When I sat down with Skins boss Jamie Brittain after the conclusion of series five, I hoped to chat with him about the overtly queer nature of the show’s third generation, but in typical Skins-writer fashion, he turned the story on its head. After five years of writing and helming the award-winning teen drama, Jamie Brittain announced to me that he is leaving the show he helped his father co-create. I met the news with a mixture of wailing and teeth-gnashing, but when I finally pulled myself together, Jamie talked to me about series five, about the responsibility of writing gay characters, and about the legacy he hopes he’s leaving behind.
AfterEllen: Congratulations on the success of the fifth series, Jamie! I thought it was amazing!
AE: There was a definite Skins feel to the fifth series, but I think you’re right — there was something fresh and distinct happening there too. It was certainly a lot less bleak than series four. Was that on purpose?
AE: Yeah, this series was definitely the funniest one yet. David Blood — just thinking about him right now makes me laugh so hard. I loved the reveal that Grace is his daughter.
AE: What was your favorite episode of this series?
AE: Where did you film Alo’s episode? I want to live there.
AE: If I move there, I wonder if I can have the Skins production team come in and cross-process the sky for me every morning. Actually, I don’t think I could live there at all after seeing what happened to Alo’s poor cow.
AE: Jesus. That banana!
AE: Wow, I did not put that together! Good callback. And, of course, Asian Fanny Fun made a return.
AE: OK, I have to ask you about the queer sensibility of this series. What I love about Skins, what I have always loved about Skins, is that no character — regardless of gender or sexuality — is box-able.
AE: I don’t know if it was the chemistry of these actors or what, but it seemed like anyone could hook up at any time. I watched the finale with a good friend, and about halfway through it she was like, “I’m pretty sure this is going to end in an orgy.”