School dances. First kisses. First – ahem – experiences. Breaking up with your best friend. We’ve all been there – but hopefully, our own experiences were less embarrassing than Anna and Maya’s.

Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle, both 30-somethings, play the 13-year-old versions of themselves in this hilarious series, but their classmates are played by real-life middle schoolers – which made certain scenes challenging to film. (Thank goodness for body doubles!)

If you came of age in the early noughties and felt like you never really fit in at school, this is the millennial-nostalgia show you’ve been waiting for. Maya and Anna are dorky 7th-graders who start middle school in the year 2000, and as Arizona Republic writes, “PEN15 is incredibly smart about the way it explores the social dynamics shaping (and being shaped by) young adults – in this case, in the early 2000s.”

But it’s not just about laughs at the expense of awkward teenagers. PEN15 also confronts more serious issues, including discrimination and racism.

Binge-watch S1 of PEN15 on Showmax

How to get Showmax

Did you know that if you’re a DStv subscriber, you pay even less (or nothing at all!) for Showmax? DStv Premium subscribers get Showmax for free while DStv Compact and Compact Plus subscribers only pay R49 for Showmax.

  1. Go to
  2. Create a Showmax account with your email address.
  3. Create a password.
  4. Choose "DStv add to account" as your payment method.