Lots of TV shows jump the shark. Few get out just in time when their audiences want more, but don't realize that just one episode more will feel like a let down.
That was the problem the later episodes of "The Office" endured. Story lines grew tired or too outrageous for their own good. Eventually, the show's main character took an exit, and the show had to find its legs without Steve Carell as the affable Michael Scott.
Like most love stories, the beginning is exciting - just as it was for "The Office's" love interests, Jim and Pam. But fewer storytellers take on the task of telling the tale of relationship minutia. Once they got together - it was boring and predictable.
Still, for those that had let NBC's Thursday night mainstay comedy disappear from the DVR, or for those that hung on for the fewer and farther between laughs, the last season, and final episode (with the second-to-last episode as a primer,) were certainly worth watching.
Even without Carell, the show's final season introduced new drama between Jim and Pam. It featured new characters that carried a little bit of quirk, but who weren't so outlandish you couldn't picture them at the desk next to you.
The second-to-final episode also featured the airing of the show's documentary. It's one of the few things other single-camera comedies have yet to address. Unlike the original, UK version of "The Office," which didn't jump the shark, the characters see themselves on screen - and have a chance to reflect on it.
Sprinkle in a few appearances from characters that have since left the show: Ryan (BJ Novak) and Kelly (Mindy Kaling - now staring in her own show on Fox,) and this woman, this woman, and the world's best boss.
In it's swan song, "The Office" managed to do what it does best - and I'm not talking about one last "that's what she said," joke.
It was sentimental. At its root, by delivering some of the most cringe-worthy moments on network TV, the show allowed you to feel a little bit more for the characters. We could relate to their real moments.
After 8-years worth of Dwight Schrute jokes and best of clips typical of a series finale - the show was complete.
"I wish there was a way to know you're in the good ol' days before you actually left them," says Andy Bernard (Ed Helms) in the final episode. After all, the same episode would have been more watched and better received had the show turned in a few years ago. But - that's what she said.