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

Junk, that's what this reality series is.

Really. History's American Pickers is all about junk—what most folks would consider junk, anyway. Day after day, episode after episode, Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz visit America's basements, garages and outbuildings to comb through their dusty, dilapidated contents looking for something—anything—that has resale potential.

Mike and Frank are pickers—essentially the middle men between owners and dealers. They've put in years worth of "windshield time," picking through properties filled with broken-down cars and beat-up croquet mallets. Sometimes people invite Mike and Frank over to pick: They are, after all, famous—stars of one of cable television's highest-rated shows. Other times the two still freelance, knocking on strangers' doors and asking them if they can "look around."

And then they look. And look. And look. They rummage through piles of two-by-fours to uncover a rusty Texaco sign. They'll sift through dozens of dusty cardboard boxes to locate one vintage magazine. They'll burrow into crates of oil-covered motorcycle parts to find an 80-year-old Harley Davidson fender.

It's a strange way to make a living. And even more strangely compelling to watch.

One of the things that makes American Pickers interesting is viewing all this stuff through Mike's and Frank's studied eyes. Who knew that metallic tractor signs were so collectable? Or that the rusty Triumph motorcycle in the corner was worth 20 times more than all the (to me) identical-looking bikes surrounding it?

Each object has a story, and sometimes that story is fleshed out in historical vignettes: We might learn a tidbit or two about that Triumph, for instance, or a few facts about an old soda machine. Quick: What's it mean to be a soda jerk? Once, Mike and Frank even stumbled upon a dinosaur bone.

"If there is no story, there might as well not be an item," Mike says.

But maybe the real history is behind how those objects came to be in that out-of-the-way barn or shed and, by extension, the stories of the people who possess them. Folks who gather milk bottles or vintage headlights are bound to be pretty interesting in their own right, and American Pickers takes the time to get to know 'em a little.

Even if all that doesn't sound the least bit interesting to you, it should feel fairly innocuous. And it is. Mostly. Episodes may have a small smattering of mild profanity ("d‑‑n" or "h‑‑‑"), and sometimes Mike and Frank stumble across a risqué bit of Americana—an old pinup poster, perhaps.

But then there's the issue of the haggle.

These pickers—as would be the case for all pickers—are looking to make a profit. It's their job to spot value in objects that even their owners might not see. So it's a given they'll never pay "retail" for anything they stumble across. But will they pay a fair price? Well, that depends on how you judge "fair," isn't it? If a buyer agrees to take $100 for something Mike plans to sell for $2,000, is that fair?

It's a tricky question. If I discovered a Van Gogh at a garage sale and plunked down a couple of bucks because the owner thought it was painted by his cousin Vinnie, I'd think the deal was more than fair. I paid the guy what he asked for, right? It's not my fault he didn't know the value of what he had. On the other hand, had I been the one who sold it on Saturday only to call Vin on Sunday and discover what it really was, I'd feel pretty ripped off.

Sometimes the folks we see onscreen don't just get picked: They get picked clean. And that does—and should—leave us as viewers feeling a little uncomfortable.

Still, I'd like to think that those are the exceptions, particularly now that Mike and Frank have become celebrities. Most of the people they talk with these days are probably familiar with the show, and they think it's an honor—or at least an afternoon hoot—to have their trash sifted by millions of viewers. (And even if they don't watch cable, the camera crew is quite a clue.) Maybe they'll be the talk of the local feed store for a bit, and earn a little money to boot.

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

American-Pickers: 1302012



Readability Age Range



Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, Danielle Colby Cushman






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!