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Pam & Tommy review: There’s more to Hulu to watch than sex and scandal

Imagine a world in which there is a celebrity sex tape will not make money. But in the Internet era of the early 1990s, that was what it was. As one porn mogul pointed out in the new Hulu series Pam & Tommy‘S, The stolen sex tape invites the police to a video store or movie theater, and then the whole thing is over.

But then the “World Wide Web” was born and… well, there was a lot of porn out there. Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee were among the first celebrities to go private without their consent, victims of “revenge porn” later known as “revenge porn” in the world The growing world of click-to-order VHS tapes scams.

Pam & Tommy is most concerned with the how and why of it all: How did that Hi8 tape go from a locked safe to the culture line? And why did the public react the way it did? This is the latest installment in a series of TV series, movies and podcasts that are trying to get to the bottom of such questions. And while Pam & Tommy make its case, it doesn’t cut and dry like the show wants to think.

What is Pam & Tommy?

Pam and Tommy in a still photo from the show Pam & amp;  Tommy

Photo: Hulu

Pam & Tommy is a show about Pam and Tommy – you can guess this; especially Pamela Anderson (star of Baywatch, Upgrade house, and more) and Tommy Lee, drummer for Mötley Crüe. The two were married from 1995 to 1998, during which time their sex tapes were stolen, sold, and eventually widely distributed. The eight-episode miniseries follow the rise and fall of that family drama, and its impact on their lives, as well as the broader culture.

Who is behind the show?

Pam & Tommy from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the production duo behind works as diverse as Awesome, 50/50, Guysand Invinciblewho gained the right to 2014 Rolling Stone article by Amanda Chicago Lewis, which details the crimes from the perspective of Rand Gauthier, who stole the safe and sold the tape. (Rogen also plays Gauthier on the show). The first two volumes were also written by Robert Siegel (who also produced the series), and who also wrote Wrestler.

The first three episodes were directed by Craig Gillespie, the director behind I, Tonya; while the show doesn’t have the bare-faced self-perception in the movies, there’s certainly a familiar comedic pace to it. In front of the camera, the most vibrant creative energy comes from the stars Lily James and Sebastian Stanwho played Anderson and Lee with the help of prosthetics and really impressive makeup.

What is it about?

While the majority Pam & Tommy jumping around, the pilot holds us right at one point: the summer of 1995, when Rand decided he was going to steal their safe in retaliation for being coerced by Tommy on a construction job. Hoping only to recover a portion of the roughly $20,000 he owes, he’s happy enough to equip the couple’s jewels, money, and guns – at least until he finds out. what’s on VHS tapes among my new treasures.

The first three episodes, released on Hulu on Wednesday, follow the construction of the tape in circulation, popping up over time: Pam and Tommy meet, fall in love, and get married (all in four days) ); Rand tries to figure out who will pay him for the tape; Everyone’s trying to make their next big thing as the whirlwind of the 1990s culture clash swirls around them.

What is it really about?

Lily James as Pamela Anderson in Pam & amp;  Tommy sips his drink

Photo: Hulu

Sebastian Stan as Tommy Lee in Pam & amp;  Tommy sitting on deck

Photo: Erica Parise / Hulu

Seth Rogen as Rand Gauthier who steals the safe

Photo: Hulu

Like so much of today’s media, Pam & Tommy is about the image behind the picture. Follow the steps of America’s Crime Story: Impeachment (and, sort of, The People vs. OJ)You were wrong aboutor Framing Britney Spearsthe show has a whirlwind of excitement, arousal, and the pulling of the curtain to show us the people behind it, for all their lunatics and bad guys.

Anderson and Lee were hunted by the paparazzi and a public channel drove the tabloids crazy even before their tape hit the internet. And while Monica Lewinsky claims her story is anyone’s first”destroyed“Because of the internet, Pam & Tommy argued that the couple’s sex tape could be an internet sex scandal, with news sites and pornographic sites alike helping it gain traction. As Lewis notes in her article: “It’s a pornographic film that appeals to people who don’t normally watch porn, a voyeurism that delves into the pointless intimacy between two lovers of the tabloid. cabbage.”

As popular culture continues to clear both the blind spots of the public eye and the dawn of the internet age, Pam & Tommy similarly. While Lee has publicly supported the project (even meeting with Stan), Anderson is still the mother, except for a few quotes about feeling violated all again by projectwhich she (according to a “source”) found”very hurt [… and] shocking that this series was allowed to go on without her approval. “She joins Britney Spears, who has”awkwardOf her New York Times documentary, as women who could benefit from such a reevaluation, but do not hope to relive one of the most difficult periods of her life. their life. It’s a weird, gritty shot on a series that ostensibly puts the focus of the series on a woman who is maliciously shared with her sex tapes without her consent.

So, are Pam & Tommy any good?

Pam & amp;  Tommy on the show Pam & amp;  Tommy ran into the waves

Let’s dive in.
Photo: Hulu

In such (increasingly) crowded airspace, Pam & Tommy struggle to make its case different. Even if you’re not familiar with the contours of Anderson’s and Lee’s stories in particular, we know what the pulse of stories like these will do. Pam & Tommy can often be a bit too open-minded about its goals, with its terse dialogue geared more toward the 2022 audience than the 1990s characters.

So that’s where the show can set itself apart from other narratives that come into play, like the performances of Lily James and Sebastian Stan. Stan led Tommy like a lifeline, with electric currents running wild and frenzied. As he swings between the extremes, they seem completely born of a man who is, above all, just trying not to give something bad. James’ Pamela has a keen and optimistic eye that turns the most difficult parts of the story into parts she is obscured by reality. Together, they manage to uncover the sweetness of the Anderson-Lee love story, even as it begins to rot. At the time the show reminds you that these two still seem to call each other “love of my lifePam & Tommy tried very hard to sell you why they believe so.

The series is deeply concerned with how these two draw what they both can’t have, and help each to appreciate themselves more than they can be. That’s why the second episode has an extended scene where two people are naked wrapped around each other’s bodies, or why Sebastian Stan as Lee broods about his love life with his penis ( an animatronic voiced by, if you can believe it, a toned Jason Mantzoukus). The scene is uncomfortable and a bit dull, given the broader context of the story and Anderson’s obvious desire, but it’s also healthy; both they and their bodies have been commodified to the point where they are simply their own relief.

Scenes like this highlight the constant tension that underlines everything in Pam & Tommy. Siegel and Gillespie’s series tries to make its point artistically and build on what an enormous tragedy the whole affair is like, even if it exaggerates certain moments that make them become too clean. The show is crammed with commentary on a lot of things without feeling overwhelming, moreover often suffering mostly from feeling idealistic and on the nose. (Although suggested episodes partner violence present in the Anderson-Lee marriage, the show seems more adamant in seeing the sex tape as the root of all problems.) Impeachment, Pam & Tommy take a corner and make its point well. Rogen’s Rand represents some of the best of that promise (as in the first three episodes, where his cruelty has a purpose) and the worst, when his character begins to feel… superfluous for those who are really deceived by the whole. situation.

But finally, Pam & Tommy was part of a content parade aimed at mitigating harm done so wrongly that we ended up with a new genre of show that not only features but invite more ethical scrutiny of the media. Too much involvement from one star can often lead to disastrous results. But if you’re trying to whitewash someone, it’s hard to justify doing it against their will.

When and where can you watch Pam & Tommy?

The first three episodes are showing on Hulu. New episodes of the eight-episode miniseries will release every Wednesday.

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