This show is like a cat. It keeps coming back. Last year was supposed to be its tenth and final season but somehow it was resurrected and returned for another go-round, with new situations for the characters viewers have come to love through the years. This series, about a minister and his seven children, - and all their friends who somehow end up spending more time at the Camden's house than their own - is a schmaltzy show with plenty of saccharine. But loyal audiences have taken it to heart and embraced the characters through the years.

Throughout the run of the show, we have seen Ruthie (Mackenzie Rosman) go from a little girl to a sometimes bratty and brooding teen, Simon (David Gallagher) go from a young boy who always seemed to have extra money to an adult with a demanding fiancé, Lucy (Beverley Mitchell) go from puberty to a minister herself with a husband and baby, Mary (Jessica Biel) go from a basically sweet girl to an often troubled adult, and Matt (Barry Watson) go from a teen to a career in medicine. We have seen all of these kids grow up and experience many of the same things we experienced in our own lives. But add that extra bit of saccharine to the stories and you get 7th Heaven.

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On May 13th the series will finally come to a close. It doesn't look like it will get another reprieve, like it did last time. Many television viewers wondered last year when 7th Heaven and Everwood - two family-friendly shows - were both cancelled why the Camdens were the ones given a second chance and Everwood was the one to get the big ax. However the powers-that-be saw some more leverage in the Camden family and the show was given one shot. So we got one more season of the sugary series and a final look at the lives of the Camden family.

For many viewers, Eric and Annie Camden (Stephen Collins and Catherine Hicks) were the quintessential parents. Perhaps they will be remembered as the modern version of Ozzie and Harriet. They have, at least, earned their place in television history by virtue of outlasting most television series. Eleven years is a long time. In comparison to other family shows, The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet ran from 1952-1966, Father Knows Best from 1954-1960, Make Room for Daddy from 1953-1965, The Brady Bunch from 1969-1974, and Family Ties from 1982-1989.

So now it's time to say good-bye to the Camdens and their extended family. With all the skepticism, sex, blood and guts we are confronted with on a daily basis whenever we turn on the television, it's amazing that in this day and age this syrupy show has remained on the air for so long. Perhaps it is a cry from the viewers that they want more wholesome entertainment from their TV viewing. After all, if we want sex, blood and guts, we can turn on the nightly news.

The 7th Heaven series finale airs Sunday, May 13 at 8/7c on The CW.

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