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

It's not difficult to see the appeal of Nickelodeon's Avatar: The Last Airbender, now entering its third season as TV's top animated series among boys ages 9-14. This Lord of the Rings-style journey of a group of likeable youngsters offers viewers a rich history, plenty of plotlines and characters, and a vast Asian-influenced fantasy world. At the center is Aang, an all-powerful, reincarnated spirit being that, each generation, inhabits a human body to bring about worldwide harmony. But establishing peace is no easy task.

The power-hungry Fire Nation is set to rule the globe after a 100-year war, and with all other people groups nearly decimated, Aang is humanity's last hope. He's supposedly the only one skilled in manipulating all of nature's basic elements. But he isn't. A rival shares his powers. Furthermore, instead of having years of schooling to hone the art of "waterbending" and the like (generating wave whips, fireballs, earthquakes), Aang must learn on the job. Can he and his friends overthrow the Fire Lord and his malicious brood before summer ends?

Though made in the States, Avatar is a melting pot of Eastern spirituality that's disturbingly bold for a tween-oriented cartoon. Besides reincarnation, the Avatar represents the "spirit of the earth" and harnesses a force that one ghostly forefather calls "a combination of all your past lives focusing their energy through your body." Aang regularly stumbles into the spirit world (he's even given drugs to induce this state), and can leave his body to travel an astral plane. Characters also refer to their qi when mustering supernatural power. Locations are described as hubs of spiritual energy. Gurus read that energy and receive visions through meditation, while others possess healing prowess.

Dubious spirituality notwithstanding, our "heroes" regularly disrespect elders and are celebrated for breaking rules. After being taunted, two of Aang's friends retaliate by sending bullies down a raging river. And that barely scratches the surface of the show's violence. The saga alludes to tribal genocide and general warfare while Avatar's martial arts and Matrix-style fighting involve bodies getting tossed around amid dynamite explosions, moving rock formations and fiery blasts. Hardly kids' stuff.

As an art form, anime has a proclivity toward violence and teen rebellion. That's disconcerting but par for the course. More disturbing is Avatar's mendacious spiritualism—explained, demonstrated and attractively packaged for young viewers.

Episodes Reviewed: Mar. 17, Apr. 28, Sept. 15 - Dec. 1, 2006

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








Record Label




On Video

Year Published



Marcus Yoars

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!