Combining two of our favorite addictions, this TV Addict will begin periodically reviewing TV-related iPhone Apps, starting with the recently released FAMILY GUY application from FOX Interactive.
In a nutshell, FAMILY GUY’s iPhone App gives Stewie Griffin addicts the ability to watch clips (optimized for WiFi, but also works on 3G), toss Peter, create a Stewie pin-up and mix your own FAMILY GUY video mashup.
What Works: Updated with a fresh crop of surprisingly lengthy video clips on a daily basis (or at least since the day this App was purchased, which for the record was Friday June 20, 2009) FAMILY GUY’s iPhone App has been a surprisingly good tool in this TV Addict’s continued effort to procrastinate from doing actual work. And, since FAMILY GUY episodes at their best, are essentially uneven mixes of pop culture references, sight gags, and random bursts of violent (albeit hilarious) physical humor stitched together around a very loose and usually pointless plot, the App’s ability to play clip after clip of some of the show’s most memorable moments provides for some surprisingly solid breaks from the real world.
What Doesn’t: In short, the rest of the App. Sure clips are great, but the reality is that the FAMILY GUY App is nothing more than a glorified advertisement for the show. Which normally we’d be fine with, except that at $1.99 this app quickly goes from its “freakin’ sweet” tag-line, to “are you freakin’ kidding me that I just spent $1.99 to be advertised to!” Not only are the incessant reminders that come at the end of EVERY SINGLE video clip that “Full episodes of FAMILY GUY are available on iTunes” completely reduntant and unnecessary after the fifth or sixth time, really, message received. The so-called ‘games’ which allows for users to ‘flick’ Peter around the screen or dress Stewie in different outfits hold about five seconds of entertainment value. Which is about two more seconds than the App’s other big feature which gives users the ability to create their very own FAMILY GUY mix, which may-or-may-not be posted on familyguy.com, where FOX will undoubtedly reap the benefit of more money via the ad revenue that comes with page-views.
The Bottom Line: If this App were free we wouldn’t be complaining. But since the only one who is laughing here is FOX… all the way to the bank, we would like to suggest something that may smooth things over. Why not include a free episode of FAMILY GUY that is updated weekly within the App? Heck, include commercials if you must. But if you ask us, there is nothing freakin’ sweet about leaving your most dedicated and passionate fans feeling freakin’ ripped off.
FAMILY GUY is available on iTunes for $1.99.