It’s been very interesting to see the rise of different streaming services post the arrival of and noting which of the options have been able to hold a serious candle to the competition. Hulu has turned into one of the most reliable streaming services out there and in addition to the impressive library of programming that it has available, there are also a wealth of original series that speak to Hulu’s innovation in the field.

In the past few years Hulu has made a serious push towards more unconventional and ambitious comedies, with a number of series skewing towards the female demographic. It’s been a helpful move for


that’s led to some extremely exciting programs. for instance, is a deeply authentic and original program. A second season of is on the way, which makes it to the perfect time to re-watch the first season and brush up on these fun details about the show’s production.

15 The Spice Girls Episode Was An Important Story For The Show To Tell

first season touches on a lot of cultural touchstones from the late '90s and authentically covers the interests of young teens of the time. One of the best examples of this is the


episode, "Posh," which explores race dynamics in suburbia. The creators of the show pulled from their real experiences here and wanted to present this kind of story, but without providing easy solutions, in a way that hadn't been done before on television, according to .

14 Maya's Mother Is Played By Her Actual Mom

Series creators and writers, Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle, also star in the show as their younger alter egos, Maya Ishii-Peters and Anna Kone. A lot of Erskine and Konkle's real life goes into the characters, but Erskine wanted to make those lines even more blurred when she cast her mother, Mutsuko Erskine, as her character's mom for extra authenticity.


13 The Series Leads Are In Their 30s But Play 13 Year-Olds

Perhaps the best thing about is how much Erskine and Konkle disappear into their roles when they're twenty years older than their TV counterparts. Maya and Anna play 13 year-olds to a frighteningly accurate degree. It's amazing and for those unfamiliar with these two actresses it’s even easier to buy into the illusion.

12 They've Discussed Future Seasons Being Total Deviations


main interest is in social dynamics and how they influence and change people. Those are fundamental for seventh graders, but Konkle and Erskine have discussed how these elements are always entrenched in people. The duo told that they've even toyed with the idea of some future season being set at a retirement community where they'd play two social outcasts there. Age isn't important.

11 Anna's First Kiss Is Based On Truth

looks at a lot of pivotal moments that young teenagers go through and for Anna, one of those is the experience of her first kiss.


Anna has highly romantic aspirations, but the way that the scene plays out is a lot more mechanical and upsetting. Konkle has on how that's actually how her first kiss went, complete with her breakdown afterwards.

10 Andy Samberg Helped Get The Show Made

Before became a series, the concept was enough to gain the attention of the Lonely Island's production company, Party Over Here. They asked for the team to create a 15-minute pitch presentation to show networks. That pilot would eventually turn into the series on Hulu, reports the



9 The AIM Episode Takes A Lot From Real Life

A real joy in is seeing topics like the film or the advent of AOL Instant Messenger get focused on. There's a real amount of authenticity in the AIM episode, both in terms of how chat rooms from that time period operated and how teens would communicate with each other. Erskine and Konkle have said that much of this comes from real life, including the usernames of some of the AIM chatters.

8 A Roleplay Experience Helped Inspire The Series


The way in which Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle effectively turn into the 13 year-old versions of themselves is incredible, but it's not the first time that they gone back to this younger period in their lives. The duo did a comedy show at a bar back in their 20s where the premise was for everyone to act like they're 13, reports . It didn't directly spawn Pen15, but it showed the duo that they had a knack for this kind of acting.

7 An Awkward Party Helped Launch The Series


Erskine and Konkle were already performing together in their 20s and had developed a rapport with each other, but they still weren't beyond awkward social interactions. The duo told the that they went to a party together and when they turned into wallflowers & were taken back to their middle school years, they realized that there was a show in this painful anxiety. It's at that point that they decided to make something set back in seventh grade.

6 Stunt Doubles Had To Be Used For The Romance Scenes


One of the fun conceits behind is that even though Maya and Anna are in their thirties, but playing much younger characters, everyone else around them are actual children. As a result, the few romantic scenes in the series leads to some touchy territory and stand-ins & doubles have to be used in these occasions.

5 The Series Leads Are Actually Childhood Best Friends

There are plenty of instances where casts will have great chemistry on a series, but they didn't know each other prior to filming.


Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle's dynamic feels so real because they've actually been close friends since college. The series is set before high school, but the bond is real.

4 Maya's Mother's Lullaby Reduced Anna To Tears

is full of so many tender and emotional moments and the difficult relationship between Maya and her mother really connects. There's a powerful sequence in the penultimate episode of the season where Maya's mother recites a lullaby to her daughter and consoles her.


Anna Konkle tells that the moment just destroyed her and was so emotional to witness.

3 The Opening Credits Use Real Childhood Photos

The entire aim of was for Erskine and Konkle to portray their experiences as 13 year-olds as accurately possible. Not only are many of their own experiences mined for the show, but the series' credits feature plenty of real photos of the duo from the most unglamorous phases of their youth. It's a nice touch.

2 The Show's Unique Casting Strategy Creates More Awkward Energy


Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle had very awkward middle-school and high school experiences and they found a way to re-create that energy in their series. Due to how the two are surrounded by actual children, and like outsiders, just like they did during their youth. It's a creative strategy to get back into that awkward mindset.

1 Maya's Fascination With Her Changes Pulls From Reality


The first season of chronicles a number of pivotal changes that Maya and Anna go through during this hormonal period in their lives. One of the episodes details Maya's discovery of her own body and how she kind of disappears from the world as she obsesses over this new hobby. Erskine tells that this story comes from experience and was very similar to her own time in middle school and how she processed her body's changes.