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.

Track Review

Taylor Swift has been freshly vocal these past two years about where she stands on the political spectrum. The pop queen, who has traditionally been known to stick to revelations about her personal relationships, is now comfortable tweeting and posting her political perspectives on Instagram.

And Swift's progressive social leanings are now making their way into her music, too. “You Need to Calm Down,” the debut single from her upcoming seventh album, Lovely, is a synth-pop extravaganza that boldly champions LGBTQ rights and satirically skewers anyone who doesn't agree with her.

And Now, a Word to the Haters

Taylor starts with a general critique of her internet critics: “You are somebody that I don’t know/But you’re takin’ shots at me like it's Patrón/And I’m just like, d--n, it’s 7 a.m.” These are people who, she says, would never be brave enough to repeat their comments face to face: “Say it in the street, that’s a knock-out/But you say it in a Tweet, that’s a cop-out/And I’m just like, 'Hey, are you OK?'”

But Swift insists she's got pretty thick skin (“And snakes and stones never broke my bones”). And she claims that she's fine with people utilizing their First Amendment rights (“And I ain’t tryna mess with your self-expression"), with the caveat that Swift thinks they should worry about themselves instead of others (“But I've learned a lesson that stressin' and obsessin' 'bout/Somebody else is no fun”).

But exactly who are the people Taylor's talking about here? Who does she think is "stressin' and obsessin'" in a way that she doesn't like? Well, it seems to be anyone who's critical of her gay friends or their lifestyles (“You are somebody that we don’t know/But you’re comin’ at my friends like a missile/Why are you mad when you could be GLAAD?”). She's talking about the kinds of cultural conservatives who might protest a gay pride parade, people she sarcastically and stereotypically disses in the song's lyrics (“Sunshine on the street at the parade/But you would rather be in the Dark Ages/Makin’ that sign must’ve taken all night”)—and even more so in the video (which I'll get to in a moment).

She then seems to take shots at certain government officials, telling them, “You just need to take several seats and then try to restore the peace/And control your urges to scream about all the people you hate.” For anyone who's quick to "throw shade"—i.e., to be critical of her gay friends—Taylor patronizes, “calm down” and stop being “so loud" because “shade never made anybody less gay.”

Who Needs Subtlety?

The song's video largely features cameo appearances from celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres, RuPaul, Adam Lambert, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Hayley Kiyoko, all of whom identify as LGBTQ.

It opens with Taylor dressed in pink lingerie, covered slightly by a silk robe, making herself a cotton-candy mixed drink. As she leaves her pink trailer to lounge in her pink, high-waisted bathing suit, we see the camera pan out to all of her gay friends who also live in bright, rainbow-colored trailers.

We see two men getting married and kissing one another. Others feature men, women and drag queens dancing chatting, feeding one another and getting tattoos.

At the end, to continue the brightly-colored festivities, everyone in the video gets into a cake fight. Katy Perry, dressed as a cheeseburger, and Taylor Swift, dressed as fries, find one another, a symbolic end to their high-profile, years-long feud. Meanwhile, Ryan Reynolds is also painting the whole thing in the background.

Peace, Love and Tolerance … Or Not

Taylor Swift clearly believes that she occupies the high moral ground here. And what she does from that space is mock, belittle and stereotype anyone who disagrees with her.

Just as the camera spends time on Taylor and her friends, it also focuses on a group of dirty, disheveled men and women who are obviously depicted as ignorant, backward and uneducated. They protest homosexuality with crudely painted signs that say things such as “Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve,” and “Homosekuality is a Sin.” (The latter's misspelling is apparently intended to helps us see how backward these people are, in case we somehow missed it.)

Swift's point isn't subtle. Nor is her scathingly smug, self-righteous condemnation of anyone who's not in lockstep with her worldview.

Ironically, Taylor's right in one sense: Being rude, condescending, prejudiced and mean-spirited almost never changes someone's mind about a deeply held conviction. But it turns out Taylor hasn't quite learned that lesson yet herself. Instead, she seems to believe she can shame and browbeat those who disagree with her into amending their "backward" ways.

Swift's video concludes with a PSA that encourages viewers sign her change.org petition asking the Senate to support the Equality Act. To learn more about this proposed legislation, and its potential effects upon those who hold to a biblical view of sexuality, check out Focus on the Family president Jim Daly's blog on this issue, as well as our article "'Equality Act'—An Assault on Freedom, Privacy and Safety."

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

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

Genre

Pop

Author

Cast

Director

Distributor

Network

Performance

The video racked up 40 million views in three days.

Record Label

Republic Records

Platform

Publisher

Released

June 14, 2019

On Video

Year Published

Awards

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!