AE: So, can I ask you about the Minky thing? I’ll bet you’ll be surprised to hear that half of AE’s readers want Mini and Franky to end up together, and half of them want Franky and Matty to end up together.
JB: Matty and Franky are such charged characters. I’m quite proud of the fact that you really don’t know what either of them are going to do next. And Minky. Ah, Minky. Minky Minky Minky. I was thinking of your readers when I wrote the Minky kiss in Grace’s episode, but there were already plenty of Minky shippers before we did that scene.
AE: They were talking from episode one! But, I mean, there’s something there, from Mini’s end for sure, right?
JB: Oh, totally.
AE: Does she know?
JB: Mini? I think she’s confused. Liv called it a “girl crush” and maybe that’s all it is. Or maybe it’s something more. Mini doesn’t know. It’s something we’ll be exploring in the next series. We’ve only just started with these girls.
AE: Mini doesn’t seem scared of her feelings for Franky, which is kind of shocking.
JB: If you read the novel — which is great by the way, and I’m not just saying that because my little sister wrote it — you get some juicy stuff about Mini along those lines.
AE: Cool! I can’t wait to read it. I’m not asking you to label any of your characters, but is it fair to say that Liv and Franky and Mini are all three pretty sexually fluid?
JB: I think that would be a fair assessment. But then again, and this is where me and Bryan keep getting into trouble. I think everyone is at least a little bit sexually fluid. I know a lot of people don’t agree with that, though. Weirdly, I think Liv is the least sexually fluid out of all of them. But I think she’s a really brave girl who’s willing to go a long way to find love.
AE: Yes, I totally get that vibe from Liv.
JB: Hence the scene with Franky in the finale.
AE: I wondered if maybe there was something there with her and Mini, from the past, that we weren’t privy to.
JB: Read the novel! There’s a totally baller scene between those two in there.
AE: In an interview recently, Dakota Blue Richards said her favorite finale scene was a kiss with Mini that was cut. You didn’t want to drive the lesbians wild over the summer or something?
JB: [laughs] I actually can’t remember the content of that scene, or when and why it was cut. But the episode we put out is our final statement, and cut scenes are exactly that, cut. They don’t count. Anyway, they got a kiss in episode 7, and by my books, it wasn’t bad.
AE: It was the opposite of bad! OK, it’s time to talk about the hard stuff. After co-creating Skins with your dad, and writing the show for five series, you’ve decided to step away from it.
JB: Yes. I’m really sad to leave, but I’m confident that the writing and production team I’ve left behind will do an awesome job.
AE: I want to ask about your Skins legacy, but you’re so young to be talking about a legacy! Did you accomplish what you set out to accomplish when you first pitched the show?
JB: Absolutely. Which is not to say there’s not more to do. I’ve just said everything I wanted to say. It’s time for new writers to come forward and portray their truth about teenagers. I’ve been allowed to write exactly the scripts I wanted to, which is unheard of for a first time writer of my experience. That has been just the best thing, creatively.
AE: What were your favorite scripts to write?
JB: Jamie: Series 2 episode 6, Tony’s weird one. I kept expecting someone to tell me to stop, to reign in the craziness, but no one did. I watched it fairly recently and I am very proud of how seriously f–king mental it is. And series 5 episode 2, Rich’s episode. Just because I think I finally found a good comedy voice whilst writing it.
AE: Tony’s second series episode is better than Black Swan!
JB: It’s basically the same as Black Swan! Except I’m no Aronofsky. On the plus side, I think my sex scene in that episode is filthier than anything in Black Swan.