Monday, August 8

‘PEN15’ added humor and heart to the hardest part of growing up

No period in life is more dramatic, transformative, or infinitely strange than the high school years. It is that universal truth that PEN15 understood, over and over. It’s nice to know, though, that Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle’s Hulu comedy ended on his own terms, it’s hard not to be sad about its end. Like your best friend, who cries compassion with you during your stupidest tantrum, PEN15 I just received it.

PEN15 ′The preadolescent take has always been what sets her apart. There have been countless programs designed to appeal to 11-13 year olds, from The babysitting club to the much more scandalous Riverdales and Gossip girls of the world. There have even been more instructional shows over this time period, shows like Big mouth that simultaneously poke fun at this age for adults and offer tweens a fun guide to their ever-changing bodies. PEN15 he never sought to relate to or educate modern high school students. Instead, her goal was to celebrate a very specific moment in Erskine and Konkle’s lives, one that was equally defined by intense love, low-waisted flared jeans, and deep heartbreak.

Photo: Hulu

It is a moment that I know well. Like Maya and Anna, I spent the 2000s in high school. I became obsessed with the ominous missing messages in AIM. I donned a bright blue eyeshadow and an even brighter pink lip gloss, convinced that I was exemplifying the height of fashion. I yelled at my mom and lost my mind to strange impulses, like wanting to buy an overpriced necklace for a cool friend for her birthday. And I had a best friend who meant the universe to me, a woman who is still the most important person in my life. To me, PEN15 It has always been a bit like a funhouse mirror. The image may be a little out of place, but the important details were always there.

The most important of these details, and where PEN15 has always stood out, has been in its portrait of the best friendship. When we first met Maya and Anna, they were straddling the heartfelt nature of childhood and the terrifying abysses of impending adulthood. His was never a perfect friendship. Anna never fully understood the racism Maya faced, nor was she understanding enough in the wake of Maya’s deeply disturbing blowjob. Also, Maya was often selfish and rarely tried to understand how Anna felt when her parents divorced. But through this sadness and disorder, their friendship became beautiful. The fact that they stood in solidarity and united at the hips despite never fully understanding what the other was going through gave even the darkest moments of this show a shred of hope. This duo began their journey by holding on to each other. They may have loosened their grip from time to time, but by the end of Season 2 it is clear that they will never fully let go.

It’s that sweet, quiet thesis that has made this Hulu comedy such a remarkable show over its two seasons. Life, the series argued, will always be confusing and difficult. But as long as you have someone you love on your side, you can tackle just about anything. Through your optimism, PEN15 He was able to make our most embarrassing years not only fun, but also a moment to be proud of. At what other age do people love as openly, loyally, and intensely as high school? There is no other time. There is something precious and wonderful about wearing your heart on your sleeve like that.

I will never waste my time in high school. But i will miss PEN15.

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