It’s “school’s out” for the cast and crew of the PEN15 TV series. The Hulu series is coming to an end with its current second season which is being released in two parts. The final seven episodes will debut this Friday, December 3rd. While there won’t be a third season in the immediate future, the door is being left open by Hulu for the characters’ return.
An adult “traumedy” series PEN15 stars Maya Erskine, Anna Konkle, Mutsuko Erskine, Dylan Gage, Taj Cross, Taylor Nichols, and Anna Pniowsky. Erskine and Konkle play 13-year-old fictionalized versions of themselves, outcasts Maya Ishii-Peters and Anna Kone, surrounded by actual 13-year-olds and muddling through middle school in the year 2000. In this world, seventh grade never ends and the pains of growing up are inevitable.
PEN15 has reportedly been a big hit for the Hulu streaming service and Erskine and Konkle have talked about their plan for the show to run for three seasons. They’ve also discussed that filming during the COVID-19 pandemic made things much more difficult.
An interview with The New Yorker suggests that the upcoming second part of season two is considered to be the show’s third season. One way or the other, the upcoming final episodes will give PEN15 an ending. However, initially, the creators had different ideas on how to wrap the show.
Erskine proposed that in the final scene they smash-cut ahead twenty years, to a houseparty that Maya and Anna are attending. They are adults now—no more bowl cut, no more braces. “And you don’t hear anything, it’s just music,” Erskine said. “Anna looks and she sees Maya across the room, and they have this shared connection. And you don’t know, did they come together?” Erskine couldn’t sell Konkle on the scene’s ambiguity. “Anna hated the idea of them growing apart,” Erskine said.
While the show is coming to a close this week, Variety reports there could be more.
A Hulu representative confirmed the news to Variety, stating that Erskine and Konkle “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 [Erskine and Konkle] again,” the rep continued.
What do you think? Have you watched the PEN15 TV show? Do you plan to check out the remainder of season two on Hulu? Are you hoping that the characters return someday?