Get your stick on earrings (used for the corner of the eyes), your cucumber melon body glitter, walkman and fire up AIM, because Pen15 is here. PenN15 is a Hulu original set in the year 2000 about two best friends starting seventh grade. Let me tell you….. It is perfection.
Pen15 was written by the main characters Anna and Maya
At first glance, it looks so cheesy. I have told people how great the show is, and they admitted they passed it and didn’t watch. Mentioning how old the main characters look when they’re supposed to be 13. Which I also thought, but I think that is the point. They are very clearly older than every other actor at that school. Everything is over the top, and cheesy and dramatic. However, all of that is what makes it work so so well. You even find yourself forgetting that they are full blown adults. Take my word, don’t pass it up, it was worth the watch. Plus, it is only 10, 30 minute episodes.
Pen15 is full on nostalgia
Within the first 7 minutes I heard three songs that just catapulted me back. I know people are obsessed with the 90’s, but the 2000’s were almost TWENTY years ago. It is about time it got its throwback, and it was executed perfectly. There were certain aspects of the show where it literally felt like I was watching me and my friends back in seventh grade.
There is a scene where they get on AIM and you vividly remember hoping the screen name you want wasn’t taken. The chaos of having one computer and fighting over when to switch to your friends screen name so she could message her boyfriend, while spelling as many words as possible wrong on purpose and using unnecessary abbreviations. The opening and closing door sound when someone signed on and off, frantically checking to see if it was your crush.
Pen15 really is an inside look at your average outcast seventh graders.
I was not in middle school in 2000, but it was close enough that it felt so familiar. Also, not saying everything is relatable for everyone, a lot of it didn’t apply to me, but the parts that did…..DID. Everyone had a boyfriend that lasted about a week, which most likely ended via a note delivered by a third party. But before you broke up you probably got a mixed CD from your man when he was wearing his best pooka shell necklace.
You probably called your best friend to plan your first day outfit. You can relive the joy of your parents letting you spend the night somewhere on a school night, which OBVIOUSLY resulted in matching outfits at school the next day. With your hair perfectly done, down to the two pieces of hair you pulled out of your ponytail to frame your face.
Pen15 pumps the 2000’s nostalgia also
The first thing you hear is Mandy Moore, that when I knew it was gold. They talk on home phones, and have a trendy “clear” phone that shows all the wires. Pooka shell necklaces run rampant. Every outfit looks like it came out of the Limited Too. There are trapper keepers, and dial up tones. They experiment with chat rooms and use clunky digital cameras. It is perfectly executed.
I hope I have sold you
It was almost cathartic to watch. It was like, wow, okay so everyone experienced this shit. Plus, it’s like, honest to god hilarious. I don’t think anything is funny, and I laughed out loud several times. Now I want braces and to be in middle school again, which how you know it’s good. Nobody wants to go back to middle school. However, Anna and Maya somehow make it seem nostalgic and missable with Pen15. They accomplish this as adults, acting like 13 year olds, amongst actual 13 year olds. Which seems impossible to pull off, yet they do. I am crossing my fingers and toes for a season 2.