Watching Hulu’s newest series, “PEN15,” will take you on a nostalgic trip back to middle school.
The two main characters, Maya and Anna, played by the creators of the show, Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle, portray 13-year-old outcasts attending their first year of middle school in the year 2000.
You remember the year 2000: gel pens, frosted lip gloss, Spice Girls, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, CD players, landlines.
The show’s plot is torturing, humorous, witty, emotional and insightful. The relationship between Maya and Anna is sweet and refreshing by their constant love and strength for each other. As the show goes on, the audience starts to forget that two 30-year-old women are acting as teenagers.
Erskine and Konkle tackle multiple teenage experiences such as your first day of class, peer pressure, racism and masturbation. The evening before their first day, Maya cuts her hair to look like actress Sarah Michelle Gellar, which results in her mom giving her a bowl-cut. While at school, a cruel prank is played on Maya. She and Anna believe that two popular boys have a crush on Maya, but in reality are pulling her leg and say she is the “UGIS” (ugliest girl in school).
Some other shenanigans that happen include Anna stealing a fellow classmate’s thong, Maya creating an AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) account to meet guys in her town and both of them smoking a cigarette for the first time.
There are 10 episodes to this series, with no talks about a second season being created yet. Fans are hopeful, especially with positive feedback the show has been receiving.
This show gives a surreal experience that covers the insecure, yet overly confident teenage girl who is in her years of naivety. “PEN15” never feels fake, even as the two actresses go back 19 years to show how they felt during their teenage years.