I'm a married 28 yr old male from Des Moines, IA. I was born and raised in Rochester, NY. It's about as far away from the UES, as you can get being that NYC is almost as far East in New York State as you can get and Rochester is an hour and a half away from Niagara Falls, which is as faw west in NYS as you can get.
I loved the OC. It was and possible is my favorite show of all time. So when I heard that JS created Gossip Girl, I had to check it out. I've been hooked since the pilot episode. I also checked out Chuck, but it was on Monday opposing Monday Night RAW, when it debuted. Fortunately, I decided to checkout the series from the beginning two years later, when my wife and I were lacking compeling TV. It was awesome. Our whole household got hooked and we quickly got caught up; you can thank me for the extra ratings Josh (lol). I would say that it is my favorite show presently and might challenge the OC for my favorite of all time, especially if it goes off with a better bang than the OC did. Don't get me wrong; I loved Ryan and Taylor pairing together, as I love mismatched couples, but that last season was lame.
My favorite character of all time is Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl; I loved Taylor Townsend from the OC but she didn't join the cast until season three and was a minor character, overall. My favorite couple ship is DAIR (Blair and Dan) from Gossip Girl and they haven't happened yet.
I do believe that Josh, Stephanie, and the rest of their team has had them planned for end game (who ends up together at the end of the series / forever (lol) since the pilot episode. I believe this because all of the banter that the two had during the first two seasons and the fact that they didn't have them hook up, become a couple, or even friends to this point. I think they planned on not tainting them and waiting until really late to start the ball rolling. I think they plan on having Dan be her "hero." I think they will have her complete him. She pushes him unlike anyone else does and I think she will influence him to great distances. While I don't hate Serena and I think he makes her a better person, I don't think she'd end up doing much for him beyond their great sex life. Blair would do him wonders as he would for her. She'd finally be with a guy that wouldn't hurt her and would make her blissfully happy.