It's a staple plot of any romantic comedy: two people meet, hate each other, reluctantly spend time with each other for some convoluted reason (or reasons) then end up falling in love.
But here's the problem: "Gossip Girl" is not a romantic comedy, and Dan and Blair aren't star-crossed lovers. That's why Monday's episode, "The Kids Are Not Alright" didn't sit right with me, because while everything else was going on -- Serena and Chuck both scheming against Lily, and Lily scheming right back, new foils for Chuck in both business and romance, Nate's father's ongoing adjustment to post-prison life -- it felt like there was SOMETHING going on between Blair and Dan that we weren't quite privy to.
Aside from that, I did like the story between Blair and her mother, if only because an adult finally called a kid out on their bullshit on this show. Even Lily fell a step short of doing that with Chuck and Serena, choosing to work the angles instead of being direct. But Blair's mom just came right out and told Blair she was acting like a child -- regarding an internship she wanted with her latest "mentor of the minute" -- rather than sugarcoating it, or even worse letting her get away with it.
Yes, it's good that they're forcing Blair to grow up, even if they're not doing it with any of the other characters (seriously, how many times can Chuck, Serena, even Eric, make the same mistakes?), but that doesn't mean she needs to date Dan, or have a fling with Dan, or even hook up with Dan. Just no.
Lastly, this week's episode introduced Russell Thorpe and his daughter Raina, the aforementioned business and romantic foils for Chuck, and they're played by Michael Boatman and Tika Sumpter respectively. That's a big step for a show that has primarily taken place in a white-washed version of New York, and I've always liked Boatman's work, so he's a good addition to the cast.
For more coverage of the 2010-11 television season, visit the AdamReisinger.com TV Reviews home page.