By Jennifer Armstrong
March 08, 2011 at 08:50 PM EST

Image Credit: Karen Neal/ABCGreek ended its absolutely delightful four-season run on ABC Family last night on a truly bittersweet note: not only because [SPOILER ALERT!!!] the KT house was demolished to bits, but also because it marked the demise of a show that was way better than it had any right to be. What looked like a shallow guilty pleasure at first glance — a light drama about fraternities and sororities — turned out to be a brave, fresh, witty take on college life. Whether you were in the Greek system or abhorred anyone who ever wore arcane letters on a sweatshirt, you couldn’t help but fall in love with these kids. So as a final ode to our Greek brethren — along with this Q&A with Greek creator Patrick Sean Smith — we give you five reasons we’ll miss this show:

1. The characters … and the actors who played them. This was Greek‘s greatest legacy. We couldn’t help relating to, caring about, and pining for the multi-faceted characters — there wasn’t a single cliché in the bunch. That’s because the writing was great, and the young, previously undiscovered actors were up to the challenge. So we have no doubt that the likes of Spencer Grammer, Scott Michael Foster, and Dilshad Vadsaria will be on our TV screens for years to come. Clark Duke already rocked in Hot Tub Time Machine (yeah, we saw it; deal with it) and Kick Ass. And our collective EW office crush, Amber Stevens, already landed a role in Fox’s drama pilot, Weekends at Bellevue. We’ll raise a red cup to long and happy careers for the whole cast.

2. Its new take on college life. There’s an odd lack of shows about this age group, especially given that things are so interesting at that time in life. There’s sex, there’s drama, there’s drinking, there’s comedy. Nothing’s too serious yet, but everything feels super-dramatic. You can still act a little like a kid, but you’re trying desperately to grow up and make all the right decisions. Greek got all that, capturing the angst of Felicity and the free-spirited fun of ’80s college movies like The Sure Thing. As Cappie said (during that whole Gamma Psi accidental fire drama): “I know it may seem like the biggest deal in the world right now, but it was an accident. And some day it will just be a really good story.” College, in one pithy quote.

3. The pop-culture references. They were hard to keep track of, there were so many (one of our faves: the ZBZ patterning of their cover-up of the Gamma Psi fire after Criminal Minds and Scrubs plots). Just a few one-liners to remember … Cappie: “Happy Spring Break Evan Pompeo… of Grey’s Anatomy fame.” Casey: “Yesterday, Ash wanted to know why I have this smile, and I couldn’t think of an excuse, so I told her I was thinking about the rise and fall of Mischa Barton.”

4. The sensitive, nuanced, not-too-much-and-not-too-little portrayal of gay relationships. We love you, Calvin.

5. The mutual and public love affair between Greek and EW. See: EW’s multi-episode guest-cameo arc as Engineering Weekly. See also: Our extensive and drooly blogging on Greek. We’ll miss you, Greek! And we like to think you’ll miss us, too.

What about you, PopWatchers? What will you miss most about Greek?