Speaking of Speaking …

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speaking of speaking

In my 2011 book, Plugged-In Parenting, I included a chapter titled, “Ten Things You Can Do to End Fights Over Family Entertainment.” One of those suggestions was to get your pastors involved. Here’s what I said: When your kids hear other people—pastors, parents, teachers—echoing your advice on media, they may be more willing to listen. […]

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Culture Clips: And Now a Word From Our Sponsors …

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netflix commercials

Netflix, you clever dog, you. “Commercials are terrible!”you told us, and then you filled your streaming service with roughly three quintillion original shows (OK, 323, a number that has tripled between 2016 and 2017) that we could binge without seeing a single ad for shampoo, beer or personal hygiene products. Now, my own children treat […]

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Vodcast: How Does Parenthood Change Our View of the Media?

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Parenthood is full of surprises, no matter how much we try to prepare for everything before the arrival of our firstborn. One of those surprises may be the ways becoming a parent changes how we see the world. And that includes entertainment and media. In this week’s Plugged In Vodcast, Kristin Smith, Bob Hoose and […]

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Culture Clips: State of the Teens, Summer 2018 Edition

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Are the kids alright? It’s a question that many in our culture return to again and again. Rightly so: Today’s children represent the future of our society. But while the question itself seems a simple one, answers almost never are. And so it is today. The news about what’s happening with young people—mostly teens, but […]

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Anything Coming Out on Streaming Services This June Worth Watching? Well …

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I am david

Summer’s technically a couple weeks away yet, but for most of us, we’re emotionally already there. School’s either out or kids are counting the days ’til it is. Parents are prepping for picnics, vacations, trips to the beach and hikes in the mountains. It’s a great time to reconnect as a family. And sometimes, families […]

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13 Reasons Provides a Teachable Moment (for Netflix)

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13 reasons

When Netflix unveiled the first season of 13 Reasons Why last spring, the streaming service knew the show would be buzzy. It might not have understood the show’s sting. Based on the book by Jay Asher and produced in part by singer/actress Selena Gomez, the show’s first season revolved around the suicide of a young […]

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Put Down That Remote! Binge-Watching Can Be Bad for You

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binge

On May 18, Netflix will roll out the second season of one of its buzziest, most controversial and, let’s face it, most bingeable shows: 13 Reasons Why. We wrote quite a bit about the show’s first season, beginning with our review and spiraling out from there. (Our parents’ guide to the series will be updated […]

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Culture Clips: Putting the Spring in Our Cultural Step

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culture clips Roseanne

Yes, spring is upon us—a time of … well, snow where I live in Colorado. But everywhere else, it’s a time of budding trees and growing grass, It’s a time of regeneration, when the dismal, dead grayness of winter is replaced by new life and new expectations. Why, even dead television shows can, like crass […]

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American Idol Goes Back to the Future

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American idol

American Idol is back. On a new network (ABC), and sporting three new celebrity judges (Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan). That’s a quick summary of what’s changed. What hasn’t changed? Well, almost everything else. After a two-year hiatus, ABC’s reloaded version of Idol is almost exactly the same reality singing competition it was […]

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How to Fix the Oscars

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oscars

Well, here we are, nearly a week after the 90th Academy Awards sported record-low viewership numbers. Nielsen suggested they were seen only by a handful of wandering channel-surfers and that strange guy down the street who collects antique dog bowls. No, seriously, only about 26.5 million people tuned in. As reported on Wednesday, that’s a […]

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The Gamer in the Olympic Laurel Leaves

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VR Skiing

If you’ve been watching any of the Winter Olympics, you’ve undoubtedly noted that, in some events, the difference between a winning run or a losing one can come down to mere seconds. No, sometimes just hundredths of a second. What you may not have been aware of, though, is that some of the competitors have […]

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Finding God in a Bad Commercial

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It’s been said that God works in mysterious ways. Sometimes even through a controversial Ram Truck commercial. We’ve already mentioned that commercial Wednesday, of course. The manufacturer (or, rather, its advertising agency) put together an advertisement pairing video clips of its truck helping folks do good things with the words of a Martin Luther King […]

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An Open Breakup Letter to Justin Timberlake

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Justin Timberlake performing during the Super Bowl LII Pepsi Halftime Show in 2018

Dear Justin Timberlake (can I still call you JT?), I am writing to inform you that we’re through. I’m breaking up with you. Let me back up. I realize it’s been awhile since we last talked. In fact, I know that this is actually the first time. You don’t know me from Adam, and that’s […]

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