- 51 Seasons
Pen15 is a coming-of-age comedy series that premiered on Hulu in 2019. The show is created, written, and produced by Maya Erskine, Anna Konkle, and Sam Zvibleman. The title of the show is a play on words, as "pen15" resembles the phrase "penis." The series follows the lives of two best friends, Maya and Anna, as they navigate the ups and downs of middle school in the year 2000. The catch? Despite being played by actresses in their thirties, Maya and Anna portray themselves as 13-year-old versions of themselves, surrounded by an actual cast of middle schoolers. From the first episode, it's clear that the show is not afraid to tackle some of the more taboo topics of adolescence. Within the first few minutes of the pilot, Maya discovers masturbation and shares her newfound knowledge with Anna, who is more reserved and unsure of how to react. As the season progresses, the girls explore their sexuality and experiment with drugs, all while trying to fit in with their classmates and maintain their friendship. One of the standout elements of Pen15 is the attention to detail paid to recreating the year 2000. From the music and fashion to the technology and pop culture references, the show takes viewers on a nostalgic trip back in time. The soundtrack features iconic hits from the era, including songs by Blink-182, N'Sync, and Britney Spears. Maya and Anna's outfits are straight out of a Delia's catalog, complete with chunky platform sandals and colorful plastic chokers. At its core, Pen15 is a love letter to the awkwardness and uncertainty of adolescence. Maya and Anna's friendship is the heart of the show, and the actresses' performances are both hilarious and touching. Despite the absurdity of seeing grown women surrounded by actual middle schoolers, the show manages to capture the essence of what it feels like to be 13 and struggling to find your place in the world. Watch Pen15 online to experience a show that will make you cringe, laugh, and maybe even shed a tear or two. The series is a refreshing take on the coming-of-age genre, and the unique premise sets it apart from other shows about adolescence. Whether you're a '90s kid or simply looking for a show that captures the trials and tribulations of growing up, Pen15 is a must-watch.