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Looking at the trailer for PEN15, you might think the show is another one of TV's attempts to pass off nostalgia as content or that a one-note sight gag of two grown women playing 13-year-olds is all the show has to offer. True, watching creators and stars Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle mix with actual teens never gets old, and gel pens are the kind of "only '90s kids will understand..." material that networks are desperate for, but beyond these easy selling points is the real reason to watch: It's a poignant story of friendship, because PEN15's Maya and Anna were the best BFFs (BBFFs) on television this season.
Set in the year 2000, PEN15 is an eerily authentic comedy about stepping into the social nightmare that is middle school for the first time. Thirtysomethings Erskine and Konkle play teens Maya and Anna, respectively, best friends and stand-ins for their actual selves in the throes of awkwardness as they try to grow up too fast. Though they have problems with popular kids, crushes, and family problems, they always have each other and each other's full support.
Shirts - Twinsies - School - Night - Sleepover
They're so inseparable, both physically and mentally, that when they're not wearing matching shirts to be twinsies during a two-night, school night sleepover at Maya's, they're wearing the same shirt, as in squeezing into a single oversized shirt looking like some two-headed monster. They're less two friends than a single entity, knowing what the other will say before they say it and encouraging each other to push boundaries as a duo. One's success belongs to both of them, and if they can experience something together, it's even better, as is the case late in the season when they both get to second base at the same time by the same boy, one of his hands on...
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