Noah, Jamie and Graham). "And they all got the same heartbeat, but hers is falling behind/Nothing in this world could ever bring them down/Yeah, they're invincible, and she's just in the background."

Then: "He sees them talking with a big smile, but they haven't got a clue/Yeah, they're living the good life, can't see what he's going through."

The chorus nails down the aching result: "I wish that I could be like the cool kids/'Cause all the cool kids, they seem to fit in/I wish that I could be like the cool kids, like the cool kids.'"

Thankfully, Echosmith doesn't leave things hanging there, subtly suggesting that the in crowd may not be the destination it appears to be. We hear, "They're driving fast cars, but they don't know where they're going/In the fast lane, living life without knowing." It's a line that casts the refrain "I wish that I could be like the cool kids" into a bit of a doubtful, even sarcastic light. And that's great, because it's a perspective that needs a lot of reinforcement when we're young, when everything inside feels magnetically pulled toward the promise of coolness as the omni-answer to everything about adolescent awkwardness.

Regarding the song's message and her own journey toward self-acceptance, Sydney Sierota recently told USA Today, "It's a conscious decision every day to accept yourself for who you are and who you aren't. There are a lot of things I'll never be. I'll never be good at sports or dancing, things that I tried for eight years. I finally came back to music. I accepted the fact that I wasn't really good at being anything else."

So it seems like this is the kind of song that could, in a quiet way, if considered carefully, help other young listeners take their own modest steps in a similarly positive direction.

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



Readability Age Range







Peaked at No. 13.

Record Label

Warner Bros.




May 31, 2013

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!