The popular web video series Red vs. Blue has put out their 100th and final episode of the series with three alternate endings. It marks the end of one of the staples of the Web 2.0 culture and citizen-produced media. It also is one of the few things that said culture has produced that doesn't make me want to head butt the sidewalk. Someone please tell Lonelygirl15 to stop making videos.

Web 2.0 as a media-producing enterprise is a remarkable failure. Sure, there are some successes such as Ask a Ninja and Barats and Berate, but for the most part the content produced are either cheap knock-offs or so stupid that it makes reality TV look good. Wikipedia makes better fiction than most of these attempts at entertainment.

The fact that Red vs. Blue has amassed such a following and had such a long run is remarkable for a society that has an attention span of about a half a second. I've enjoyed the series from the beginning, having seen all 100 episodes and all the PSA extra episodes they put out.

The first 25 or so episodes were the best by far. That isn't to say that after episode 25 they jumped the shark like say, Battlestar Galactica with the Season 3 finale (seriously Ron Moore, where is your brain?). But the episodes seemed to lull somewhat. It remained entertaining nonetheless. Towards the end of the series the quality stepped up greatly as the end was in sight which likely motivated the creators.

However, episode 100 is a dismal failure, and a poor ending to an otherwise good series. The fact that there were three different endings underlies the fact that the creators likely had no idea how to wrap up the series. They probably would have been better off to keep putting out episodes instead of wrapping it up arbitrarily at 100. The plot seemed to be something added on later in the series, and there was no thought at the time on how to bring it to a close. The disappointment was exaggerated because the series had such a good run before the last episode.

That said, the passing of Red vs. Blue (or at least the Blood Gulch Chronicles) will leave a void in the Internet. The only bright side is that likely the American worker will have five more minutes of productivity a week that they would have spent watching the series.

John Bambenek is the Assistant Politics Editor for BC Magazine and is an academic professional for the University of Illinois. By trade, he is an information security professional, part of the Internet Storm Center and a courseware author and certification grader for the GIAC family of security certifications. He is a syndicated columnist who blogs at Part-Time Pundit and the executive director of The Tumaini Foundation which helps AIDS orphans and other children in Tanzania to get an education.

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