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The Office's Rainn Wilson Thinks The Show Made Some Mistakes After Steve Carell's Exit

One of the most popular TV shows ever made, NBC's "The Office" still has an ardent fanbase obsessed with its vast ensemble of characters and the talented actors who portrayed them. Though some have pushed their career far from the cheery comedy of the iconic workplace mockumentary (such as Steve Carell and John Krasinski, who now race to darker projects like Hulu's "The Patient" and Prime Video's "Jack Ryan," respectively), much of the show's cast are delighted to revel in their unique success.

From podcasts to books to self-funded sequel aspirations, the cast of "The Office" is far from through with their time at Dunder Mifflin. This may be due to the relatively lukewarm response received by the final two seasons, with many fans feeling that the Season 7 exit of Carell and Michael Scott effectively hindered the show's future success.

In 2012, Rainn Wilson — who played idiosyncratic careerist Dwight K. Schrute — took to the internet to share his thoughts on Seasons 8. Though his opinion is shared by many fans of the series, his favorite aspect of the post-Carell "The Office" may be divisive.

Rainn Wilson loved the Tallahassee storyline

Wilson participated in a virtual question-and-answer session with Redditors (known as an AMA or "Ask Me Anything") r/IAmA, allowing "The Office" fans to pick his brain about the iconic series ahead of its ninth and final season. In the same thread that saw Wilson provide his take on the British version of the show, u/jlomann asked a relatively open-ended question — "How do you feel about 'the Office' post-Steve Carell?"

Surprisingly, Wilson got candid, seemingly sharing his honest thoughts as respectfully and positively as he could. "I think some mistakes were made in 'The Office' last season [Season 8] creatively," he began. "That being said I think some of the best, most interesting, and funniest stuff we've ever done was last season. The Tallahassee stuff was pretty sublime I thought [sic]. The episode when I had an appendectomy was brilliant [sic]." Despite Wilson's fondness for this period of the series, it ultimately led to one of the most polarizing storylines in "The Office" history, likely turning off some fans of the show for good.

The storyline eventually led to Nellie becoming manager

Colloquially known as the "Tallahassee arc," this sequence of episodes saw "The Office" use its serialized, half-hour format to tell a longer, complete story (somewhat of a rarity for the series as a whole, with notable examples like the "Michael Scott Paper Company" arc in Season 5). Told over the course of six episodes in Season 8, the story followed Dwight and a team of Scranton employees as they traveled down the coast to oversee the establishment of the first brick-and-mortar Sabre store.

It's understandable why Wilson would hold the storyline in such high regard, as Dwight's increased responsibility allowed him to develop as a character into a viable regional manager candidate (his previous stint in the boss' chair ended in chaos after he brought a loaded gun to work).

The fallout from the trip to Florida shifted the status quo for the series in an arguably negative way. In addition to Jim Halpert ( Krasinski) narrowly fending off the advances of a coworker and Dwight nearly falling victim to Robert California's (James Spader) cold business machinations, the Tallahassee arc also resulted in the absurd promotion of unlikable newcomer Nellie Bertram (Catherine Tate) to regional manager. For a brief moment, it felt like this development would ruin "The Office" for good.