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.

TV Series Review

“Nothing bad ever happens at the Riviera Grand.”

Except that it does—a lot. It just so happens that Santiago and Gigi Mendoza are really good at covering it all up. Of course, money and influence probably have a lot to do with that. Too bad their luck (and money) are both starting to run out.

Home Sweet Hotel?

Alicia Mendoza, Santiago’s daughter, has returned home from college after earning her MBA from Cornell. She’s been preparing to run the Riviera her whole life, and she is full of ideas on how to improve it.

Unfortunately, shortly after arriving, she finds out that her father is selling her beloved hotel to her stepsister’s new fiancé. Turns out Santiago has been borrowing money from "not-the-bank," and he can’t think of any other way to repay his debts. But Alicia’s not letting it go without a fight. The Riviera Grand is her home: It holds all the memories of her dearly departed mother, and the staff adores her (including a new waiter named Danny).

But sweet Alicia doesn’t have time for romance. And she’ll have to get a lot more conniving if she wants to save her family’s hotel. For one, there’s the “evil” stepmother and stepsisters. “They’re harmless if you just ignore the hideous things they say,” she says. But are they? We already know that Gigi is helping her husband cover up a missing line cook, Sky. Not to mention whatever secret Sky was threatening to expose about Santiago.

Alicia’s brother, Javi, hates their new stepfamily as much as Alicia does. Alas, he isn’t much help. Javi has a bionic leg (which Santiago is apparently responsible for) and spends his days feeling sorry for himself and picking up female guests by the pool. To be fair, he recognizes that he’s a bit of a screw-up and praises his sister for her hard work at college, but his playboy ways are definitely going to cause him trouble.

'Upstairs, Downstairs' Vibes

The staff of the Riviera is dedicated and hard-working, but they have their own issues as well. Helen Parker, the manager, practically raised Alicia and Javi alongside her own son, Jason. But if the hotel is sold, she and everyone else will be out of a job.

Meanwhile Jason, who’s been working there since high school, is obviously in love with Ingrid. But she’s pregnant with coworker Mateo’s baby. And remember how I said that Javi’s playboy ways are going to cause trouble? Well, they already are. When Mateo doesn’t step up the way Ingrid had hoped, she tells Javi that the baby is his. So it'll be interesting to see how that plays out.

And we can’t forget new hire, Danny. Helen doesn’t like him – especially when she finds out his resume is fake. But the Riviera is desperate for good workers; and after Danny helps break up a fight at Carolina’s wedding, he has the boss man’s approval. It won’t be that easy, though. He’ll have to keep up this façade if he wants to spend more time with Alicia, and more importantly, if he wants to find out what really happened to his sister, Sky. It’s been a month since her mysterious disappearance during a hurricane, and even Alicia thinks her father’s silence on the matter is strange.

If all that sounds pretty soapy, it is. This TV-14 ABC drama is drenched in lewd behavior (albeit at network TV levels): drinking, greed, sex, betrayal, vengeance and possibly murder. And even the "good guys" here don't always play nice. Alicia and Danny are painted as the protagonists, but neither is above lying and manipulating. Likewise, Helen and Jason are the arguably the most morally grounded characters here. But even they share an angry streak, and we still don’t know much about their pasts.

Grand Hotel may have some more shocking twists and turns locked away in secret rooms. But overall, the content issues in themselves are anything but shocking, but rather predictably problematic.

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

June 17: "Pilot"

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

Genre

Drama

Author

Cast

Demián Bichir as Santiago Mendoza; Roselyn Sanchez as Gigi Mendoza; Denyse Tontz as Alicia Mendoza; Bryan Craig as Javi Mendoza; Wendy Raquel Robinson as Helen Parker; Lincoln Younes as Danny Garibaldi; Chris Warren as Jason; Justina Adorno as Yoli; Feliz Ramirez as Carolina; Shalim Ortiz as Mateo; Anne Winters as Ingrid; Jencarlos Canela as El Rey; Arielle Kebbel as Sky Garibaldi

Director

Distributor

Network

ABC

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

Released

On Video

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Emily Baker

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!