Gossip Girl Boss on the Big Dan/Blair Smooch: 'It Was a Long Time Coming'

After weeks of “Will they or won’t they?” suspense, Gossip Girl‘s Dan and Blair finally took their flirtation beyond flirtation with a big kiss in last night’s pre-spring finale. What’s more, the eventful hour also saw the departure of a major recurring character (Ben), the return of Serena’s pa (William Baldwin), and… did I mention a certain seismic smooch? To help us make sense of the madness, and tide us over during the seven-week hiatus, here’s exec producer Josh Safran with an exclusive post-mortem-slash-sneak peek.

TVLINE | After last night’s kiss, can we now say that Dan and Blair are moving in the direction of a romance?
I don’t want to say that or not say that. We made a very conscious choice to take Dan and Blair slowly. We’re well aware that we can put couples together and break them up much faster than other shows can. And we really wanted to build what we felt has been there since season 1 in “Bad News Blair,” when Dan and Blair had their little moment in the hallway where they talked about their problems with their parents. So we just sort of realized that they had this long brewing friendship-slash-whatever it was. So I think what you can hope for is that Dan and Blair will continue to be connected and that story will continue to grow.

TVLINE | You’ve explored every possible romantic combination over the past four years. What sets the Dan/Blair combo apart in your eyes?
We always knew we wanted to do this. We actually toyed with doing it last year, but we felt that it was too soon. We wanted to wait as long as possible — and that helped the story. Because it felt like it was a long time coming and you were ready to go there with them. We hope to continue following it, maybe in unexpected ways.

TVLINE | Skeptics would say this Dan/Blair thing is just a temporary diversion until Blair returns to Chuck. Did you leave open the possibility that if Dan and Blair really clicked — and for my money they have — that maybe it’s not all about Chuck and Blair?
One thing we are very conscious of — and I know some fans get upset about this — is we really try to treat the characters as living, breathing, well-rounded individuals. And we’re often surprised by where their journeys take them; they open new doors for us all the time. It’s not like we’re saying, “No, there’s only this one couple and that’s it.” We really believe in going on a journey with them, which I know for some people can be frustrating. But for us it can be creatively fulfilling to go, like, “Wow. Dan and Blair have had this connection that has always been there. And they are maturing and growing older and whereas before they might’ve looked down on that connection maybe they can now find some solace in that connection. That is a fun thing to witness. Chuck and Blair are always going to be connected in their way, and Dan and Serena are always going to be connected in their way. But that doesn’t mean that there won’t be new roads to go down that might be different than what we initially anticipated.

TVLINE | Are you a Dan/Blair fan?
I’m a fan of all the characters. [Laughs] I really am. I love them all.

TVLINE | But when you watch them together…
I wrote that scene in “Bad News Blair” with the two of them in the hallway, so I’ve been a fan of them from the beginning. But I’m also very much a fan of Chuck and Blair and Dan and Serena.

TVLINE | Talk to me about the decision to do a freeze-frame of the kiss at the end of the episode as opposed to something more traditional, like a fade-to-black or just letting the kiss play out.
We’re off the air for seven weeks so we wanted to make a cliffhanger out of it. We often follow kisses all the way through and we stop after they pull apart and the question would be, “What are they thinking?” We really wanted instead to let the audience project what that kiss is. “How long does it go on for? What happens after?” They could be kissing for seven weeks. [Laughs]

TVLINE | Will we pick up mid-kiss when the show returns or are we jumping seven weeks ahead?
We are not jumping seven weeks ahead.

TVLINE | So we’ll still be in that moment?
I am not going to say that.

TVLINE | Switching gears, was last night Ben’s farewell?

TVLINE | So have you pretty much closed the book on the Juliet story?
Not exactly. As you witnessed by Lily turning herself in, that arc will continue for the rest of the season, it just changes in certain ways. First they were going after Serena, then you realized it was really Lily who did it, then these six episodes were Lily coming to grips with what she did, and then the last five episodes of the season will follow that through. It’s one big arc about paying for your sins and what that means, which is paralleled by Chuck dealing with the sin that has come to light about his father.

TVLINE | Speaking of which, why did Chuck take Russell at his word? Isn’t it possible this was just another one of his manipulations?
Keep watching. What you are saying is not something that slipped by us. We have a plan.

TVLINE | Why was Chuck so desperate to connect with Blair after the bombshell was dropped on him?
Whenever Chuck learns information that impacts him, she’s the only one he can talk to. That’s the person he connects with the most. That’s the person he can let his guard down around and [confess] what he’s really feeling.

For more from Safran, including the latest on the rumored returns of Georgina and Jenny, stand by for this week’s Ask Ausiello. In the meantime, hit the comments with your thoughts about Dair, Chair, and other assorted GG mash-ups.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. lka7 says:

    I have been squealing like a little school girl over all the Dan and Blair interaction. It’s the cutest thing ever! I have been waiting far too long for them to get together. Although, if they don’t get together because they freak out over the kiss, I still want them to have their cute moments. Dair definitely has potential to be a couple with substance. They’re both so intelligent and artistic, and yet were raised with completely polar opposite lifestyles.

    – and on the topic of Chuck and Vanessa ever getting together…wtf…what the hell do they have together? So random…not gonna happen, I won’t allow it. But Nate and Jenny is another couple I’m still waiting to happen. Dan&Blair and Nate&Jenny just needed time to mature and grow as people before they were ready to get together. The time has come!

  2. Ally says:

    Ok every single pro Dair comment is amazing.. and every Chair comment seems like its coming from the same 14 yr old girl. Just saying.
    Dan and Blair are incredible and I havent felt like this about a tv couple in so long! They have so much potential and could actually have a happy and HEALTHY relationship. I’m just praying the writers will go all the way with them. Dair are gaining more and more fans and i really hope the writers are aware of this!

  3. Alicia says:

    Ok, so I don’t usually comment on these things but I will. I am/was a massive Chair fan but became so utterly angry at where the writers took that relationship. I really loved the passion they had but also the sweet tender moments they had together but then it’s like the writers tried to kill it by making Chuck abuse Blair over and over and then fall in love at the drop of the hat with these other women (when the thing that made Chair so special was the fact that only Blair captured his heart!)
    Now Dair, as much as it pains me, is a much healthier relationship. They are good for each other and helping each other grow where as Chair became stuck in this endless cycle of abuse and then falling back into bed with each other. That being said, I want Dair as a friendship, I don’t feel they have the staying power as a couple and I want them to be solid, valuable and loyal friends to each other. I would love Chair back but I don’t know how they could possibly redeem Chuck and his behaviour to make him worthy of Blair which sucks because their chemistry was amazing!! If they were to get back together I would have to forget a whole lot of episodes where they ruined things for me!
    To finalise, GG is just a show thought and I would much rather watch Chair as a couple then Dair but if I were to pretend this is real life, Chair is a terribly destructive relationship and Dair is wholesome and good. *shrugs*

  4. Dair Lover says:

    This season averaged 1.8 million viewers for the first half; it’s averaging around 1.5mill since it came back… 1.5 mill vs. .3 mill that apparently left because they can’t stand Dair (not the flawless and exciting Bass Industries or Affidavit storylines). Who really deserves the writers’ support?

  5. Naazneen says:

    The thing about Dan and Blair is that if anyone had told us last year this is where those characters would be, we would all be screaming BLASPHEMY from the rooftops. But TPTB have handled this potential romance so well its almost blasphemous to think that they WONT go there – as in a relationship – with these two. They are honestly like chalk and cheese. Even more so than Dan was with Serena. Blair is a snob, she is witty, sarcastic and oh so vulnerable underneath it all. I think it would be criminal if the writers dont give us some Dair relationship drama. They are delicious together and i think Dan and Blair navigating a relationship with each other will be equally delicious! Its way too early to predict a DAIR win over CHAIR. But who knows where things will go? Who would have predicated that Joey ends up with Pacey?

  6. Ali says:

    Just my two cents, but…
    I honestly think Blair and Dan lack any sort of real sexual chemistry. They’re funny together, that’s true, but in my experience you need more than a ‘pal’ in a lover and partner.
    Chuck will always be the man for Blair. They hurt each other so much because they have a deep, truly powerful connection. They’re soul mates- they know it, the writers know it- hell, I’m sure that the majority of people shipping ‘Dair’ know it.
    Chuck and Blair need each other. They’re destructive and dangerous and sexy and fierce and incredible, and I think once they both grow enough as characters to realize they are enough for each other without the games, they will always find their way back to one another. He challenges her, and fights with her, and she’s 100% herself with him. Everything she is, he loves, and everything he’s done, she can understand. She can forgive him anything, because she knows who he is, at his core, and she respects that person.
    PS. The ‘Dair’ kiss will almost certainly end in an “Ew, WTF was that” moment. Just saying.
    Wow, deep. Rant over.

  7. Ali says:

    Oh, and quickly-
    I think its interesting how people become disillusioned with Chuck because of his relationships with ‘other women’, but I think all this does is emphasize the importance of his relationship with Blair. She taught him to love. Before her, he couldn’t care for anyone but himself. Now, he has opened himself somewhat to the concept of love. Will add though that Blair is the only person he has ever said ‘I Love You’ to. Just throwing that out there :p

  8. Sophie25 says:

    I really hope that Dair will be endgame!!! I LOVE THEM TOGETHER!!!<3<3<3

  9. Nikky says:

    Can’t get enough of DAIR scenes and …. DAIR kiss !!!! WOW PERFECT WRITING ! :Applause:

  10. Mia says:

    This is awesome. I was really worried till now that they might take Dair for a few episodes and drop it like it never happened like in a lot of cases in the past, so, am very much glad to know that they are taking it slow and would definitely give some quality Dair stuff…

  11. adinda says:

    dair were so cute together, but no matter what, at the end of the end blair should be back to chuck’s lap :)

  12. Alex C says:

    Blair/Dan has been a resurgence for the show. It brought me back and I love that the characters are getting personal growth since their interaction. Blair/Dan hopefully will get a chance to become great.

  13. alexandra says:

    I want chair and serenate!!!

  14. GossipG says:

    DAIR is the way to go. I was about to give up on Gossip Girl. DAIR is the only thing that keeps me watching. It seems all the other characters have nothing else to do in their life but to remain trapped in their little world – blind to the extension of the sky.

    Their “scheme” has became repetitive and immature. I don’t see the characters grow up that much. They were on top of their games in high school in Season 1, but this season they are juniors in college already, they should show some sophistication. Chunk needs to go back to school. He seems to not ready to handle anything by himself.

  15. Krystal says:

    Dan and Blair are the 2 strongest characters off of Gossip Girl. They are basically THE show! At first I was skeptical. Now I am actually tuning into Gossip Girl! Go DAIR!!!!!

  16. Alicia says:

    These comments perfectly illustrate the contrast in maturity level between Chair and Dair fans.

    Seriously though, this show has gotten so ridiculous. I don’t care about Chuck and all hi daddy issues and saving his daddy’s company. Seriously, if I wanted to watch a show about business drama I’d watch CBS or something.

  17. Dair says:

    I stopped watching gossip girl after season 2. Dair is the sole reason I have started watching again, and I am hooked on anything to do with them. They are the one couple who are together for a REAL reason and that is why I think it has clicked so well. I will stop watching gg when they end dair.

  18. Jenn says:

    DAIR is the main reason I’m still watching this show. I could care less about Ben and Bass Industries. I quit being a Chair fan the MOMENT Chuck tried to trade Blair for his hotel to creepy Uncle Jack Bass. How could any so-called Blair fan want her with a man who does that to her???? And then to top it all off, he sleeps with Jenny Humphrey. Sorry, but Chair is dead to me now. Chuck could’ve cared less about Blair for weeks now, but then he no longer has Raina, and learns traumatizing information about his father, then he suddenly wants her again. For what? So she can be his punching bag? I like the relationship between Dan and Blair. It’s more mature and sweet. It’s progressed naturally and isn’t abusive like CHAIR were. If Blair ends up with Chuck in the end, after everything he’s done to her, what kind of message does that send to young women?

  19. kim says:

    i have abandoned the Chair ship quite a long time ago and have been riding the Dair ship for quite some time now because i’ve liked them since Bad News Blair with them talking to each other on the hallway and dan seems to be the guy who always finds Blair when she’s broken or at her most vulnerable and he did tell her that she deserves someone who’d make her happy and i believe that they’re the new pacey and joey from dawson’s creek with a slight tinge of seth and summer from the oc.. so yes, i’d admit that i’ve betrayed the Chair ship for some epic Dair…

  20. Lea says:

    Dan and Blair are AMAZING. I am completely enamoured with them. I need this storyline to continue and grow and become an EPIC love story :)

  21. julie says:

    my favourite couple of GG is and always will be chuck and blair! I like the idea of Blair and Dan even if it is really really strange but NOT for long time !!! chuck and blair are my favourite caracters and the favourite caracters of all the other fans that I know!!
    this couple is the most interesting thing of that serie and is the only reason why me and a lot of people are true fans !!! so PLEASE and the story with CHUCK and BLAIR !!! ( maybe a wedding ??? ;) ) to break definitively this amazing story would be a HUGE MISTAKE, a lot of fans would STOP watching the show if the most important of that serie died !!! and sincerely the middle of the season 4 is sincerely disappointed : notning is hapenning !!! the three first season are much much much better than this one !! I hope the end of the season will be more interesting than the middle ;)

    ps: big fan of the music of gossip girl!!! and sorry for my english i’m frensh :)

    xoxo everyone ;)

    • julie says:

      I made a mistake it was not “and the story with chuck and blair ” but:
      “end the story with chuck and blair getting married it would be the best of the best of that serie !!! ”

      love chuck and blair!!!!!!!!!!!

    • rgg says:

      Much as I respect your opinion, I think it is an exaggeration to say that breaking CHAIR is a huge mistake, much less, that “lots” of fans will stop watching it if they don’t happen. Here are my two cents:

      1. Breaking up CHAIR is actually a GOOD thing. Having my DAIR bias aside, I think being apart makes them mature as characters. It’s called character development. :) Blair has started her journey to that and we are yet to see Chuck’s. If you remove yourself from being a CHAIR fan and be just a BLAIR fan and CHUCK fan, you’d want this for them. It’s a journey they have to go through.

      2. On your second argument, as much as there are a lot of CHAIR fans out there, I don’t think they compose majority of the fanbase. To enumerate, we still have: the solid Blair, solid Chuck, solid other characters, and all other fans of GG pairings that you can think of. Thus, it is in my opinion that there will still be lots who will continue watching the show even if the whims of some won’t be met.

      Afterall, based from observation, many have already jumped ships (me being one of them).

  22. Alicia says:

    Chair fans are so self-righteous. It’s like they think the writers have to do something to appease them. I’m not even sure if I hate Chair or just there fans. I think for the most part, I just don’t want to see them together because I don’t think these looneys deserve to get what they want.

  23. Alyssa says:

    I seriously can’t even read down this page of comments without becoming upset. I mean yes, I’m a Chair fan, so i obviously don’t like Dair. But the major problem is that most of us, or at least I know I have, given up arguing about it. You say one thing about how Chuck & Blair are meant to be and Dair fans start attacking. I personally haven’t watched the show since the mid season hiatus because I knew Dair was coming. I just can’t sit by and watch Chair get destroyed. I get that the Dair fans have been waiting four years for this or whatever, but come on, do you have to be that harsh to people who just lost their favorite couple on television. I know I will come back when Chuck&Blair come back.

  24. bing p. says:

    hope dair happens! that one kiss that they shared must somehow give blair and dan the satisfaction that indeed this is the cause why they are hiding it from everybody a new love is starting! and since dan’s character is loyal and blair too only not in the open but she sticks with the one she loves, but their partners are not loyal, maybe this is it! fate! so much as i like chuck but he keeps hurting blair she needs gan to bring out something good out of her. love it so much i can’t wait till the next showing always looking for hint in the net oh! please give us more preview.chuck and blair had a strong connection but more on physical (lust based) i hope dair has a soul connection heart mind and body all in one!

  25. em says:

    Great interview, Michael! I love how Josh mentioned how people change and mature as they grow older. I feel that too many shows have static characters and it doesn’t quite make sense in real life. I can see the endgame as Blair and Chuck, but not until they actually grow up (which I don’t think has happened, at least when they’re together). I would love a Dair ending, but considering I’ve been a fan since Season 1, my comment is laced with cautious optimism.

  26. Clement says:

    Oh, for heaven sake… to those Chair fans who keep complaining about the show’s low ratings and blaming them on Dair, pls remember that with DVR and TiVo being more and more popular nowadays, all shows are going through the same ratings decline as GG. As a matter of fact, The CW is one of the most DVR’ed networks in America as most of its shows are targeted at a younger demographic.

    It’s difficult to gauge the true ratings of GG but I can assure you that Dair is certainly not to blame for any drops in the ratings. As a matter of fact, the show has never been this fresh and revitalized.

  27. Kaila says:

    I, along with all the other Dair shippers, am still so happy about that kiss. One thing I really want to note is how amazed I am that I find Dan way more attractive now! Perhaps if you have time you can better understand what I mean by reading this article in which Lonely Boy is featured!!! http://exm.nr/hCWadU

  28. laile says:

    why is chair fun so rude and nasty? hahaha, its only a show, don;t make it your life, chair fans, just calm down, you dont need to blame everything to DAIR, its only a show its not real!!! beside chair relationship doesn’t send out a good messege to young girls out there, its like your all saying its ok to be with ASSHOLE BF lolz.. it makes me wonder? is your bf like CHUCK OR DAN?

  29. Braebee says:

    I was a longtime Chair fan…but Chuck has not treated Blair well for a long time and has seeming fallen in love firt with Eva and then Reyna. Lame! Finally Blair is trying something new and emotionally healthy for her character, Dan. They compliment eachother in ever way that Chuck and Blair are toxic for one another. Chuck and Blair are hella sexy….but Dan and Blair are romantic and sweet. I agree with other who compare Dan and Blair to Pacey and Joey from Dawson’s Creek. They were not supposed to be end game but the fans responded. That is exactly what I see happening with Dair….and I love it!

  30. Yani says:

    I have been won over by DAIR <3 I have been a chair fan from season one until the last 5 episodes proving to me how great Blair/Dan would be. Like most CHAIR fans, I've thought of the fact that they went thru a lot together. Then I'd realize, it should be "how blair went thru a lot". Yah, Chuck has issues but betraying and taking Blair for granted REPEATEDLY is just beyond for even someone like him. t's just tiring after some time. Serena is not much of a catch either. As blair put it on the beginning of the season "you were just too easy in Paris". They kinda deserve each other. Dan can give Blair pure and simple love and Blair brings consistency in the relationship. Just let chuck be the sexy billionaire who would look at Blair like she's the one that got away. Knowing he can't have everything might be actually good for chuck. As for Blair, after being cheated on, hurt, and sold like a commodity by Prince Not-so-charming, she definitely needs a good guy. She can just buy heaps of antihistamines for her Brooklyn-related allergies. Then again, she might need the antibodies :)

  31. I hope they really end up together! Dair had been an amazing team since the last 4 episodes. I love how the producer said that they don’t want them to be like the other relationships that are like a drive through chain. ENDGAME for me

  32. lola says:

    OMGGGGG! I LOVE DAN AND BLAIR!!!!! Honestly, they are probably the best “new” thing on the since chuck and blair. All my friends and I watch the show now because of Dair!!! Everyone I have talked to loves them. But we all know in the end, Blair and chuck will be together but as of right now, I love Dan and Blair. Best episode. EVER.

  33. DeeDee1Whoa says:

    I waited so long for Dan & Blair to get together! And through the last few episodes I hoped it would finally happen… Then we got the kiss, it was an awesome episode about them. And I look forward to the continuation! Dan & Blair as a couple (or even friends) are really interesting & cute! I’m so happy for them! Can’t wait for the new episode!!!

  34. kia melhor says:

    i like the way the episode ended even though it was a very huge cliff hanger so to say.. i like how it made me feel more anxious and excited as the day of the next episode goes nearer and nearer! and i’ve been waiting for Dan & Blair from the time they had their hallway conversation, just the two of them.. yey DAIR! ^0^

  35. joanna says:

    Blair and Dan would be such a cute couple together. it’ll give the series more taste ans excitment. chuck and blair are good together but, i guess its time for a change :P . Dan and Blair have a lot in common that they dont know about, so its cute that Blair has changed .

  36. amanda sechrist says:

    I am so surprised that Dan and Blair have so much chemistry…I hope that they really push this storyline to see how it goes. I love Chuch, but its time Blair’s character grew a little more with Dan!

  37. Sam D. says:

    NAIR and DAIR fans should unite to put an end to all this Chair madness.

  38. auma says:

    every week i watch the dair to happen but frustatingly its not happenning….wats goin on???bring it on….

  39. Wow,it would be so awesome if Blair and Dan got together,would be the highlight of the whole series!!! I still remember that scene where Dan and Blair had a heart to heart in the hallway,they kinda click together and Chuck and Blair have a connection bt they jst shouldn’t be together, Leighton and Pen are my two fav actors of the gg show,sigh,gossip girl is great n have the bestlooking cast and everything but let’s face it,there’s no denying that Leighton(Blair) and Pen(Dan) and Ed(Chuck)are the only Best and Worthy actors,I cringe when Blake (worst from the rest of the cast) and Chace n even at times the rest of the cast acts!!

  40. Vanessa says:

    I recently started watching the show…I am obsessed with it!!! The only reason to watch it is CHUCK & Blair-they have to end up together!!!

  41. Henry says:

    Blair chose chuck in the season finale,hope you enjoyed your short lived victory…pathetic ‘incompetent’ morons…