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

Turning 18 is a pretty critical moment in many a life. It's the age at which we make a bevy of critical decisions. Do I go to college or get a job at Chipotle? Is Betty Sue really the woman for me, or should I keep looking? And, perhaps most importantly, Am I ready to take up arms, draw strange runes on my body and fight demons in a shadowy, ill-defined contest between good and evil?

What? That last choice doesn't sound familiar to you? Well, it would've sounded outlandish to Clary Fray too—right up until her 18th birthday.

Before that fateful event, Clary was your average New York hipster teen. She had absolutely no interest in creatures of the night or glowing swords. Oh, sure, she might draw an occasional demon, but that's to be expected. She's an artist, after all. Clary and her best friend, Simon, were working on a graphic novel before that fateful day, and what's a graphic novel without a few demons? A rather boring graphic novel, Simon says.

But Clary is no mere Mugg—er, Mundane. She's a Shadowhunter from a long line of Shadowhunters—half-angelic beings who wage eternal war against the forces of darkness. Clary's mom tried to keep this dangerous secret from her as long as possible, but secrets—particularly secrets involving slavering denizens of hell—have a way of popping up in unexpected ways. So instead of blowing out 18 candles on a birthday cake, Clary watches a handful of demons get snuffed out at a nightclub. Now, whether she likes it or not, the girl has been drawn into the strange world of the Shadowhunters. A world in which she must learn how to survive and thrive. And so she does.

Same Story, Different Demon

Shadowhunters is based on Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments series. Anyone who read the books (or, for that matter, saw The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones in theaters in 2013) probably has a good idea how the series might go.

And even if you aren't familiar with The Mortal Instruments, this might feel like well-trod ground anyway. It's practically a requirement for teens (the fictional ones, anyway) to have some sort of secret power that draws them into a mysterious and vaguely sexy new world, after all.

Hey, if it worked for Harry Potter, Bella Thorne, Percy Jackson and all those brooders from The Vampire Diaries, why not once again for the Disney empire?

But does it work? That depends on your definition of work, I suppose.

Who Knows What Lurks in the Heart of this Show?

Shadowhunters is ridiculous. It's at least partly aware of that fact—at least I hope so. Surely the writer who makes Clary say, "I'm miraculously healed, and all you (dramatic pause) stunning people have magical powers?" understands that she's not writing for American Crime. But the show doesn't help its credibility much with its awkward battle sequences, heartfelt-if-stilted confessions during moments of peril and its cheesy special effects.

It doesn't help that most of the men on the show have only one emotive tool in their chests: That's the aforementioned brood.

And it doesn't help that no one seems quite sure how to pronounce the main bad guy's name, despite the fact that they've been pretty well acquainted for ages now. (Valen-tine? Valen-tin?)

And it really doesn't help discerning families that the show is obsessed with painting the night with a vibrantly hued occult brush. Like the CW's long-running Supernatural, Shadowhunters is steeped in the concept of spiritual warfare. Its battlegrounds are filled with demons, witches, warlocks, vampires and who knows what else. And even though the Shadowhunters are half-angelic beings, God seems to be mostly out of the picture.

Not satisfied with covering this primetime confection with oodles of hinky spirituality and ladles of melted cheese, Freeform infuses plenty of other gratuitous content. The show calculates its casualties by the ton, and sometimes these deaths (or near-deaths) can be quite grotesque and bloody. And while some fluttering eyelashes are to be expected in a teen series like this, this series seems eager to push sexual boundaries (and features two prominent gay characters who exchange vows by the show’s end).

The whole package makes Shadowhunters feel vaguely insulting, actually. It's a program that requires its viewers to follow a dizzying mythos (all the way up to the end of the series) but expects them to either miss or forgive its glaring weaknesses—which is, frankly, the whole show.

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

May 6, 2019: "All Good Things ... Part 2"
Feb. 25, 2019: "Lost Souls"
Shadowhunters: Mar. 20, 2018 "On Infernal Ground."
Shadowhunters: March 6, 2017"By the Light of Dawn"
Shadowhunters: Jan. 12, 2016 "The Mortal Cup"



Readability Age Range



Katherine McNamara as Clary Fray; Dominic Sherwood as Jace Wayland; Alberto Rosende as Simon Lewis; Matthew Daddario as Alec Lightwood; Emeraude Toubia as Isabelle Lightwood; Isaiah Mustafa as Luke Garroway; Harry Shum Jr. as Magnus Bane; Alan Van Sprang as Valentine Morgenstern; Will Tudor as Sebastian Verlac; AlishaWainwright as Maia Roberts; Alexandra Ordolis as Ollie and Anna Hopkins as Lilith; David Castro as Raphael Santiago; Nicola Correia-Damude as Maryse Lightwood; Maxim Roy as Jocelyn Fray; Shai Hansen as Jordan Kyle; Christina Cox as Elaine Lewis; Lola Flanery as Seelie Queen; Noah Danby as Russell; Jack Fulton as Max Lightwood; Javier Muñoz as Lorenzo Rey






Record Label




On Video

Year Published


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!