Entering its eleventh season this year, Red vs. Blue trudges on with an ever-growing fandom. With the demise of its primary antagonist for the last several seasons, the Director, viewers were left wondering what the future would have in store for the influential series. With the release of its first few episodes, viewers were given their answer. Although the series is not without the distinct humor that earned it a large following in the first place, the ride seems to have taken an underwhelming detour.
Perhaps most significantly, after five episodes, and as such five weeks, it is still jarringly undisclosed where Church and Carolina are. Instead, fans are given the clever, but otherwise dull antics of the rest of the ensemble. Again, this humor is what thrust Red vs. Blue into the limelight in the first place. But the sudden regression away from an action-based series to a more slapstick comedy cannot go without mentioning. Church and Carolina acted as the main catalyst characters for much of the action and drama that took place in previous seasons. With their removal, there is no reason to watch the show other than to enjoy the humorous dialogue. In short, there is nothing significant to draw the viewers in for the next week, other than their sheer devotion to the long-running series.
Naturally, that is not to say that the season is not without its merit. In addition to the humor, the few episodes that have been released have brought forth a number of intriguing questions. In particular, why have the stranded soldiers not been rescued yet? As was revealed in episode 5, the group should have been rescued in a matter of hours after they crash-landed, but they remain ominously trapped. Also, who or what has Caboose found and what does it have in store for the rest of the season? Where do Washington’s tools keep disappearing to? All of these are viable questions that are certain to play a hand in the development of the season. But these have not been the primary focus of the episodes thus far, and as such, have not been enough to carry the season.
With the release of the new Rooster Teeth production, RWBY, it is quite possible that Rooster Teeth is attempting to increase its genre spread. By reverting Red vs. Blue back to a more comedy-based series and pushing RWBY with such action-packed enthusiasm, Rooster Teeth is able to appeal to a larger audience. As a production company, this is certainly a viable move, but it is unlikely to sit well with many of their fans. Fundamentally altering such a popular series so late in its tenure could risk the interest of their viewers. Additionally, RWBY, while certainly popular due to the mounting hype prior to its release, is still a new series, and as such, may still yet fail to capture the interest of Rooster Teeth fans. Putting so much faith into a comparatively untested series is a bold move that will undoubtedly bring interesting results.
Red vs. Blue, while puttering along in comparison to its previous seasons, still has hope. If Rooster Teeth can capitalize on the groundwork they have laid for the story and reward their viewers for tuning in, then the series will continue on. But if the best that can be done for the show is a few worthwhile jokes and a lack of elaboration on previous seasons, then it might be time for Red vs. Blue to take its final bow.