Monday, September 10, 2012

Web Series Review: Red vs. Blue

Status: Nine Seasons and Three Mini-Series Completed
Credits: Matt Hullum (Creator/Writer/Director/Voice Actor: Sarge), Burnie Burns (Creator/Writer/Director/Voice Actor: Lopez), Gustavo Sorola (Simmons), Geoff Ramsey (Grif), Dan Godwin (Donut)
Winner IAWTV Awards: Best Animated Series

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Synopsis: Red vs. Blue is a comedy animated web series that takes a stab at first person shooter games (like Halo from which it borrows its footage) while also acting as a parody on the science fiction genre and life in general. The basic premise (for the first five seasons) centers on armored soldiers from two teams, the Red and the Blue, who have set up bases in Blood Gulch and whose sole purpose is to destroy each other, even though there’s not a lot of shooting going on. For the most part, the series gives us the mundane, off-kilter conversions of the troops as they wait for orders or carry out the most recent routine instructions given to them. And the fact is that the soldiers don’t really care about killing each other (except for Sarge), they just want to get through each day without suffering much in the way of personal damage.

Review/Commentary: This web series, which first appeared all the way back in 2003, is made with the machinima process taking footage from the Halo video games. Machinima is an animation technique that uses the graphics engines from a video game to produce the visuals and it syncs the movement of the characters with the dialogue (you can read more about it at Wikipedia). Creators Matt Hullum and Burnie Burns first produced the series with the intention of it going about six to eight episodes. But it became an immediate hit on the internet and Bungie Studios (creators and owners of the Halo games) allowed them to continue to use the footage from their games with no license fee as it brought good attention to their products. The original series, The Blood Gulch Chronicles went for five seasons and was followed by three mini-series and four more seasons with another due out this year.

Somehow Red vs. Blue slipped under my radar until the IAWTV Awards brought the series to my attention, but I found rather liked it once I stumbled upon it. As the show has a very healthy compliment of episodes (somewhere around 200), I have not watched the whole thing but I have sampled quite a bit of it. And it’s definitely an enjoyable little romp livened up by the droll dialogue that provides the main focus of the episodes. Of course some of the lines just seem to pass by without much notice, and others can be quite dry or maybe overly subtle, but each episode usually delivers at least one or two laugh out loud moments. A note though that even though this series has generated multiple seasons each with ongoing story arcs, Red vs. Blue is best viewed in small bites. The mundane dialogue of soldiers who don’t really want to be fighting each other can be quite witty at times, but with the lack of much else in the way of action it quickly gets old in large doses. Still, this is definitely a must-see for video game fans, and sci fi fans in general will definitely enjoy it as well.

Links/More Information: You can watch the entire Red vs. Blue series at the website for Rooster Teeth (the show’s production company) as well as its YouTube channel. The entire series (up through Season 9) is also available on DVD. And you can find extensive information on the series and its characters over at its Wikipedia entries.

Watch Red vs. Blue at the Rooster Teeth Website

Watch Red vs. Blue at its YouTube Channel

Read Extensively About the Show on Wikipedia at its Series Entry and its Characters Entry

Buy Red vs. Blue on DVD from

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