American Idol, CSI & the Passing of the Monoculture

It doesn’t seem that long ago, really, that two influential, iconic network juggernauts dominated the ratings, week after week, year after year: Fox’s American Idol and CBS’s CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Both shows spawned imitators and shaped America’s TV culture. Both exhibited a Goliath-like ability to intimidate any would-be rivals. And both, like Goliath, were […]

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Ad and A.D. Add Up to a Big Easter on TV

About 3.7 million people tuned in to watch Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Jesus on the National Geographic Channel last Sunday—the most ever to watch a show on the network, and a 300% improvement on NatGeo’s typical Sunday-night ratings. It was a success. But it wasn’t a surprise. Jesus—or, rather, shows predicated on Him—is big business these […]

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4 Ways Leslie Knope Is More Like Jesus Than I Am

The curtains are down. The lights are out. America’s time hanging out with Indiana’s motliest crew of small-town local government employees has come to a close. Last night Leslie Knope and Co. wrapped up the seventh and final season of Parks and Recreation. No more Lil’ Sebastian. No more Paunch Burger. No more Knope. Content […]

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Superheroes Make Super Bet

Well, the Super Bowl is over and you’ve likely read about all the many ruminations, cheers, commercials and jeers that have recently been associated with that sporting weekend event—everything from exasperated cries over coach calls to the fact that America consumed some 1 billion chicken wings during the big game. But there’s one connected story […]

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The Media That Moved You (To at Least Click)

Compilation of images for top-viewed media reviews on Plugged In

Movies were a big deal in 2014, with Christian movies jostling elbows with dystopian thriller movies. But so were TV shows, music releases and video games. We had more readers reading our reviews last year than ever before, and for that we’re grateful. Grateful that the hard work our team does matters to you. And […]

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Television Tops 2014: Paul Asay’s Year-End Picks

My Little Ponies: Friendship is Magic

Television just keeps getting better and better. It also gets worse and worse. It’s the frustrating paradox of reviewing television. While TV-based stories have gotten more nuanced and complex, they’ve also become more needlessly foul and salacious—and sometimes it seems like Emmy awards often go hand in hand with withering content. Which leaves discerning viewers […]

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Wishful TV Thinking

Image from Madame Secretary

Primetime television has never been a hoppin’ forum for realism. Trust me on this: I grew up watching Fantasy Island. And while our television sets have since eschewed tropical-based dream fulfilment via a white-suited Ricardo Montalban, we still like to get away from it all via the tube. Our culture’s most popular, buzzy shows are […]

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