Lonelygirl15: the endgame

The jig appears up for Lonelygirl15, the super-popular YouTube auteur who sparked Web-wide controversy about whether she was a) a wildly talented teenager with a Webcam and an editing-genius friend; b) a Satanist; c) a plot by YouTube and/or MySpace and/or Google to promote their services and/or further world domination (don’t ask, a law student came up with it); or d) the birth of a new interactive art form. It appears that d) is winning out. Last night, the producers of Lonelygirl’s Web site posted a reveal (the site seems to be running slowly, but suffice it to say, the whole thing seems to be a project by independent filmmakers) to the many diehard fans on the site’s 15 forums—fans who are seriously dedicated sleuths, believe me, posting at all hours of the day and night, setting Web stings to find the source of the videos. It will be interesting to see whether people will still care about the story line, which appears heading toward an ominous religious ceremony or a party where Bree gets Occultist-style revenge on those who made fun of her. The producers hope the multifaceted use of videos, blogs and community give rise to a new type of Web entertainment, which is sorely needed, as early efforts—Desperate Housewives on your computer!—look a lot like TV with poorer quality on a smaller screen.

—Posted by Brian Morrissey