When Pen15 first released, it came with a lot of questions. Was it a satire? Was it a sketch? or Was it yet another attempt by Hollywood to use our collective nostalgia for profit? After all, the Hulu comedy’s initial calling card was that two 30-something women were playing seventh graders, surrounded by a supporting cast of actual adolescents, in the ’90s show filled with landline phone calls, awful outfits, and realistic recreation of teenage AIM etiquette. PEN 15 Season 2 premieres its first seven episodes Friday, September 18 on Hulu.
Maya and Anna’s Friendship Put Into Test
In season two of Pen15, the relationship between Maya and Anna is stretched almost to a breaking point. Anna struggles with her parents’ divorce and looks for self-empowerment while offering undying support to Maya. Maya explores her sexual awakening, continuing to lust after her season-one crush. Anna’s feeling of betrayal resonates when she discovers that Maya’s been getting her period for months already. And never told her will likely speak strongly to anyone who watched a friend develop before them. Puberty is more than physical, we all came to learn so quietly; it’s an emotional evolution, too.
Both seasons of PEN 15 force us to think about torturous clothes shopping back into our heads. And while we look for plenty of ways to laugh about them, these are the instances of growing up that has never seen so honestly depicted on any other show. As awkward and painful as they can be to watch, the intimacy of reliving the traumas of middle school is what makes you love PEN15. Anna and Maya’s best friendship makes us recall what it was like growing up with our friends. While all of us enclosed within the same confusing walls of what that all meant. We made sense of it together, imperfectly.
The Show Reflects The Friendship Between Two Female Friends
The show Pen15 perfectly reflects the understanding of female friends. The relationship is portrayed which looks like during adolescence is rare to find on TV. Everything that Maya and Anna feel is shared between them. What continues to stick them together is that they’re never conscious with each other, comparing themselves while talking on the phone, or yelling made-up incantations while holding hands in the school greenhouse, or awkwardly taking a joke one step too far and pretending to be a baby and breastfeeding mom in the school hallway.
Pen15 Season 2: A Must Watch
Pen15 will have you screaming at your fellow viewers over how hard it is to watch friends and families fight, and a half-hour later you’ll be howling with laughter at their wild, endearing antics. Typically, half-seasons can make for a disconnected experience, as you’re diverted from the story before it delivers on its set-ups. Not only do we really need some happiness in 2020, but confidence is contagious — and Season 2 has the confidence to spare. Don’t miss it.