*** SPOILER ALERT ***
AFTER seven seasons filled with gore and sex, True Blood came to an end on Monday night but it was not the true death many fans would have wished for.
Instead it was an ill-timed stake to the heart, which left many fans feeling as though they have had the life sucked out of them for the past seven seasons.
When the series debuted in 2008 the cable show proved a huge hit with its daring and provocative world-based on Charlaine Harris' vampire novels.
It had a brilliant setup - a synthetic blood drink meant vampires could finally reveal their existence to the world as they no longer needed to feed off humans.
This allowed the show to explore metaphors of sexuality, race and addiction among many others and showed that vampires, despite being capable of superhuman feats, were still seeking equality.
It was a powerful metaphor and it served the series well over the years.
One of its weaknesses from the beginning was its large ensemble cast. Too many characters to foster and develop meant that there would always be a character that the audience felt was short changed throughout the season.
The show spent too much time with characters that were not essential to the overall story - Sam Merlotte and Terry Bellefleur to name a few.
As a consequence supporting characters that it had spent time evolving such as werewolf Alcide and vampire Tara were dispensed with casual contempt.
But in the early seasons it was bearable because the characters and storylines were fun and filled with an element of danger.
The heart of the show was the romance between a waitress named Sookie Stackhouse who could read minds and vampire and Civil War veteran Bill Compton but when Sookie staked Bill in the dying moments of Monday night's finale it lacked emotional depth.
That's not to say the show did not have highlights over the years.
At the height of its powers the flamboyant Russell Edgington proved to be a wonderful villain as did Steve Newlin.
And of course there was the Viking vampire himself Eric Northman - a man so handsome he could single-handedly bring about world peace with a look and a smile.
Then there was the witty and sarcastic Pam De Beaufort who was always such a delight to watch on screen.
Season seven bore the brunt of having to tie up all the loose ends the show had left and did so slowly and boringly.
It is a shame that a show that burst onto the screens with such ferocity has limped off our screens in a bitterly disappointing, wish-washy finale.
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