‘PEN15’: Why Is Season 2 Only 7 Episodes? What the Creators Said About Season 3

Fans of the Hulu comedy series PEN15 wasted no time diving into the second season, which was released on the streaming service on September 18, 2020. However, some may have been surprised to discover only seven new episodes. Learn what the creators of PEN15 have said about the show’s future and when to expect more episodes.

‘PEN15’ season 1 aired in 2019

PEN15 premiered with its 10-episode first season in February 2019. The series depicts the lives of two teenagers, Maya Ishii-Peters and Anna Konkle, who are best friends. They begin their 7th grade school year excited for what’s to come, but quickly realize that everything is changing — and fast.

What makes the series unique is that Maya and Anna are played by Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle, two adult actors who also co-created the series. Portraying versions of themselves as they were at the turn-of-the-century allows for a nuanced performance that earned the attention of millennials everywhere.

The first half of season 2 dropped in 2020

Fans and critics were so receptive of PEN15 and its message that Hulu ordered a second season just a couple of months after the first dropped. Erskine and Konkle, who are also executive producers and have writing credits for several episodes, dove in, and now, the second season is here.

Well, part of it is. PEN15 Season 2, Part 1 consists of seven episodes, which pick up right where the previous season left off. Anna and Maya continue their 7th-grade year and gain new experiences, both good and bad, from Maya’s role in the school play to Anna’s parents as they head toward divorce.

When will ‘PEN15’ Season 2, Part 2, be released?

Episode 7 made for a solid season finale, but there’s still more to come. According to TV Line, which reported on PEN15’s second season premiere date in July 2020, “The 14-episode season will be split into two parts, with the second batch of seven episodes to be held until sometime in 2021.”

Season 2 began filming in either late 2019 or early 2020, as evidenced by the above Instagram. They’ve since resumed following a shutdown. “We’re almost done shooting, but Covid stopped us in the middle, so the next seven episodes…probably won’t be out for a year now,” Konkle told W Magazine in September 2020.

Here’s what’s been shared about the future of ‘PEN15’ 

Anna Kone (Anna Konkle) and Maya Ishii-Peters (Maya Erskine) in 'PEN15' Season 2, 'Play'
Anna Kone (Anna Konkle) and Maya Ishii-Peters (Maya Erskine) in ‘PEN15’ Season 2, ‘Play’ | Lara Solanki/Hulu

‘PEN15’ Review: The Comedy Delivers Fewer Jokes and More Impassioned Moments In Season 2, Part 1

As Konkle said in the W Magazine interview, the second half of PEN15 season 2 will contain more “R-ratedness and mature storylines,” as the characters experience the growing pains of adolescence. But in the way that middle school seemed to stretch on forever, they hope to do the same with their series about it.

“We’re hoping to keep the show [about] Anna and I in 7th grade, forever,” Erskine told Entertainment Weekly in 2019. That’s what the whole concept of the show is about: that purgatory. It’s not about these two characters going to high school.” So a season 3 pickup will likely mean more of the same, though perhaps with a little more bite.