"PEN15" (2019-) | Sam Gall TV Review Issue #6 Gem Mint 10.0


“PEN15“ (2019-)

Creator: Anna Konkle, Maya Erskine, Sam Zvibleman

Director: Sam Zvibleman, Andrew DeYoung, Daniel Gray Longino, Alex Anfanger, Dan Schimpf

Writer: Anna Konkle, Maya Erskine, Sam Zvibleman, Josh Levine, Rachele Lynn, Gabe Liedman, Maxwell Peters, Jeff Chan, Stacy Osei-Kuffour, Andrew Rhymer, Jessica Watson, Vera Santamaria

Starring: Maya Erskine, Anna Konkle, Melora Walters, Dylan Gage, Mutsuko Erskine, Taj Cross, Taylor Nichols, Lincoln Jolly, Sami Rappoport, Anna Pniowsky, Dallas Liu, Brady Allen, Jonah Beres, Tony Espinosa, Ivan Mallon, Jessica Pressley, Richard Karn

Rated: TV-MA

Runtime: 30min

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Country: United States

Language: English

Available on: Hulu


"The comedic story of middle school seen through the eyes of two 7th grade girls dealing with the awkwardness of being a teenager."


You might like this if you like: Comedies, Dramas, Middle School Stories, Teenage/High School Stories, Asian Stories, 'The Lonely Island', Andy Samberg, Seth Rogen, Maya Erskine, Anna Konkle, Melora Walters, Dylan Gage, Mutsuko Erskine, Taj Cross, Taylor Nichols, Lincoln Jolly, Sami Rappoport, Anna Pniowsky, Dallas Liu, Brady Allen, Jonah Beres, Tony Espinosa, Ivan Mallon, Jessica Pressley, Richard Karn


Anna Konkle (left) & Maya Erskine (right) in "PEN15" (2019-)


If Seth Rogen had never tweeted about how incredible this show was… I’m worried at the thought of how long it might’ve taken me to discover it otherwise! Truly is up there with being one of the funniest and most brilliant shows I’ve seen!


These two incredible leads AND creators of the show; ‘Maya’ and ‘Anna’, played by Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle, are some of the most bravest and amazing human beings I’ve seen on camera or in real life! At the same time, they make it painfully funny with tears of joy all throughout! Mad credit to additional creator (who is not in front of the camera); Sam Zvibleman.


Mutsuko Erskine (left), Maya Erskine (middle) & Dallas Liu (right) in "PEN15" (2019-)

I think I had actually seen both Maya and Anna on Conan O’Brien’s show, on top of Seth Rogen’s tweet about their show, that helped give me the final jump to pressing play on Hulu’s “PEN15”. From Conan’s show, the only thing I knew going in was that they apparently played middle school kids very well, so my only takeaway was that they were young adults who were acting with actual middle school age actors which I found to be a really interesting aspect! I could immediately tell they were funny and had a strong connection and friendship which I think always helps for the on screen relationship and they certainly lived up to it! I think a female Asian lead who seemed funny off camera, was definitely a big sell for me too!


Anna Konkle (left) & Lincoln Jolly (right) in "PEN15" (2019-)

From the first episode I fell pretty hard in love with everything about this show! I didn’t know until the credits rolled that “The Lonely Island” team by Andy Samberg were the studio behind this / producers who have been some of my favorite human beings of all time since they graced our screens on “Saturday Night Live”!


Maya Erskine (left) & Taj Cross (right) in "PEN15" (2019-)

I’m such a sucker for middle school stories and this one takes the cake! 2 of the best female leads one could have for a show like this! You’d think they might be too old, I mean you can tell, but they invest and commit so much to their roles you just fall in love with them and their characters to levels where you just don’t care!


Taylor Nichols (left), Anna Konkle (middle) & Melora Walters (right) in "PEN15" (2019-)


As funny as it is, it’s one of the most emotionally touching shows about growing up I’ve ever seen! Again, in ways I feel most aren’t brave enough to talk about! Certainly like me!


Was excited to see Melora Walters as Anna Konkle's mom! She's been a favorite ever since I saw her in "Magnolia" (2000).


Maya Erskine (left) & Anna Konkle (right) in "PEN15" (2019-)

The only thing that I wish this show did better was have more episodes! I’m addicted! Maya and Anna are my spirit animals and I just wish they did more! Can’t wait to see where their careers go! Wish I had this one growing up when I was in middle school..


Written by Sam Gall on 08/03/21


CGC Grading: Gem Mint 10.0


Official Trailer:


Behind the Scenes:


#PEN15 #Hulu #AnnaKonkle #MayaErskine #SamZvibleman #Asian #MeloraWalters #DallasLiu #TajCross #LincolnJolly #AnnaPniowsky #RichardKarn #SamiRappoport #MutsukoErskine #SethRogen

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