As any reality television aficionado will understand, I feel a deep and meaningful connection to crazy attention whores whom I will never actually meet. My latest obsession is Drita D’Avanzo of VH1′s Mob Wives fame. Maybe it’s her Staten Island accent, her acrylic nails pointed at close range in other wives’ faces, or her tumultuous relationship with behind-bars hubby and former drug dealer Lee D’Avanzo – whatever the reason, Drita has a certain je ne sais quoi that keeps me hooked to the VH1 hit.
In today’s world, where TV can be as addicting as heroin or diet cola, most Americans don’t just watch TV. We live it. We text, tweet and Google search bios of celebs and characters as they appear on the screen. It was only a matter of time before TV networks hired competent media gurus who make it easier to get our fix, and this shall forever be known as “co-viewing.”
Enter VH1 Co-Star. The entertainment app is designed for both addicts and casual viewers to use while watching VH1 shows. The scrolling activity stream “WatchWith” allows VH1 programmers to insert contextual bonus content like photos, factoids and polls that coincide with everything happening on the show. Features also include trivia, blogs and bonus videos, as well as tweets and Facebook postings from the show’s followers. I’m as addicted to trivia as I am to Drita’s name-calling antics, so VH1 gets extra points for stimulating my mind and finger tips. All I need to do is sit back, relax, and move my eyes rapidly between the show on TV and the scrolling comments on my iPhone.
Users can authenticate themselves through Facebook or Twitter, but I was able to follow much of the content without that process. My iPhone’s GPS determines the time zone, so the network’s schedule syncs with my location. When Mob Wives is playing on the east coast, there is Drita’s tight and tanned face on the app’s home screen.
Co-Star lives up to expectations – it is an entertainment app and totally worth the free price tag. My only question now is: How will the app work when I start watching new episodes of Pop Up Video?