Pen15 Fans Just Got The Worst Possible News
Comedy is a broad genre, one that’s so big that it contains several smaller subgenres that are all unique in their own ways. One such category that has gained mainstream appreciation in recent years is called cringe comedy: a form of entertainment that finds its roots in social awkwardness and an over-the-top lack of self-awareness that typically leads characters to make fools of themselves. Think “The Office,” “The Last Man on Earth,” or one of the most innovative examples of the bunch, Hulu’s “Pen15.”
The brainchild of Maya Erskine, Anna Konkle, and Sam Zvibleman, “Pen15” is a not-so-fictional look at what it’s like trying to navigate the uncomfortableness of middle school. Erskine and Konkle play the leads, Maya Ishii-Peters and Anna Kone, who often find themselves in situations that aren’t exactly unfamiliar to real-life seventh-graders — albeit with some comedic enhancement. Their antics have scored “Pen15” numerous award nominations as well as a second season which is currently 18 episodes deep.
Though it may sound like “Pen15” is currently on a hot streak, fans of the show are in for the worst news imaginable.
Pen15 is about to say goodbye
As revealed by The Hollywood Reporter, a mere two years after it arrived, “Pen15” is coming to an end with the second half of Season 2. The final batch of seven episodes will premiere on Hulu on December 3, 2021, thus putting the series to rest. This decision comes from Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle themselves, who note that they’d been working on the series in some form or another for over a decade. They felt they were overdue for a break, but in case they choose to return to the project down the line, Hulu has apparently left the door open.
This bit of news may come as a surprise to fans of “Pen15,” who were anticipating the program sticking around much longer, but in truth, the move has been a long time coming. As the COVID-19 pandemic kicked off, Erskine, Konkle, and the entire “Pen15” crew had to make some major adjustments to filming as well as the stories they intended to tell. They told The New Yorker that they’d always planned for it to end after three seasons, but the issues presented by the public health crisis coupled with their own career developments played a hand in fast-tracking the finale instead.
Maybe someday “Pen15” will continue into a third season, but until that day comes, we’ll just have to enjoy the two seasons Hulu has to offer.