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

The city of Boston is nearly 400 years old now, and it feels it. For centuries the city has accumulated its secrets like heirlooms, storing them in alleys and neighborhoods and fussy old buildings. Its ways can be impenetrable, its habits inscrutable. It has more than a culture, this harbor town; it has cultures, to which more than one film director has been drawn over the years. Often what we see on the screen suggests that these colliding worlds of color and calamity are as exotic and gritty and dangerous as anything you'd encounter on the hard streets of Moscow or the alleyways of Khartoum.

For seven years, TNT has taken a look at Bean Town's underbelly, using a brainy pathologist and a smart-mouthed detective as its tour guides. But Rizzoli & Isles, a Boston-based crime procedural, doesn't really explore the ticklish terrain that lays here. It only pretends to.

Stabs and the City

The setup is simple enough: Detective Jane Rizzoli is a cop who talks tough and acts tougher. Dr. Maura Isles is a bookish, somewhat chilly forensic pathologist who feels more at home with a Petri dish than she does at ... home.

They both see dead people, by the way—loads of dead folks in the streets and on Maura's autopsy table. Then they chase after the crime lords and union bosses and psychopaths who did the original damage, all manifesting only slightly more depth than you'd see in a Dick and Jane book. ("See Hoyt. See Hoyt kill. Bad Hoyt!")

This isn't all bad. Rizzoli & Isles can feel like a throwback to television from the 1980s and '90s, when episodes were interchangeable and the cops (and coroners) always got their man. But in an era when television storytelling has grown richer (albeit more riddled with content), this long-running show can feel pretty disposable. Rizzoli and Isles are part of a paint-by-numbers crime procedural airing on an, um, quality-impaired cable channel. If I didn't know that the show was based on a series of fairly popular books by Tess Gerritsen, I would've assumed that the writers came up with it during a particularly slow afternoon brainstorming session: "Hey, I've got an idea! What would happen if we, like, teamed up "Pepper" Anderson from 1970s Police Woman with Dana Scully from The X-Files! Only with fewer men. And more angst. And jokes! Wouldn't that be cool?"

Isles of Problems

But while the show may be mindless, it's not harmless. It has shamelessly cribbed from a variety of television shows both past and present, but it seems to have a particular fascination with CSI-level gore. And sexuality can also be a problem.

Speaking of sex, there's a certain lesbian subculture that believes, or at least wants to believe, that Rizzoli and Isles are gay. Fan-fiction based on the show is reportedly rife with their intimate encounters, and the show itself has at times made a winking acknowledgement of the ladies' longed-for "relationship."

Series creator Janet Tamaro insists the friendship is strictly platonic. But Dorothy Snarker on the AfterEllen blog turns such claims on their head, writing, "Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles are not gay. They're outstanding heterosexuals who just happen to flirt, sleep in the same bed, touch each other gratuitously, look deeply into each other's eyes and have crazy, crazy chemistry while not maintaining any long-standing or significant romances with members of the opposite sex. They're straight, OK? Straight."

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

Rizzoli & Isles: June 20, 2016 "Post Mortem"
The Platform - June 16, 2015
RizzoliandIsles: 8-26-2014
RizzoliandIsles: 8-13-2013
RizzoliandIsles: 7-10-2012
RizzoliandIsles: 9-5-2011



Readability Age Range



Angie Harmon as Detective Jane Rizzoli; Sasha Alexander as Dr. Maura Isles; Lorraine Bracco as Angela Rizzoli; Jordan Bridges as Frankie Rizzoli Jr.; Lee Thompson Young as Detective Barry Frost; Bruce McGill as Detective Vince Korsak; Idara Victor as Nina Holiday






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!