After watching yet another atrocious installment of this season’s Gossip Girl, it dawned on me that for the first time in 5 years, I am enjoying 90210 more than Gossip Girl. This has NEVER happened before. Gossip Girl has always been a staple in my TV diet – my necessary weekly foray into a world of Drama, Distress and Debauchery, brought to you by Dior.
I recently rewatched the entire first season of GG, and I had truly forgot how much fun this show used to have. Not to mention how witty each of its characters were, coming up with my favorite one-liners as “That Mother Chucker” or “He’s such a Basshole.” CHEEKY! In season 1, social statuses were constantly in upheaval, secrets were exposed by the bucketful, and the audience was captivated with every carefully plotted take-down & clandestine rendezvous. As the seasons passed, the storylines became even more soapy, or just ridiculous (remember Rufus and Lily’s love child? You know, the one who was a central plot point and then was never mentioned again?). But one relationship storyline had fans in a tizzy – the romance between Blair, the Upper East Side Queen, and Dan, the Brooklyn-dwelling, Hemingway-esque outsider. Since Season 1, the show had been pushing Blair and Chuck as the will-they-or-won’t-they couple, throwing them together and then ripping them apart (both happened almost every episode). As someone who was thoroughly sick of the “Chair” drama, and a fan of friendship-turing-into-romance (see Joey and Pacey, Dawson’s Creek), I was absolutely thrilled with “Dair” becoming a couple. I thought it was a smart move by the creators. And I will tell you why!
Here are 3 GOOD reasons why “Dair” was a fantastic coupling:
#1: Blair and Dan were best friends before they started dating. In Gossip Girl world, one-night stands are practically mandatory, and relationships bloom and fall apart faster than any of Taylor Swift’s. But Blair and Dan’s friendship started slowly but slowly became the most consistent relationship on the show. and grew into the least dramatic relationship on the show. In one of my favorite episodes from Season 5, appropriately titled Crazy, Cupid, Love, Dan is finally ready to tell Blair that he’s fallen for her. However, Blair is busy trying to set up Dan and Serena because she believes that is what Dan wants. Blair corners him, not understanding why he seems so hesitant to go back to his (crazy, train wreck of an) ex.
Blair: Listen, you have nothing to worry about, Dan. Serena already likes you – you know that! Look, I’m telling you, just be your charming, wonderful self like you’ve been with me all year.
Dan: You think I’ve been wonderful?
Blair: Are you kidding me? Look at everything we’ve been through together! You kept it a secret when I found out I was pregnant, you shielded me from the world so I could deal with my paternity test and you brought me to a priest in my darkest hour. You wrote Louis’ vows for him, and then you saved me from my own wedding! Do I need to go on?
Blair: So. If you’re that guy with Serena how could she not love you? …You gonna make your move or what?
And he does make his move, as seen in the clip below:
With that kiss (and some minor drama), the relationship of Dan and Blair finally commenced. And how could it not have? The obstacles Blair and Dan tackled together (a few of those listed in Blair’s speech) spanned 5 seasons; unlike other relationships in Gossip Girl, we got to actually watch Blair and Dan fall in love. Which in turn made me a bigger believer, supporter and ‘shipper of “Dair.”
#2: In their relationship, Blair never treated Dan like an outsider. Which was the polar opposite of his on-and-off relationship with Serena, the other Queen of the Upper East Side. Since episode 1, Dan was portrayed as the boy from Brooklyn desperately trying to fit in with his Manhattan prep school peers. When he dated Serena, he constantly just felt like a visitor in “her world.” But once out of high school, the Gossip Girl characters did what we all do – grow up. The show became less about where the characters were from and more about where they were going. This new direction paved the way for Blair and Dan to be together successfully. During their relationship, Dan and Blair saw their differences as strength (rare on GG). Their ultimate end had nothing to do with social stature, an issue that has made a casualty of many a Gossip Girl relationship.
#3: Penn Badgley, Mr. Dan Humphrey himself, acknowledged his appreciation for the “Dair” storyline. In an interview with Vulture, Penn was asked if he enjoyed the Blair/Dan storyline in Season 5. His response: “I did, actually. Well, I didn’t like how it ended, because it was just kind of [draws in breath sharply]. But I do like the scenes with Leighton because I get to kind of interact in a fun way with her. When Dan and Blair are together, I think that’s him at his brightest, maybe.”
CHECK AND MATE.
This post is dedicated to my best friend, Sarah, for suggesting I write this entry and for being my biggest supporter!