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'PEN15' captures middle school in all its glory

Maya Erskine (L) and Anna Konkle are the co-creators and co-stars of the Hulu series,
Maya Erskine (L) and Anna Konkle are the co-creators and co-stars of the Hulu series, "PEN15."
Alex Lombardi/Hulu

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On today's show:

The hilarity of middle school

(Starts at 7:45)

The new Hulu series, "PEN15," may be set in a '00s-era middle school, but it's very much an adult comedy. The series about two best friends as they head into 7th grade explores middle school as it really was — awkward, painful, and — maybe only looking back on it — very, very funny. Anna Konkle and Maya Erskine, who co-created and wrote the series (with Sam Zvibleman), are both in their 30s, but play 13-year-old versions of themselves in the show. The actors who play their friends and classmates, though, are actual teenagers. Konkle and Erskine spoke with The Frame about their real-life friendship, how they pitched their unusual concept for the series, and what it was like to put themselves back into a middle school mindset.

Is Netflix changing course?

(Starts at :45)

The streaming service has avoided exclusive theatrical releases for its films, but Martin Scorsese wants that for his upcoming gangster blockbuster, "The Irishman." Netflix is reportedly negotiating with theater owners for a release, which could open the door for other directors who are working with the streamer. The Hollywood Reporter's Rebecca Keegan talks with John Horn about her story.