'The Office' Stare Machine Is the most Hypnotizing & Nostalgic Thing You'll See Today
There's a new website called The Office Stare Machine, and it does exactly what you think it does: continuously play 706 clips of various characters in the American television show The Office staring at the camera. It's a new project from the people behind The Office Time Machine, a website that plays clips of characters in The Office making historical and cultural references for every year in recent history.
The website really captures the post-modern spirit of the show. While silent, the frequent stares in The Office speak volumes about the emotional state of the characters. Rather than have the characters express these emotions to each other, they break the fourth wall and silently reach out to some unknown cameraman behind the scenes.
What's more, each character's star is unique, like a beautiful, special snowflake at a desk under fluorescent lighting. The website even notes the emotions expressed most often by each of the characters: Jim has the most sad expressions, Dwight has the most devious expressions, Pam has the most worried expressions, and Michael Scott has the most happy expressions. But these stares aren't just singular emotions; they speak volumes about the characters. So what makes each character's stare so unique?
Oh, Toby. Toby's stares are often just reflections of his attitude at work: defeated. He stares because he seems to have no idea what else to do and no one else to turn to.
There are many shades of Michael, but only one stare is his and his alone. It's a stare that starts off gleeful and confident, but is then slowly overcome with the realization that something is wrong.
Often devious, sometimes not. But Dwight's stare is always cold and calculating, constantly informing the cameramen of the weakness he sees in others.
Kevin's stares are usually happy, and always blissfully unaware of what's actually going on around him. Whether grinning or simply staring blankly, his eyes are always dead.
Pam's stares are often worried, but a better term for them is "exasperated." She usually looks dead on into the camera and then quickly looks away, almost embarrassed to be feeling this way around her coworkers.
Jim has far and away the most stares out of any character on The Office. And it's no surprise as to why — with just a raise of his eyebrows, a furrow of his brow, and a pursing of his lips, a simple stare from Jim can portray anything from sarcastic confusion to dejection.