Plugged In Author: Bob Smithouser

Senior Editor for PLUGGEDIN.COM. In addition to hosting the weekly "Official Plugged In Podcast," Bob also writes reviews, articles and Movie Nights discussion guides, and manages areas of this website. He has served at Focus on the Family for more than 20 years. Since 1995, Bob has penned "High Voltage," a monthly column that answers children's entertainment questions in Clubhouse magazine. He has co-authored several books, including Chart Watch, Movie Nights, Movie Nights for Teens and, most recently, The One Year Father-Daughter Devotions. Bob is also co-host of "The Official Adventures in Odyssey Podcast."

A Tale of Two Marriages

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On Monday, reality TV star Kim Kardashian filed for divorce from her husband, Kris Humphries, citing irreconcilable differences after just 72 days of marriage. The pair wed Aug. 20 amid a media circus that netted them tens of millions of dollars. Their “fairytale wedding” became E!’s third highest-rated show ever. But the couple won’t be […]

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The Original Angry Birds

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Last week, I noticed that the video game Angry Birds has inspired a theme park in China, which got me thinking about that whole phenomenon: Since when does a cute, feathered Weeble with bushy eyebrows qualify as an angry bird? Seriously. I realize this is a very popular mobile app that has rescued millions of […]

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Music-Fueled Identity Crisis

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Beckah Shae is “fed up, upset, angry and frustrated.” What did it take to get the Christian singer/songwriter so peeved? The current state of pop music. In fact, Shae is so concerned about the character-shaping power of contemporary tunes in the lives of young fans that the Dove-nominated pop/R&B artist recently decided to research Billboard’s […]

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Not on My Land

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It’s not every day a farmer spies a topless R&B singer in his wheat field. Yet that’s exactly what happened to Alan Graham last week. The Northern Ireland farmer had lent Rihanna’s film crew his property to shoot a music video. Before he knew it, she was donning skimpy tops, then going completely. So Graham […]

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When Spouses Disagree

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My favorite TV commercial in recent memory is for Best Buy. It’s the one where people are devastated to learn that their brand-new electronic gizmos are already outdated (“You got the wrong TV, silly head”). It’s painfully hilarious. It also illustrates a frustration I sometimes feel as a parent: No sooner do I get a […]

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A Father’s Close Encounter

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You’ve gotta love it when one of the most powerful men in Hollywood is humble enough to second-guess a decades-old creative decision and, in doing so, affirm the value of intact families. That’s what Steven Spielberg did during an Entertainment Weekly interview that hit newsstands this week. Talking with EW and his Super 8 collaborator […]

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Marveling at a One-Rating World

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“Is the PG-13 rating helping or hurting families?” That’s the question I posed in an article published in Plugged In magazine in the summer of 2001. The answer seemed pretty obvious even then. But after watching two recent movies featuring heroes from the Marvel Comics universe, I’m more convinced than ever that this baffling rating […]

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Relieving Media Stress

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It’s 6:30 p.m. Supper’s over after an exhausting day, and you’d love nothing more than to pop in a DVD and “veg” a little. In fact, now that their homework is finally finished, the kids are eager to join you. What comes next should be relaxing, but it’s usually enough to trigger heartburn: choosing something […]

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Old Rivals Clash in XLV

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As Super Bowl XLV steamrolled along, the hard-fought battle on TV’s biggest stage seemed to grow in intensity. With so much at stake, each competitor jockeyed for position. Who would win the day? We saw a stark contrast in styles. And I’m not referring to the Packers and Steelers; I’m talking about Coke and Pepsi. […]

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The Golden Rule at the Golden Globes

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For award watchers and showbiz prognosticators, Sunday night’s Golden Globes went pretty much as expected. Lots of people hit the “like” button for The Social Network. Acting front-runners Natalie Portman, Colin Firth, Annette Bening and Christian Bale all took home statues. And the highest-grossing animated film of all time, Toy Story 3, found equal favor […]

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