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

Building paradise isn't all fun and daisies. Not when a television network tells you who, exactly, you'll be building it with.

Utopia, Fox's much-hyped reality show, is described as the "largest social experiment ever televised." The network allegedly spent $50 million on the thing, hoping the return would be two solid hours of primetime programming every week (and oodles more of streaming footage online) focused on its intrepid band of "pioneers." Many of the participants worked equally hard getting ready for this rugged challenge. Some say they planned and practiced for six months, others have been working toward this opportunity for most of their lives.

What's the opportunity, you ask? To set up a new civilization—utopia!—on a pocket of land with only $5,000 in a safe to facilitate outside trading. From building bathrooms and coming up with plumbing configurations to growing okra and corn, they're utterly on their own, for better or for worse, as its said.

Some of these pioneers want to start businesses to earn more cash. Others desire a more meager, subsistence-style arrangement. And some seem to come in with the highest of aspirations—to truly build up a new world that's greater and grander than what lies outside Utopia's telegenic borders.

But they have to figure out how to get along first. And that just might take all year. (Which is just about how long this show is supposed to last.)

"This isn't my utopia," they say when things swing away from their personal plans.

And, well, that's actually quite true. This isn't their Utopia: It's Fox's. And the last thing Fox wants is a real utopia on its hands.

I'm not being mean. It's just that idyllic bliss makes for really boring TV. Compelling "reality" requires conflict and strife. While most utopian-minded communes are founded by people of like minds, Fox's Utopia is populated by a host of drastically diverse and obtusely dissonant personalities—all of which are given bumper sticker labels. We meet "Survivalist Bella," "Hunter Hex" and "Redneck Red." We find out quite quickly that "Polyamorist Dedeker" has a very different view of sexual purity than "Pastor Jonathan." We know that Aaron, who wants to purchase a microwave, is at odds about food prep with Bella, who insists the radiation could kill them all.

The squabbles will ebb and flow, of course, just as the people come and go. Political Activist Rhonda has already been voted off the commune as of this review. And Pastor Jonathan was out nearly before he got in, needing surgery on his thumb. He's replaced by Taylor the #OmaHottie. And so it goes.

Are these folks all looking for what the pastor was trying to preach during his brief stint as symbolic shepherd? The very thing that spiritual salvation provides? Redemption and a second chance? Maybe. But in the meantime, Hex—who openly wept during a baptism orchestrated by Pastor Jonathan—still says, "There are three evils in the world: money, power and religion. My utopia would have none."

And whatever good intentions people espouse here, they doesn't mitigate what else we hear them say and see them do. Namely, they strip down to either skimpy bathing suits and underwear or even just their bare skin. They make rude and risqué remarks. They get falling-down drunk. They swear. And they couple up, smooching and caressing, the cameras catching them in fairly intimate positions.

Did we mention the backbiting, bickering and shouting matches yet?

And would it be boring and redundant at this point to merely state the obvious? That Fox's Utopia is anything but?

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

Utopia: 9-12-2014



Readability Age Range



Hosted by Dan Piraro






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!