NPR

'PEN15' Is Back, And Girlhood Is Still Painfully Awkward

The newest episodes of Hulu's smart coming-of-age comedy expand upon the exciting and traumatic themes of puberty.
Maya (Maya Erskine) and Anna (Anna Konkle) survive a pool party and a lot of other challenges in the second season of Hulu's PEN15. Source: Erica Parise

On her 2001 album Britney, Britney Spears declared herself "not a girl, not yet a woman." In that sleepy ballad, the then-19-year-old pop star and sex symbol stressed her need for more time to grow up while cautioning you, the listener, against trying to protect her. "I've seen so much more than you know now/ So don't tell me to shut my eyes," she croons in her signature guttural, Britney-like way.

I thought a lot about this song while watching the first half of Season 2, Hulu's charmingly perceptive coming-of-age comedy, released on September 18. The protagonists Maya and Anna are not teen idols,

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