On Tuesday, HBO announced that True Blood, a long-running porn tape with an exceedingly complicated plot revolving around a sleepy Louisiana town inhabited by one billion insane, magical people, will leave the air for good at the conclusion of its 7th season next summer.

In a statement, HBO program chief Michael Lombardo said that True Blood had "taken its many devoted fans on an unforgettable journey" and applauded it as "nothing short of a defining show for HBO."

Though it will likely go down in history as a show that peaked during its opening credits, it's important to remember that there was a time, a thousand human lifetimes ago, when the series was almost as good as its opening credits or, at least, not an outright insult to them.

There was a time when the dialogue was peppered with ridiculous, quotable lines ("Who ordered the hamburger...with AIDS?") instead of being entirely constructed of "quotable" lines, like a sprawling McMansion where every wall is an accent wall; when the characters were accidentally campy (or, best of all, Anna Camp-y) instead of hollowly, painstakingly, calculatedly campy; when gratuitously weird scenes about a minor character sending a text would be thrown in—and allowed to last a beat too long—for no reason other than we're all friends here and, fuck it, we've got time to kill.

Because it was so terrible (and, as the series proceeded, increasingly riddled with softcore porn) True Blood developed a crazed following. Just before (and, for a spell, during) the time it became unwatchably bad, I hosted self-catered weekly "Sunday, True Bloody Sunday" viewing parties in my apartment. I wrote 1,500 word recaps and emailed them to my friends even though I had a real job. People who didn't even watch True Blood crammed into my unbearably hot home to watch it, because you didn't need to watch True Blood to watch True Blood; nothing that happened in the show ever made particular sense to anyone, least of all the characters.

But, of course, the reason you're able to enjoy a roller coaster is because you know, eventually, you will be allowed to get off it. Now that True Blood has an end in sight, and we don't have to worry about it clunking clumsily along through endless backwards loop-de-loops for the next fifteen years until its title is lengthened to Is True Blood Still On?, we can relax. We can forgive it for eating itself and vomiting itself back up in a pool full of blood. We can reminisce. We can love it again.

Please share your best worst True Blood moments in the comments. (You too, Shep.)

[Image via HBO]