The wonderful Hulu comedy PEN15 is again with an all new (half-) season of cringe-inducing nostalgia with protagonists Maya and Anna diving deeper into the powerful years of center faculty. Whereas the primary season launched audiences to the characters, their crushes, AIM profiles, and seventh-grade antics, Season 2 sees the women grapple with slut-shaming, witchcraft, homophobia, sleepovers, and many extra teen angst.
However of all of the subplots in Season 2, the introduction of unhappy, type of scary Maura has us shuddering essentially the most, and has viewers recalling their very own petty center faculty bullies and traumatic “friendships”.
However who precisely is Maura, why does she attempt to come between Maya and Anna, and who’s the gifted actress behind the character?
Who’s Maura on ‘PEN15’?
In Season 1 of PEN15, a combat between Maya and Anna briefly led Anna to hold with Heather and the opposite widespread ladies, however by the tip of the season, the protagonists had discovered their method again to one another.
In Season 2, Maura, a wealthy, however seemingly unpopular woman from their faculty takes a sudden curiosity in changing into Maya and Anna’s buddy. She shortly worms her method between the women, bribing them with a pantry filled with sugary treats, showering them with love and compliments, and self-branding because the third “greatest buddy” of the group.
However quickly, Maura’s darker facet is revealed. She makes use of her wealth and entry to countless Ring Pops to bribe the category to vote for her, Maya, and Anna as the category superlative of “Greatest Greatest Associates,” cementing herself throughout the pair. Maura additionally reveals herself to be a grasp of gaslighting by preying on Maya and Anna’s insecurities and pitting them towards one another in an try and turn out to be nearer to the women herself.
All of Maura’s questionable conduct culminates within the fifth episode, when Maura hosts a gaggle of women at her home for a sleepover. However because the evening progresses, preteen politics, secrets and techniques, and a traumatic incident with a makeshift interval pad threatens to undo Maya and Anna’s friendship.
Who’s the actress enjoying loopy buddy Maura?
Maura is performed by Ashlee Grubbs, who offers audiences a gifted efficiency that showcases the brutality of being a teen in a method solely a teen can pull off. Ashley brilliantly portrays the center faculty half-friend-half-bully Maura, who desperately needs to be part of Anna and Maya’s genuine relationship however on the similar time, preys on their insecurities as social outcasts.
Maura’s character is so genuine exactly due to this fixed push-and-pull. She’s condescending to Maya and Anna but in addition deeply jealous of them in the identical breath and Maura’s makes an attempt to attach with the women at all times comes on the expense of her concurrently focusing on and isolating them from one another.
Ashlee did such a great job portraying Maura that a number of fully-grown adults who watch the present had been overcome by the urge to punch a 13-year-old woman. Some viewers even tweeted about how Maura was “triggering some deeply suppressed reminiscences,” and others had been calling for the actress to win an Emmy.
Whereas that is considerably of a breakout position for the younger actress, this isn’t the primary zany comedy that Ashlee has starred in. She appeared in 2017’s See Plum Run on CollegeHumor, with Elaine Carrol and Grant O’Brien. Ashlee can also be recognized for her work on Mack Chat on Disney and The Immortal Wars on Amazon.