Underneath my yellow skin

When to say it’s done

For the past two posts, I have been talking about the game, Cook, Serve, Forever by David Galindo. There are three games in this series. Cook, Serve, Delicious!; Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!!; and, Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?!. The first game was released in 2012, and the series has only gained in popularity since. My personal favorite is the second by a hair over the first, and the third is my least favorite. It’s not a bad game by far, but I just like the second game the best.

I will say that the third game got me through the beginning of the pandemic when it was released in Early Access. I spent many, many hours happily pounding away at my keyboard in order to make my orders. The fact that the last act of the game completely fell apart is a shame, but it doens’t erase the fact that it’s a highly-addictive game for the first two-thirds of it.

But the second game was my favorite because you could design restaurants. It was pretty basic, but it was fun. I was not able to 100% that game, but that’s ok. Begrudgingly. I played that game months after getting out of the hospital because I wanted the plat. I was physically unable to get it, but I got really close.

Here’s the thing. Series can go on for way too long. I noticed when I used to read  mystery series that they got worse as they went on (in general). The problem is that you can’t stray too far from the formula because that’s why people are reading the books. But then that gets stale in a hurry. I used to read Sue Grafton’s alphabet series. She set them in real time, starting in the 1980s, so even when we got to book V is for Vengeance, which was released in 2011, the technology was still from the ’80s.

When I first started reading the series, there was nothing else like it. It was fresh and exciting to me, especially since it starred a female private detective. Kinsey Millhone was a tough, no-nonsense, take no prisoners kind of gal who had terrible taste in men. And she cut her own hair. She made sure to say that in every book, which signified part of the problem.

It was fresh and exciting for roughly ten books. M is for Malice was the best of the series, but then it went downhill from there. By the time I got to W is for Wasted, I could barely read the books any longer. I felt like I had to because I had gotten that far, but I wasn’t enjoying it. She died before she could write the final one, so the series ended with Y is for Yesterday. I feel like I need to read X (no is for) and Y is for Yesterday, but I haven’t thus far.

I have read many mystery series and there isn’t a single one that is as strong by book twenty as it was in book 1-5. The tension between presenting something familiar and expanding the characters in new directions.

In the Millhone series, I became frustrated by book ten or so that she never grew. She was always the same gruff, no-nonsense, cut-my-own-hair, but choose bad men, but secretly have a crush on my octogenarian landlord private detective that she had always been.

A series I absolutely loved was Marcia Muller’s Sharon McCone series, but that had the opposite problem. She started throwing in way too many jarring ideals such as McCone’s real father was indigeneous! She had a half-sister she never knew she had! Her lover turned husband suddenly got really wealthy! Now she was upper-class and had to deal with having so much money!  I tapped out at that point. I’m not saying they couldn’t have been interesting changes, but it felt very much like an attempt to vitalize a dying series. In other words, it didn’t feel organic. I know that sounds like I’m contradicting what I said before, but it’s not that I want change for change’s sake. I just don’t want to read the same book a hundred times. Which is how most series end up.

I’ve written a bunch of mystery novels (and I need to get back to it), but I always stop with three if they are not stand-alones. If it’s a trilogy, I plan it from the start. I have two that I was working on when the pandemic hit and everything went out the window. I would like to pick them up again, but I’m not sure that’s possible now.

This is one reason I prefer British TV shows to Americans. For whatever reason, they keep their shows to six or seven seasons for the most part without dragging them out infinitely. I honestly think that if you go in thinking you have six or seven seasons, the show will be tigter and better overall. Open-ended is fine and all, but it’s a similar problem of the open world. The need to stuff it full to the gill with things that don’t matter or are filler. Fluff and stuff. It’s just not interesting.

Full disclosure–I don’t like most TV shows in general. I just don’t find them interesting or relevant to me. I’m pretty sure it’s because I’m a weirdo who is on the very fringe of society. I don’t find anything about normal society interesting, so why would I want to watch shows about it? In addition, I find the sit-com format to be very cringe, and I can’t think of one that interests me or that I find actually funny.

When it comes to games, I don’t have much patience for sequels–execpt for From games. And even then, it’s not a given. So many people want a Bloodborne sequel, wehreas I do not. I also don’t think it’ll happen because it would have happened by now if it was going to happen at all.

In addition, I kinda think the fact that it’s a Sony-backed game is why there’s no sequel–just as Sekiro does not have one (which is published by Activision). It’s funny because when the buzz before Sekiro announced was building, people were convinced it was BB 2. Just from the prosthetic arm image and, frankly, lots of wishful thinking. I was not in the biz, but I knew with certainty that it wasn’t a BB 2 trailer.  I also knew there wasn’t going to be a BB sequel, but I couldn’t tell you why I was so certaain of that.

It turned out that I was right (for now). I take no joy in that, but I am glad there hasn’t been a sequel. I would play it, of course, but I wouldn’t enjoy it.

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