Pen15 Is So Frighteningly Accurate In Its Depiction Of Teenage Life You’ll Feel Like You’re Back In Class

It's painfully accurate, but so worth watching.

Pen15, a new show that premiered this month on Stan, is the latest show to tackle burgeoning teenage sexuality and the trials and tribulations of puberty, and it does so with such accuracy that it’s almost painful to watch.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t watch it, though. You should. Just be prepared to be transported back to the early-2000s, or years six and seven, or both if you were born in the late 80s.

The show follows Maya and Anna, played by Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle respectively, as they fumble through seventh grade. The weirdest part of the show is that the girls are played by the grown-up Maya and Anna, while all of their classmates are played by actors that actually look 13.

It makes for some pretty hilarious scenes, particularly ones that involve any sort of hooking up – the way the camera moves around to avoid showing a grown-up Anna actually kissing a 13-year-old boy is hilarious. And a relief, tbh, because watching an adult kiss a teen would be incredibly uncomfortable.

While crushes and lacklustre attempts at hooking up play a big role in the show, it also explores issues of bullying, cliques, divorce, periods, masturbation, and trying to navigate that awkward space between childhood and adolescence.

Where Big Mouth focuses almost entirely on puberty, masturbation, and sex, Pen15 feels more balanced, and, most importantly, centres the perspectives of teenage girls. The show is very much by-girls and for-girls, and it’s a breath of fresh air in amidst what feels like a culture over-saturated with shows for teenage boys created by former teenage boys.

If you were a teen in the early 2000s, you’ll enjoy the nostalgia that the show is infused with, and even if you were a bit younger at the time (aka 7 like I was), it will still resonate with you. There’s things like waiting for the dial-up to connect, trying to navigate AIM chatrooms, and countless tragic outfits that you probably wore yourself more than once.

And the soundtrack is brilliant – it ranges from pop tunes like Mandy More’s ‘Candy‘ to pop-punk favourites like Lit’s ‘My Own Worst Enemy‘.

It’s got some great comedic minds behind it, too – in addition to Erskine and Konkle, legends like Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone (aka The Lonely Island) served as executive producers on the series.

You can check out this trailer to get a feel for the show, and then mosey on over to Stan, where you can find the entire first season available for you to enjoy.

If You're Looking For A New TV Show To Fall In Love With, Give Miracle Workers A Go And Feel Your Soul Soar

Have you always wanted to see Steve Buscemi play God? Today is your lucky day!

In case you’re looking for a new show to become incredibly invested in now that The Good Place is off the air until season four, consider Miracle Workers.

The premise is that a burnt-out God, played by Steve Buscemi, is ready to destroy the Earth and move on to his next idea (a lazy river/restaurant hybrid, in case you were wondering).

One of his employees, a recent transfer from the Department of Dirt, Eliza, makes a bet with him that if she can make an impossible miracle happen in two weeks, he will agree to not destroy the Earth. Oh, and Daniel Radcliffe plays an overwhelmed angel who was solely responsible for answering all of humanity’s prayers until Eliza came along.

In addition to Buscemi and Radcliffe, some of the big names behind the show include Lorne Michaels (of SNL and 30 Rock fame) and Jorma Taccone (of SNL and The Lonely Island Fame). My favourite cameo in the first episode is from Angela Kinsey, AKA Angela from The Office, because anyone who was involved with The Office has my heart forever.

If the premise and impressive lineup of producers aren’t enough to sell you, consider checking it out for Geraldine Viswanathan.

She’s from Newcastle, and prior to Miracle Workers, appeared in the movie Blockers alongside John Cena and Leslie Mann, which led to Refinery29 describing her as the film’s “breakout star”. A well-earned title, considering how naturally funny she is, and how much she manages to steal every scene she features in.

Having followed her career since she started performing with the Sydney-based Freudian Nip, it’s been amazing to watch her go from strength to strength. But despite her success internationally, she isn’t getting the attention she deserves at home.

Writing for The Guardian, Debbie Zhou analyses the different way Australians embrace white actors and performers compared to the way Australian creatives of colour have been ignored. For example, James Wan, the Malaysian-Australian director of Saw and Aquaman, should be a household name based on those titles alone, but he isn’t.

Geraldine, with her upcoming roles in Bad Education starring fellow Australian Hugh Jackman and Hala, which received rave reviews following its debut at the Sundance Film Festival, should be generating the same amount of buzz back home that she is in Hollywood, but that doesn’t seem to be happening, and it’s an incredible shame.

These talented performers and artists should be celebrated and championed the way Margot Robbie, Naomi Watts, Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Heath Ledger and so many more have been. How much longer until we start referring to actors like Geraldine as ‘our Geraldine’ and fighting other countries (usually New Zealand) for the right to claim her? In this case, it’s long overdue.

If you want to join me aboard the Geraldine Viswanathan train, episode one of Miracle Workers is available on Stan now.


Might As Well Face It, You're Addicted To Killing Eve, So Here's The Trailer For Season Two

"Why are you and Villanelle so interested in each other?"

The wait is almost over: the trailer for season two of Killing Eve has been released ahead of its premiere on April 7, and it’s thrilling.

Set to the soundtrack of a cover of Robert Palmer’s ‘Addicted to Love’ by Skylar Grey, it opens with Sandra Oh as MI5 officer Eve Polastri sitting on a train station bench, eating… blue popcorn? I honestly have no idea. But she looks incredibly nervous.

We then see Eve on the phone to an unidentified person, saying “I found Villanelle… I think I might have killed her.”

She says this in front of a couple who’ve just gotten engaged, so she wishes them congratulations before disappearing.

We then see Villanelle in hospital following last season’s finale where Eve stabbed her. Soon after that, we see her rummaging through some random guy’s drawers for a knife. When asked why she’s looking for a knife, she calmly responds: “To stab you with.”

At one point, this appears in the trailer, and I have literally no idea what it means, so if you have a theory, I’m all ears.

It reminds me of that scene from The Shining with the guy in the bear mask, but I don’t think that’s deliberate, my mind is just a weird place.

Killing Eve, a show developed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge for BBC America, took the world by storm when it came out last year. It has won several awards, including a Television Critics Association Award, a Critics Choice Television Award, a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild award – the last two of those were specifically awarded to Sandra Oh for her outstanding performance as Eve.

The second season premieres on Sunday April 7 on BBC America, and will hopefully air on the ABC shortly after.


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