Oh. My. God. I finished season two of Pen15 last night and it left me with all the feelings. I was sad, angry, happy, nostalgic. It’s been quite a long time since I was so sad for a show to end. OK, that’s a lie because I finished Schitt’s Creek last month.
For those who not glued to streaming services, first of all, congratulations. Love that for you. Secondly, Pen15 is a story of two best friends, Anna and Maya. They live in the ‘burbs and go through the trials and tribulations of being middle schoolers in the late 90s.
Created by Maya Erskine, Anna Konkle and Sam Zvibleman, Pen15 is unequivocally the most accurate representation of what it was like to be suburban preteen or teenager in the late 90s. So, my Gen Z friends, if you’re wondering what it was truly like, watch this show. From the stupid heartache of crushes to the AOL dial-up to the note passing, it is bang on.
Pen15 is only the second time I’ve seen something so close to my life experience captured on camera. The first time was with Lady Bird, which freaked me out at how close it was to my actual life. I sat in the theater wondering how my story existed on the screen. It makes sense that as Millennials get older, more Millennials are getting a chance to tell our stories.
Watching the show brought back so many sweet memories for me. Like the one night I talked to my friend on the phone for about three hours trying to figure out what sweater I would wear to impress my crush the next day. I was plotting to put an, “I like you,” note in the play mailboxes we had at at the fake post office. Though I never passed the note, I’m pretty sure my outfit was stellar.
Think about all the doors streaming opened up. It’s doubtful that network television would’ve told Anna and Maya’s story. Or if it was, the cute blonde girl would end up with all the friends and land her crush. Which is not real life for most people. And if it was your life, congratulations, there’s a lot of movies out there for you already.
Because this blog is partly about fashion, I can’t neglect how the fashion was spot on There wasn’t one time I could think of where it felt nothing but entirely accurate.
Overall, if you’re looking for a 90s nostalgic show that is accurate to the period and yet very much just about human emotions, I definitely recommend Pen15.