Here’s Why ‘PEN15’ Won’t Have a Season 3

Zip up your Trapper Keeper, because we have some very bad news for you. Pen15, the beloved show starring Anna Konkle and Maya Erskine as their teenage selves, is over. The episodes that just dropped on Hulu, which make up the second part of season 2, will be the last. They set up an AIM away message for good this time. How many early ’00s references can I make in one paragraph? How much gel is left in this pen?

At a For Your Consideration event earlier this week, Pen15 showrunners and stars Anna and Maya explained that they conceived the series as three chapters—one about firsts, one about identity, and one about maturity—and the second half of the second season, which has now dropped on Hulu, is that third chapter. “It feels like we did it. For now,” Anna said, according to Indie Wire. “The other part of it is we’ve learned that showrunning, acting, producing, it’s all the most creatively fulfilling experience I could ever imagine in my entire life and, like, a recipe for burning out.”

So the good news is that they made this decision themselves. They weren’t canceled by ratings or network executives. They’ve told the story they want to tell. According to the Hollywood Reporter, sources say that Hulu is open to making more seasons if Anna and Maya change their minds—or whatever other projects they want to work on. Maya is next set to appear on the Obi-Wan Kenobi show on Disney+, no big deal, as well as in a film written and directed by her partner, Michael Angarano.

This isn’t to say they aren’t sad about ending the show. “We get to express our extreme, unabashed love through our 13 year-old selves. Who gets to do that? We’re doing that every day and it’s such a gift. And yeah, it sucks,” Maya said at the FYC event, again as reported by Indie Wire. “It’s gonna be really sad. But I’m excited to think about us 10 years from now, where we’ll be and how we’ll look back at it.”

Okay, well, I’m sobbing now, but we can all hold out hope that maybe they’ll make more projects together in the future. Until then, I’ll be scouring Amazon for butterfly hair clips.

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