The finale ends with so many twists. Can you talk through writing it?
It's one of my favorite finales for anything I've ever done. I structured it to be this rollercoaster of ups, downs, twists and turns. Ja'mie loves to do shocking things and manipulate people, so she's the perfect device to take you down one road and deliver something else.
I also thought the actual ending was really cool. After all of her homophobic ranting and goings on about how amazing she was as a private school girl, Ja'mie is at a different type of school and she's decided to be a lesbian. The poor girlfriend is obviously really into her and Ja'mie's just using her as a status thing. That's just Ja'mie; she can be put in any environment and decide she's going to run it.
You interviewed real teenagers as research for the show. What did that teach you?
I find that teenagers don't change. They're not that different now than girls that I went to school with. The way they interact now is different only because of the technology, the Facebook and social media stuff. There's more communication outside of school and this idea that you present yourself in a certain way online. When she first meets Mitchell, Ja'mie always talks about their relationship in terms of how they interact online. "I sent a selfie" and "I sent him an emoticon." That's how she relates.
What surprised you?
The homophobia and the racist stuff really shocked me. I was interviewing a lot of girls and I'd be like, "That's not a good thing to say."
Does the show have a takeaway message for teenagers or their parents?
It's all about what's funny. I want people to sit at home and go: "Oh My God. That's my daughter!" or "That's me!" I want it to reflect reality because I think that's funny. The show wasn't intended to be a statement. Ja'mie's just a selfish, self-centered, nasty character.
The series is finished here [in Australia], and I've been doing DVD signings. I went to an area on the weekend in Sydney, which is the hub of all private schools. My signing was 90 percent private school girls exactly like Ja'mie all lining up and going, "Oh my God, it's me!" There are all these rumors about which school it's based on, and these girls are so excited by the idea that I might have done some reference to them. I was like… Have you not seen how awful she is?
Sounds like they're not in on the joke…
Yeah, it's funny. I guess that's what happens when you represent someone on television -- all they see is them. They don't see that it's not a very good portrayal of them.