The latest episode of The Office, "Customer Loyalty," for the first time revealed a member of the documentary crew that's been, within the fiction of the show, shooting everything we've seen so far. Apprently, as this final season continues, we'll see them even more.
This is a mistake. The whole fiction of a documentary crew has been silly from the start (as it is on most other shows that employ the "documentary" feel). It doesn't stand up to scrutiny that they'd be everywhere catching every important moment, that those being filmed would put up with it, or that they'd be shooting this documentary for nine years. It was barely buyable in the 12 episodes of the original Office in Britain, but it's stretched far beyond credibility here.
There are a lot of ways to wind down a show. I think 30 Rock, which has been making big decisions in its characters' lives but still being funny and true to itself, is doing it right. The Office, by taking us out of the show and reminding us how silly its concept is, is going in the wrong direction.