So, I kind of did this backwards. While everyone was watching and raving about The Umbrella Academy on Netflix, my best friend told me about and convinced me to watch Hulu’s new show PEN15, instead. And of course, after I start watching and am in the middle of PEN15 it seems everyone else jumped onto watching it while I plan to move onto The Umbrella Academy!
Alright anyways, PEN15 is about these two best friends, Maya and Anna, entering their first year of middle school in the year 2000. It’s an adult comedy and the two main characters are played by two adult women while the rest of the kids in school are played my actual thirteen-year-olds. I know, I knooooow. I know what you’re thinking: It’s weird and how does that even work?! I don’t know how, but it just does work. As you watch you forget that Anna and Maya are played by adult actors, they completely look and act like kids! It’s the adult version of middle school that we never had when we were actually in middle school.
This show made my friend and I (and so many others that grew up as 90’s kids and were in middle school/high school in the 2000s) feel seen! It’s like they followed us around while we were at school and finally made a TV show about us! It’s a funny and awkward show. Like the characters are awkward, but so were my friend and I, so we can definitely see ourselves as the characters and can relate.
I like a lot of things about this show! It’s a nice blend of awkward and cringy-ness with the right amount of humor thrown in while also dealing with some more serious themes and issues, like underage drinking, smoking, parent’s arguing/possibly divorcing, masturbation (this is in the third episode, so fair warning, but it’s done in a funny way), among many other things, as well!
It’s really cool to notice and be able to appreciate all the things they have from the 90s and early 2000s and all the references that they’ve included in this show. It definitely holds a nostalgia factor for me, which makes me appreciate it on another level.
I know this show maybe isn’t for everyone and not everyone will appreciate it as I do, but if you like adult humor or don’t mind it, then you should definitely give this show a shot!
Do you think you’ll watch this show now? Have you watched it already? Did you have a favorite part or episode? Favorite/least favorite character(s)? What shows are you currently watching? Let me know in the comments below!