In a sea of blue and black writing utensils, Pen15 is an actual rainbow gel pen of a TV show. And if that sentence makes absolutely no sense to you, you’ve clearly been missing out on what is one of the most original comedies on television right now. But when the second half of Pen15’s second season drops on Hulu on December 3, it will be a bittersweet moment for fans of the series, as The Wrap reports that the upcoming seven episodes will indeed be the show’s last.
On Monday, The Wrap confirmed that Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle—co-creators (along with Sam Zvibleman) and stars of the middle school-set series—have mutually decided to end the show with its highly anticipated second season.
“Anna and Maya are the stewards of Pen15 and Hulu is extremely supportive of their vision and decisions around the series,” a source with knowledge of the discussions told The Wrap. “While they feel the story they wanted to tell has come to an end with the upcoming second half of season 2, Hulu will continue to leave the door open for more Pen15 in the future and look forward to working with them again!”
In the series, which kicks off in the year 2000, Erskine and Konkle play themselves as 13-year-olds while surrounded by a cast of actual 13-year-olds. Which is both part of the show’s charm, and what makes it painfully awkward to watch at times, as Erskine and Konkle revisit their teenage years in all its gawky angst. While it tackles all of the typical tween tropes likes first kisses and sibling rivalries, Erskine and Konkle also mined their own teenage years in order to go deeper, as Erskine deals with racism and Konkle revisits the painfulness of her parents’ divorce. The series earned three Emmy nominations in 2021, including a nod for Erskine for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for “Play,” plus Outstanding Comedy Series.
Shortly after the series premiere in 2019, Erskine told The Wrap that while making the series could be cathartic, it could also be painful.
“It wasn’t fun in some moments… To go back to some of those traumatic memories,” Erskine said. “And we didn’t anticipate that fully when we were writing it, but it ended up being cathartic and strangely healing because other people, after this show came out, would reach out and say, ‘Yeah, that happened to me too,’ or, ‘I felt that same way.’ So, we felt less alone. I felt like I got some closure from sharing the things that I felt so scared to share.”
The final seven episodes of Pen15 will arrive on Hulu on Friday.
(Via The Wrap)