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Some thoughts on Oz

RogueDemonHunter

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I was watching one of the featurettes from the season 4 DVD about Oz, and it got me thinking; that out of the characters in the credits he had the smallest role in any of the plot lines. Don't get me wrong, Oz was awesome to just kind of have around, but the only revelations regarding him all only spanned one episode (except for Lover's Walk- Amends, but thats only 3 episodes). I never really noticed before that he was peripheral- meaning he never really took the forefront of many plots. The point I'm trying to make is that while he had just as much screen time as the other regulars, he his role was more similar to a recurring character. Now I'm not complaining about the writer's handling of Oz, more of an observation.

Any thoughts?
 

Sacrifice

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I liked Oz, but I don't think he was central to the plot at all. If the character had never existed I would have still loved the show the same. I'm not dissing Oz because I do like him. I think if Alyson and Amber hadn't had such amazing chemistry, Oz would have remained with Willow and been killed to further Willow's story arc i.e. dark Willow as opposed to Tara taking that role.
 

Jodast

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He was kind of like Mandy Hampton is season one of the West Wing, he was there, he was fun to watch, he was definitely part of the gang, but he wasn't really necessary. Your observation that he could just as easily have been a recurring guest star is a good one. Sadly it's also one that Seth Green himself made and decided to leave before things got too stale.

I don't begrudge they guy wanting to further his career, but it would have been nice to see him pop up in the later seasons to help out and/or make things interesting for WIllow and Tara. Could you imagine how awesome it would have been if he had turned up towards the end of season 6? Or after Tara had been brain-whammied by Glory? I woild have liked to see him back. Also the laconic comic genius was amazing.
 
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Robb Stark

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I don't think that Oz was integral to the core guts of the show, but at the same time I think he added a big dimension to the show as well.

Would it still have been an awesome show if Oz had never existed? For sure. But I think some of the entertainment level would have gone with him. Oz never carried the show like Buffy, Angel and Willow did, but he was a big part of what made the show so funny and witty. I think without Oz it would have been a lesser show.

And actually, I think that losing Oz hurt more than most people realize. S4 gets criticized for a lot of different things, but one that slides under the radar is that they didn't just lose their male lead in Angel, they lost Oz as well. Those two (and Cordy) were a big part of the show that weren't replaced well (sorry Riley). I didn't care for Anya that much while Spike picked up the ball for Angel in a way, one of the best comical characters just vanished. And while Tara is a fine character, she's not anywhere near the same as Oz.
 

drizzlydaze

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The very nature of Oz's character means he won't have as much of a role as the other Scoobies. He's awesome that way.
 

Joan the Vampire Slayer

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I'm currently wading through It, and it was only like halfway through that I realized Seth Green was in it. Weird to see him as a kid.

Anyhow, yeah, I thought Oz was a terrific, interesting character with a lot of potential. I loved him and Willow. I think that Joss intended for him to have a larger role, but it was Seth that quit.

I was watching one of the featurettes from the season 4 DVD about Oz, and it got me thinking; that out of the characters in the credits he had the smallest role in any of the plot lines. Don't get me wrong, Oz was awesome to just kind of have around, but the only revelations regarding him all only spanned one episode (except for Lover's Walk- Amends, but thats only 3 episodes). I never really noticed before that he was peripheral- meaning he never really took the forefront of many plots. The point I'm trying to make is that while he had just as much screen time as the other regulars, he his role was more similar to a recurring character. Now I'm not complaining about the writer's handling of Oz, more of an observation.

Any thoughts?
 

whitewolf

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You're missing the point of Oz. The point of Oz is to be awesome, that is all and he does it well.
 

AnthonyCordova

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A minority opinion here:

Meh, I can't get excited about Oz. For the most part he was just there. Total wallflower in at least half of all his scenes. I personally don't agree with people who think he made significant contributions to the show, or that him leaving changed things in a significant way. I also don't think he had especially clever or funny lines. In that sense he was no different than anyone else: everyone equally (more or less) had clever/witty/funny things to say, across the board. Oz wasn't as developed as most everyone else either. And I personally didn't find his chemistry with Willow to be anything special. Furthermore, for as smart and introspective and articulate as people credit him (and as the writers intended?) he frustrated me to no end with how poorly he could express his feelings and explain himself, especially with regard to Willow. In fact, it kind of seemed like that particular problem was one of the reasons why his relationship with Willow unnecessarily failed. He certainly had a miserable time explaining his feelings and rationale clearly in the context of Willow. I could only shake my head while watching all of that. Total Fail.

I definitely think he's an overrated character, all in all. I don't hate him but he left no mark on me (besides mild irritation by the end with the way his relationship with Willow fell apart).
 
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thetopher

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The irony is that 1) Seth Green partly wanted to leave because he agreed with the assessment that his character was unnessessary,
and 2) also if he had stayed he would've finally gotten a major story arc, the whole werewolf/verucca thing would've taken place over the entire season, but they had to change it when Seth said he wanted to try other things. Which is why the whole thing has this abrubt feeling (having said that its still miles more emotional and sadder than say, 'Into The Woods', where another character leaves)

Also I would point out that Oz was only on the show a short while, (basically a regular for 1 season- the 3rd one) and his influence there mainly changed Willow's character, just like Anya did to Xander in S4, if Oz had stayed on the show he would've gotten more stuff to do, I'm sure of it.

Plus, imo, Oz is never overrated, not everybody digs Xander's 'trying so hard to be funny' quips, its nice to have somebody who's funny in a different, quieter way. The comedy on Buffy is always a big part of its appeal. :)
 
Still a Scoobie
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Blaze

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Yes, Oz is kinda special. Remove him entirely, and the show remains pretty much the exact same. But he did bring something special. He's one of my favorite character of the early seasons, probably because he's the kind of guy I'd like to hang out with in real life. At the same time, I'm glad that he left when he did. I'm sure they could have done something interesting with him, but I think him leaving was an important aspect of Willow's character development.
 

Fuffy Baith

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And actually, I think that losing Oz hurt more than most people realize. S4 gets criticized for a lot of different things, but one that slides under the radar is that they didn't just lose their male lead in Angel, they lost Oz as well. Those two (and Cordy) were a big part of the show that weren't replaced well (sorry Riley). I didn't care for Anya that much while Spike picked up the ball for Angel in a way, one of the best comical characters just vanished. And while Tara is a fine character, she's not anywhere near the same as Oz.
I kind of agree with that. The loss of some characters that were fun to watch in seasons 2 and 3 were never replaced well. Spike was a good comedic relief but that only goes so far. Tara s4 is also kind of boring and I don't care about her relationship with Willow like I do with Oz. But that is only one of the problems post high school, there are many more that I won't get into now.

Oz is one of my Favorite characters and I was sad when he left. I would have loved to see him come back in the later seasons. I was happy to see him in the comics. I agree that he didn't have much to do. All of the "Oz" centric episodes are about him being the wolf. Phases, Beauty and the Beasts and Wild at Heart. I think that's part of the problem is that aside from being a werewolf and Willow's boyfriend, the writers didn't know what else to do with him. He's just the cool guy in the band, which is awesome but Oz being the kind of guy he is made it hard to give him bigger parts in the story.
 

Lyri

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I liked Oz. I agree that he didn't really add much to the show in an overall, arc-sense, but I do think he added something. And I agree with [MENTION=11975]Robb Stark[/MENTION] in that he was missed as a character.

I loved his deadpan delivery of his lines, the way he was just present in every scene, even when he didn't say anything. The scene in whatever the ep name is (I'm watching it as I type this and I can't even remember, lol) where he knocks over the spell to destroy the box of Gavrok when Faith's holding Willow hostage - he OWNS that scene, but he says nothing. Not one single word. And I love that.

I also love the relationship that was building between him and Buffy in S4. He just seems to GET Buffy and I thought they would have made great friends if Seth had stuck around.

As much as I adore Tara and I love Willow's relationship with her, I did miss Oz.
 
Still a Scoobie
Still a Scoobie
All of that. 100%
thetopher
thetopher
Seconded.
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Robb Stark
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A
Aimee
Yes! His delivery of lines was perfect. Him and Willow were the cutest couple too. I love Tara but I think that Willow had better chemistry with Oz.

Kean

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Oz is a character that I find would have been amazing in a novel and can be overlooked on screen. It was through reading some fics from his POV that really made me see what he had and the potential his character could have brought to the later seasons of BTVS. Oz sees people in a way that maybe only Angel and Giles saw people. He saw in how the related to wider group, community or cause. He just had this depth that was desperately needed. And like a lot of other people, I enjoyed him and Willow more than I like Willow and Tara. That's nothing to do with gender or sexuality, it has more to do with me preferring who Willow was around him than who she was after he left.

To be honest, Angel, Cordy or Oz coming back in the later seasons would have made all the difference in my book.
 
Lyri
Lyri
I agree with everything but the Willow/Tara stuff, lmao
HisMrs
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Robb Stark
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The Bronze

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Oz was a great character. One of my favourites. He had a really sharp mind which meant his humour was always top notch. He also brought a lot of calm and maturity to the group. The brilliant thing about the high school years was that we started off getting to know the core 4 and then slowly other characters were added and developed and they contributed to the whole feel of the show. I don't think the show as a whole reached the same heights after Season 3 and I think Oz leaving along with the others was a big part of that.
 
Still a Scoobie
Still a Scoobie
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Fuffy Baith
Fuffy Baith
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Aimee

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I loved Oz. I was gutted when he left. But he was under-used. He was a werewolf! Surely they could have used that more!
I think he was in the credits because (maybe) they were intending to give him more to do. I heard he chose to leave to pursue a movie career and that he was a bit bored because he was given so little to do.
As much as I love Tara (well, I love her in season 6 - prior to that I find her a little dull. Sweet, but dull) I think Willow had better chemistry with Oz. Those two were SO cute together.
 

Give Us A Kiss

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Don't get me wrong, Oz was awesome to just kind of have around, but the only revelations regarding him all only spanned one episode (except for Lover's Walk- Amends, but thats only 3 episodes). I never really noticed before that he was peripheral- meaning he never really took the forefront of many plots. The point I'm trying to make is that while he had just as much screen time as the other regulars, he his role was more similar to a recurring character.
This probably happened because Oz had a personality that you would typically see in a recurring character.
However, I think that they should have 'fleshed'out his character more.
 

Evil Slayer

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I love funny Oz, of course, but endearing Oz is pretty wonderful, too. Joss has said he included this bit below so that viewers would (have to) fall in love with the character, and it would have worked on me:

OZ: Sometimes when I'm sitting in class - you know, I'm not thinking about class, 'cause that would never happen. I think about kissing you. And it's like everything stops. It's like, it's like freeze frame. Willow kissage... Oh, I'm not gonna kiss you.

WILLOW: What? But... freeze frame!

OZ: Well, to the casual observer, it would appear that you're trying to make your friend Xander jealous or even the score or something. And that's on the empty side. See, in my fantasy when I'm kissing *you*, you're kissing *me*... It's okay. I can wait.



Except I'd already fallen in love with him earlier, with:


OZ: I'm gonna ask you to go out with me tomorrow night. And I'm kinda nervous about it, actually... It's interesting.

WILLOW: Oh. Well, if it helps at all, I'm gonna say yes.

OZ: Yeah, it helps. It... it creates a comfort zone. Do you wanna go out with me tomorrow night?

WILLOW: Oh! I can't!

OZ: Well, see, I like that you're unpredictable.



I can't say I think he's the most quotable, exactly - some of his best stuff doesn't pull-out that well, and relies more on context - and his impeccable delivery - than some others.

But he is one of my especial favorites of my imaginary boyfriends, is what he is.
 
Fuffy Baith
Fuffy Baith
I love it! I love Oz!

CassieSkye

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I don't have much to add. I'm just piping in to say I adore Oz. I was really heartbroken when he left. I'm not sure what I love about him so much since he didn't have huge influence on the plot of the show. He's easily one of my top 5 Buffy characters, though. Maybe it's his down to earth attitude, or how he loved Willow so well for a while. Whatever it is, he was so special to me.
 

Altoz

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I liked the character and the underlying theme, which was control over his wolfside and the risks he ran in falling in love with Willow despite it. Although, I would have done a storyline exploring the moral implications of werewolf hunting. Like. uh, hello? Werewolves are only furry and ferocious under the full moon and they're not fully lupine. If you kill a werewolf, you also kill the human being that that werewolf was. I have some major moral and ethical problems with that idea, and it makes me wonder whether there aren't darker aspects to werewolf hunters, like psychosis and elements of serial killer in their psychological makeup. Gib Cain didn't seem to care that in killing the Ozwolf, he would have also murdered Oz as a human. That suggests something highly unpleasant lurking inside.
 
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