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The Office's Brian Baumgartner Thinks Dwight Schrute Is One Of The Greatest TV Characters Of All Time

Simply based on the number of TV series that have come and gone over the years, it's safe to say that the majority of them leave the average viewer's radar soon after their conclusion. However, there are a few shows, like NBC's "The Office, which continue to be part of our TV-watching culture, somehow living in a state of immortality. When Brian Baumgartner joined the "Podcrushed" podcast, he explained his theory on why the single-camera comedy continues to resonate with fans. To Baumgartner, the longevity of "The Office" can be traced back to the detailed complexities of the show's characters.

"The Office," which first aired in 2005, paved the way for the emergence of the documentary-style, single-camera comedy genre. Led by Steve Carell, the cast perfectly complemented the brilliant writing, both contributing to nine successful seasons. The series wrapped up for good in 2013, though it still lives on plenty of fans' current watchlists. Since "The Office" ended, Baumgartner has noticed that the series has an emotional trigger for current viewers. He explained, "The number of people that come up and say to me, 'I watch the show every night before I go to bed' ... 'the show brings me comfort.'" And in Baumgartner's opinion, this positive connection to the show stems from its unique characters. Particularly, one who grows beets on his farm.

Dwight Schrute's complexities make him relatable

Despite closing up shop nearly a decade ago, NBC's "The Office" continues to be a part of many TV viewers' lives. On the "Podcrushed" podcast, Brian Baumgartner said he believes that although the show's characters resonate with a wide audience, it's the specific idiosyncrasies of each one that gives the series its perpetual life. To Baumgartner, nothing represents this theory more than Rainn Wilson's Dwight Schrute. "There's an idea in our television, film, whatever that you have to make the show or the characters universal, right?" he asked. "I think what I have found now ... The opposite is actually true, that the more specific the environment the characters are [in], actually, that is what makes them more universal."

For Dwight, as Baumgartner explains, the character's specifics bring a level of comfort to the show's ongoing viewers. And that's what makes him one of the greatest characters created for television, ever. "Well, he is a Trans Am driving beet farmer who likes anime and is a volunteer Sheriff's Deputy who likes hard, heavy metal rock music, but is kind of a nerd," Baumgartner said of Dwight. He went on to explain how the show's location also enhances its relatability. "It's Scranton, Pennsylvania, the place is real. It grounds it in something." Baumgartner concluded that the real-life location, combined with the detailed characters, contributes to why the show never feels dated.