The big innovation in PEN15 is that Anna and Maya’s peers are all played by actual kids, and it’s remarkable to see how Erskine and Konkle blend so easily among them, without the show becoming a prolonged stunt. ... PEN15 is not a sendup so much as a deeply felt and utterly convincing homage to the girls they used to be.
Here to add a new demographic. I'm an older age metalhead, I watched the whole season 3 times in one week. I think this is one of the best shows i've seen in many years. I rewound the Lunch/Dolls scene at least 25 times. A lot of laughs, sad scenes, everything was great. For all who made this, Thank you :)
What distinguishes the series isn’t the cringe comedy. It’s the immediate sincere-weirdo voice, which powers PEN15 through an uneven but delightfully odd first season. ... When it works, though, it’s an idiosyncratic tribute to friendship at its most possessively intense.
The more physically convincing they become, the more emotionally rich and fascinating Pen15 turns out to be. It’s primarily a balls-out, Broad City-ish comedy throughout, but it also evolves to become keenly observant, wise and empathetic regarding the fraught nature of being a friend, a daughter or just a girl of that age.
PEN15 feels like an experiment that proves reasonably successful and probably shouldn't be repeated -- a sketch stretched to its limit, which would only be marred by trying to put a "2" on the end of it.
In its best moments, PEN15 is like a juvenile version of Broad City--creatively bold, out there and simple in its directness as it follows two best friends testing the bounds of friendship. ... But the downside is the repetitive sketch feel of the whole thing, which can wear thin over 30 minutes.
Trying to remember what it was like when I was 13 was too difficult. I had to look at home-movies of my kids when they were 13 in 1998 2000 and 2002 to get a better feel of what it was like to be a young teen in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
My experience as a 13 year old in the 1960's was more similar to PENU15 where things were not highly controlled by the parents.
But, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, school and church dances were highly controlled by the mothers and youth sports were highly controlled by the fathers (and some mothers in girls sports).
I don't feel PEN15 represents accurately what was going on in 2000 for most 13 year olds.
But, sure - I imagine a lot of 13 year old kids had experiences similar to PEN15.
Likewise, I'm thinking the Maya character was too over the top to be anywhere close to realistic.
So, there is nothing wrong with a series like PEN15 not being extremely realistic. Regardless, my feeling is that the Maya character should have been written, directed and acted in a more realistic way and the other casting could of also have been more realistic. Maya's older brother Shuji (played by Dallas Liu) was a more realistic, better written, directed and acted character and I felt more interesting to watch.
If there is a 3rd season of PEN15, I hope the Maya character is re-written and re-formulated into something better.
Beware, all the 8/9/10 ratings are shill-bots. Notice how "too enthusiastic" they seem to be. Anyway, this series portrays a 7th grade none of lived or that anyone will live. This could've scored well on portraying the many genuinely awkward situations that plague both girls AND boys as they enter their teens, but instead it's wasted on the perspective of two girls that run into situations most kids don't see until high school or college. And the boys are mostly objects for the girls to play with, so, take that, guys? Go counter-sexism?