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

We all know that it would be difficult if we were Left Behind. The Rapture, when God's chosen are spirited away in the blink of an eye, would be pretty jarring for anyone with feet still planted on terra firma. Jarring, devastating and probably really confusing, too. "I get the Pope," says a bartender in The Leftovers. "But Gary f ing Busey? How does he make the cut?" HBO's maybe-maybe-not-supernatural mystery drama gives viewers a world wrapped in grief and uncertainty. It tells us that on Oct. 14 seven years ago, 2% of the world simply went poof. No one knows where they went or why or if they're ever coming back. And while losing that small fraction of the global population is statistically small—140 million out of 7 billion wouldn't even make a dent in restroom lines—everyone left is deeply impacted by the sudden disappearances. Some grieve for lost loved ones. But even those who didn't lose someone directly through the sudden departure are still scarred.

Left Far, Far Behind

Take Kevin Garvey, chief of police for the small hamlet of Mapleton. He took over the position from his father, who snapped when it happened, running through the streets naked. Kevin's wife, Laurie, departed in a wholly different way—first joining a cult whose members never speak and dress all in white. And though she quit the cult, she still left Kevin. Her departure left Kevin overwhelmed and in charge of their two teenage kids, not to mention having to manage an entire town in some manner of mourning. And even as he experiments with self-asphyxiation in the final season, some believe that Kevin is actually the second coming of Christ: "I'm not saying you are," one tells him, "but the beard looks good on you." Kevin's current girlfriend, Nora Durst, experienced the loss far more directly. Her husband, son and daughter all vanished that fateful Oct. 14, leaving her earth-bound and alone. Nora says she's moved on now, but she's lying. When her family left, they took a part of Nora with them. And nothing—not Kevin, not her job investigating supposed new departures, not her forced smiles or her steeled glare—can fill that ache inside.
Maybe we can understand that. Scientist are telling these "Leftovers" that the mass exodus is devoid of both explanation and meaning. Traditional religion argues there is meaning here—namely that, as the bartender says, those left behind didn't quite make the cut. That makes these remainders either helpless victims to a cosmic glitch or damned bystanders to a heavenly miracle. But they must all live on, somehow, dealing with the pain and guilt, the perplexity and loneliness. They get up every day and pantomime life ... all the while wondering whether they should. "Hey, we're still here," Kevin tells a woman, raising a beer bottle in toast. "We sure are," the woman answers, clearly wishing she wasn't.

A Tribulation of a Show

The world, burdened by what appears to be the biggest mystery of all time, seems at the brink of ripping apart—and is collectively acting out as a result. The Leftovers, in an effort to avoid the big questions or merely salve the pain, turn to whatever earthly comforts are available to them: sex, drugs and violence, primarily, all of which are on graphic display; obscene language is as bad as I've heard on television. Mapleton, and maybe the rest of the world too, seems like a bomb on a timer—and with each new day we see little explosions that could be leading to a great big boom. Co-created by Lost maestro Damon Lindelof and novelist/screenwriter Tom Perrotta (who published his novel on which the series is based in 2011), this show explores a deeply intriguing premise that sends it careening from faith to obsession to science. But The Leftovers, like the world it shows us, is strange, mysterious and incredibly problematic. Mapleton is a sick, sad place, with all its messy symptoms recorded and then vomited up.

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

Leftovers: April 23, 2017
Leftovers: 6-29-2014



Readability Age Range



Justin Theroux as Kevin; Margaret Qualley as Jill; Chris Zylka as Tom; Amy Brenneman as Laurie; Liv Tyler as Meg; Michael Gaston as Dean; Carrie Coon as Nora Durst; Annie Q. as Christine; Christopher Eccleston as Matt; Ann Dowd as Patti; Amanda Warren as Lucy; Emily Meade as Aimee; Paterson Joseph as Wayne






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!