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Snowflake Challenge Day 14

armed and dangerous
It's almost impressive just how bad I am at doing this on time. And by "this," I'm referring to everything fannish, as well as in RL. Time management is a constant challenge.

In other news, I skipped days 6-13 and I'll go back and do them starting January 16. In theory at least. 

Day 14- In your own space, write a love letter to Fandom in general, to a particular fandom, to a trope, a relationship, a character, or to your flist/circle/followers. Share you love and squee as loud as you want to. 


So, I wasn't sure what exactly I wanted to write my love letter to at first, because I'm generally enthusiastic about a number of things in my Fandom. I would've written abou Buff as a show, but I spend an appalling amount of my free time doing that and convincing friends to watch it. So far, I've converted seven, and convinced two relapsed fans to go back and finish the show. So, I'm going to write about how much I love Oz, and Oz/Willow in particular.

Oz is not the most popular character in the Buffyverse. Oz isn't the most prolific character, the most dynamic character, the most powerful character, or the empiricall bes character, but he's my favourite character, all the same. I love Oz's dry sarcasm, his offbeat personality, his devotion to Willow, and his calm stability. He's great, because Oz is completely unique amongst the show's characters. Of course, every character i Buff is unique and flawed and very well realized, but Oz is unique in that he is the embodiment of calm. Oz is even-tempered, patient, thoughtful, and chill, and that makes him a rare commodity in a cast populated by high-energy, impulsive, emotional, and excitable characters. Also, I'm just insanely fond of him. {Full disclosure: I can't watch "Wild at Heart" or "New Moon Rising" without sobbing hysterically for at least a minimum of 10 minutes. It's a little ridiculous.}

When I tell friends abou Buffy I, without fail, mention Oz every single time. I latched onto Oz almost immediately, as early as his first appearance in "Inca Mummy Girl," I'm pretty sure. I can't tell you why I became so attached to Oz when I watched early season 2 for the first time, but I certainly remember that I always got ridiculously excited when I spotted Seth Green's name in the list of guest stars for an episode. Now, I've finished the entire run of the series (an Angel as of three days ago) and I've re-watched most episodes with Oz multiple times, but he is still unmatched as my favourite character. He's not the easiest character on the show to understand, but once you do get Oz, it's hard not to love him.

Oz is far more interesting than a lot of fans of the show give him credit for, because he's so incredibly internal. I recently read a meta essay o Buff which dismissed Oz as not actually a character, and, while I agreed with a lot of the essay, I think that attitude is incredibly dismissive of a character who, while characterized far more subtly than many of the other characters, is nonetheless fantastic. Oz isn't just Willow's boyfriend who happens to be a werewolf, he's a character in his own right who struggles with the morality he, and others, impose upon him, who is deeply committed (even in the Wishverse) to fighting evil, who is incredibly intelligent but is not motivated by any desire for knowledge or power, and who is seriously uncomfortable with sharing his emotions. Oz, just like every other character in Sunnydale, has his strengths (his calm, mature outlook on life), his weaknesses (his inability to ask for help or communicate his emotions), and his quirks (a penchant for cracking more jokes than usual to cope with impending doom). Oz is a fully realized character, even if he was introduced to serve as a love interest, and, in case I hadn't made it clear, I think he's awesome.

I could continue for a while longer about why I love Oz, why I can identify with his character because we share a dry sense of humour and have similar communication issues, and why he was the most underused character i BtVS but I won't, simply because I need to talk about just why I ship Oz/Willow so very much. I can't recall the exact quote, but Seth Green said in some interview that he thought that Willow and Oz's relationship would last because it was the kind of relationship that everybody should have, because it was two people who loved each other and made each other happy. That's essentially the crux of why I ship them, because, giant sap that I am, I like happy ships, and Willow and Oz were very clearly happy together. They balanced each other well, Willow's excited babble contrasting Oz's calm quiet, and Oz's far more laidback musician providing an excellent counterweight to Willow's perfectionist braniac, and they helped each other grow. Over the course of their relationship, Willow became more self-confident and Oz became a little less detached, and their relationship was an overwhelmingly positive time for both of them. They did have their issues, most notably Willow's brief affair with Xander and Oz's poor handling of the Veruca mess, but they overcame them with aplomb (except for that time when Oz couldn't talk about his feelings and just left town). A great deal of the romantic relationships i Buff would be classified as unhealthy (i.e. Willow's manipulation of Tara, especially her memory alteration-which wa definitely buse), but Willow and Oz are, for the large part, a healthy romantic relationship, with two happy people being happy together. Plus, they're just genuinely sweet and adorable and so obviously in love, that I can't imagine not shipping them.

In conclusion, Oz is excellent, and I will ship him and Willow for as long as I'm involved i Buff fandom.

{Quick notes: I work at the Rape Crisis Center in my area as a youth outreach advocate, and we do a lot of work and education concerning healthy and unhealthy relationships, so that's how I ended up forming most of my opinions regarding how healthy relationships in the Buffyverse are. Most of the romantic relationships in the show have some, if not many, elements of unhealthy relationships.}

Comments

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velvetwhip
Jan. 15th, 2013 12:27 am (UTC)
I agree with you that Oz is dismissed out of hand quite unfairly. I've written him a lot more in the past year and am finding him really interesting to explore.


Gabrielle
tiny_white_hats
Jan. 15th, 2013 05:05 am (UTC)
Oz is very interesting, but he can be a pain to write sometimes. I'll have to make sure to check out the fic you've written with him!
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