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

Will Graham is a sensitive guy. It's what made him such a help to the FBI—his ability to empathize with almost anyone. He understands people because he can, in some little-understood way, become them. He can peer through their eyes and see not only what they see, but how. The sick, monstrous deeds of a murderer grow, if not sane, at least sensical. And through this dint of understanding, he helped his FBI cohorts—Agent Jack Crawford chief among them—catch the bad guys.

Of course, this sort of super-empathy has some obvious downsides. It's not comfortable to wade into the mind of a killer. Will's gift also makes him antisocial. He has horrible dreams. And for the moment, he's in prison for the killing, mutilation and cannibalization of several young women—the result, his accusers say, of his curious empathy.

Graham is unjustly accused, but the evidence against him is nonetheless overwhelming. And perhaps the only man who can help Graham prove his innocence is the same man who Graham accused of these horrific crimes: The brilliant, cultured Dr. Hannibal Lecter.

Perhaps you've heard of him.

NBC's Hannibal takes place well before Lecter was unmasked as a terrifying psychopath—before he supped on a census-taker's liver with "some fava beans and a nice Chianti." The series, while featuring some characters from Thomas Harris' series of Hannibal Lecter books, is not based on any one novel. This is a Lecter unfettered by bars or creepy facemasks. In this NBC show, the psychiatrist is literally free to work his quasi-necromancy on the living and dead alike.

In 1991, Lecter became a true household name in the guise of Anthony Hopkins in the Oscar-winning fright-fest The Silence of the Lambs. It was, at the time, one of the most disturbing stories ever put on celluloid—a horrific amalgamation of sickness and sex and gore—and was, of course, rated a well-deserved R. Now, 22 years later, much the same sort of content has been deemed appropriate for unrestricted broadcast-television audiences.

Hannibal doesn't feature masks made of human skin. Yet. But blood and gore flows in abundance—from the victims' gaping red wounds to their organs sautéed in wine sauce. This show is predicated on death and psychosis. So while levels of gore may vary from episode to episode, the oppressive sense of horror will permeate its every second. Graham's dreams and waking visions can be disturbing, even terrifying. Sex and violence mingle uncomfortably, too.

Hannibal is, in my experience, the most grotesque, most horrific show on broadcast television, and arguably on cable, too. It's perhaps not  The Walking Dead violent—at least not yet. But most of the worst scenes in Dead involve, well, the dead. Here, victims are very much alive before being creatively and horrifically butchered.

"Ultra-violent TV and serial killers are having a very popular moment," writes salon.com's Willa Paskin. And, of course, she's right. Practically everywhere your television dial turns right now, you're bound to find buckets of blood and oodles of intestines littering the set, often the product of charismatic psychopaths.

I used to think of television as comfort food—something reliably entertaining that most of us might watch an hour or two of after a hard day's work. Now it seems we're gorging on discomfort—stuffing ourselves with content unimaginable just a decade ago.

Dr. Lecter, given his particular culinary preferences, would be gratified.

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

Hannibal: 3-14-2014
Hannibal: 4-4-2013



Readability Age Range



Hugh Dancy as Special Agent Will Graham; Mads Mikkelsen as Dr. Hannibal Lecter; Caroline Dhavernas as Dr. Alana Bloom; Hettienne Park as Beverly Katz; Laurence Fishburne as Agent Jack Crawford; Scott Thompson as Jimmy Price; Aaron Abrams as Brian Zeller






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!