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

When I was a little kid, my dad was a fireman. And I wanted to be one too.

I'd run around the house in my plastic firefighter's hat and ride on pretend fire trucks (the piano bench) while singing fireman-related songs. I knew all the songs, but I didn't quite know what it meant to be a fireman, other than you slid down poles and rode cool trucks, oh, and that it had something to do with fires. I just knew that if my dad did it, it had to be awesome.

I doubt my father's career was much like what we see in Chicago Fire. This is not to impugn NBC's series for its lack of realism, mind you. Dad was fighting fires in rural New Mexico, which probably wouldn't resemble the urban flare-ups and rescue missions that this program showcases.

Nor do I envision my dad's fire department as being quite so … soapy. Perhaps no fire station in the country can match Chicago's Firehouse 51 when it comes to flat-out melodrama. Most firefighters, I'd imagine, probably get drama aplenty outside the station's doors, and don't feel the need to foster more of it internally. Not so here. Examples:

Matthew Casey, the young lieutenant for Truck 81, struggles with his relationship with fiancée Hallie, with his friendships in the firehouse and with a crooked cop or two. Paramedic Gabriela Dawson struggles with her feelings for Casey. Fellow paramedic Leslie Shay struggles with her lesbian relationship with a married, pregnant former/current lover. Kelly Severide struggles with an on-the-job injury and his subsequent reliance on illicit painkillers. Chief Boden struggles with his family, his responsibilities and … well, if the drama continues for even a full season, a fire barrel full of other things too, I'd imagine.

Yes, there's a whole lot of sudsy struggling going on here—so much so that viewers might struggle to keep all the plots and subplots and sub-subplots straight. They'll certainly struggle to sort out the characters' morals.

So it can actually be a relief when the firefighters dive into the streets of Chicago and fight some actual fires, rescue some injured people and deliver the occasional baby. In spite of all the distractions that may burble and bubble over at Firehouse 51, these men and women know their jobs, and they do them well. Chicago Fire doggedly preserves the sense that they are heroes of the highest order—concerned with the city's well-being and the citizens therein.

But we don't really need to watch a television show to remind us of that, do we? Any kid in a red, plastic firefighter's hat could tell you what a hero looks like.

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

Chicago-Fire: 11-21-2012



Readability Age Range





Jesse Spencer as Matthew Casey; Taylor Kinney as Kelly Severide; Monica Raymund as Gabriela Dawson; Lauren German as Leslie Shay; Charlie Barnett as Peter Mills; Eamonn Walker as Chief Boden; Yuri Sardarov as Otis; Christian Stolte as Mouch; David Eigenberg as Christopher Herrmann; Teri Reeves as Hallie Thomas; Mo Gallini as Jose Vargas; Joe Minoso as Cruz






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!