It’s very common for TV shows to end unexpectedly, with networks cuttings things short before anyone can put together a proper finale (thereby necessitating the consistently ill-conceived revival on a streaming service), but it’s rare for the network to say “we’d like more” and the creators of the show to respond with a “nah, we’re good.”
Unfortunately, that’s what just happened with Hulu’s acclaimed comedy series Pen15. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hulu “very much wants to do additional seasons” of the show, but creators and stars Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle—who play teenage versions of themselves on the Pen15—”were ready to take a break from the series.”
Hulu is apparently happily “leaving the door open for more,” but as it stands now, the upcoming end of the show’s second season will now be a series finale. The potential for more is a uniquely interesting prospect for this show since, as mentioned above, it already stars the 34-year-old Erskine and Konkle as teenagers. With that gag already built into the show, they can still come back and play their teenage selves at any point. It might become more and more like Wet Hot American Summer, but… Wet Hot American Summer rules.
THR notes that Erskine and Konkle have been pretty clear about not wanting to do Pen15 forever, saying previously that their initial plan was to end the show after three seasons, but difficulties stemming from filming season two during the pandemic reportedly convinced them to cut it off early. The pandemic also necessitated the animated episode from the previous half of the show’s second season, which came out over the summer.
The final half of Pen15's second season is coming to Hulu on December 3. Pen15 got an Emmy nomination earlier this year and seemed like a reliable hit among viewers and critics (so it’s no wonder that the streaming service seems a bit broken up about this).