Plugged In Author: Paul Asay

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

Boys State Shows Us Democracy in Action—For Better and Worse

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As you hop across your channels and streaming services, looking for something (anything?) new to watch, you might cross paths with Boys State, a documentary that just hit Apple TV+ today. It’s a fascinating, depressing and oddly inspiring look at politics in America—if it was driven by high school guys. A little background: The Boys […]

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What We Get—and Lose—by Turning History Into Entertainment

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History, they say, is written by the victors. We might also say that history’s written by the entertainers. That’s not necessarily a bad thing—but it does bring its share of asterisks to the party. Take Hamilton, the smash Broadway hit that became another smash on Disney+ this year. The musical comes with some issues that […]

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Listen to Our Newest Podcast and Hear About Non-Screen Activities to Do With Your Kids

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You can spend too much time with screens. OK, so this isn’t exactly breaking news. Plugged In’s been saying this for years. But with so many of us still semi-sequestered in our homes during this strange, strange time, many of us are beginning to feel the truth of those words. You can only binge so […]

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Emmy Noms Confirm: It’s a Streaming World (and Not Too Friendly for Families)

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The Emmys, television’s annual awards derby, just unveiled its 2020 nominations yesterday. (The awards will be handed out Sept. 20.) And when you look over the list, one thing is quite clear: Streaming services currently rule the roost. Oh, sure, traditional television stalwarts still had their day. Perennial Emmy juggernaut HBO pulled down 107 nominations, […]

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In a Sea of Entertainment Delays and Cancellations, ‘The Chosen’ Sails to Season Two

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The Chosen, a television series based on the life of Jesus, has already broken a lot of new entertainment ground. According to its makers, it’s the No. 1 crowdfunded media project in history. And the show eschewed distribution through the world’s streaming giants and instead made itself available on its own stand-alone app. Oh, and […]

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New Flannery O’Connor Doc Unpacks Her Life and Faith

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When she was attending the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop in the mid-1940s, Flannery O’Connor asked her priest whether she could write about “difficult things.” We can only assume that the priest gave O’Connor his blessing: Few writers have tackled more “difficult things” than O’Connor. The new documentary Flannery, playing at a variety of “virtual cinemas” […]

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Can’t Keep a Good Evil Empire Down

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The empire did indeed strike back: The Disney empire, that is. We’re back again with an encore Movie Monday, but only because the box-office charts are just too interesting to let go without comment. According to Deadline, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back climbed back to the top of the box-office 40 years after its […]

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Hamilton! (Oh, and some other important news, too.)

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The coronavirus continues to change the world of entertainment. We’ve chronicled those changes in this space over the last several months, watching as the box-office dollars shrank from the hundreds of millions to the just plain hundreds, and as movies moved from the multiplex to streaming services and video on demand. Well, we’re changing a […]

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Studios Play Wait-and-See While Will Ferrell Wins the Weekend

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We were this close. It looked like the movie business was just a month away from returning to some semblance of normalcy. Disney’s live-action Mulan was set to crack open the delayed summer season July 24. Christopher Nolan’s Tenet was set to premiere July 31. Theaters were warming up their popcorn poppers in gleeful anticipation. […]

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Words Can Hurt Us. Especially the Bad Ones.

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Sometimes when people ask what I do for a living, I tell them I count profanities in movies. That’s not entirely true, of course, but it is an important part of my job. But why is it important? In a culture that grows ever coarser and, linguistically, less creative, it’s a fair question. And today, […]

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Culture Clips: We’re All Playing Games

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As our coronavirus-addled country does its bunny hop toward some semblance of normalcy and takes stock of the economic wreckage, some industries would say that COVID-19 has been good for business. At the front of the line? Video games. According to Nielsen, 82% of folks worldwide have played games or watched video game content during […]

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An Interview With Dallas Jenkins, Creator of The Chosen

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Faith-based entertainment has something of a spotty history. The best of intentions don’t always translate to the screen as well as we might like, and sometimes a Christian movie or show that can move a believer to tears might leave a secular viewer … unimpressed. Maybe that’s one reason why I was so impressed by […]

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Culture Clips: Waiting a Little Longer for the Oscars

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We’ve all gotten used to waves of cancellations and delays due to the coronavirus. Now, on the cusp of Father’s Day, it’s impacted the daddy of all awards extravaganzas. The board of governors for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that it’ll delay the Oscars by two months, pushing the ceremony from […]

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