Photo: ‘Pam & Tommy’
The long-awaited limited series based on a rather traumatic event, the leaking of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee’s infamous sex tape, has just reached streaming. The Hulu original has gotten great reviews so far, and based on some, it seems as though it’s possibly becoming the next big hit. On top of this, people within my friend group have been constantly talking about how excited they are to watch the series. Filled with raunchiness and moments that are quite uncomfortable (in an oddly good way), ‘Pam & Tommy’ seems to be a series following along with a trend of creating mini-series biopics to expose wrongdoings to public figures.
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On the other side of things, however, there also appears to be an issue involving the rather non-involvement of Pamela Anderson herself. Based on a few articles I could find, Anderson herself vouches against the series and doesn’t want to watch it herself; but nothing more specific than that has been said. Personally, I find that it feels fair to take Anderson’s feelings into account and acknowledge how the series could potentially feel damaging for her; but, more on this later.
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Pam & Tommy: The Sexually Wild Saga
Based on the 2014 Rolling Stones article “Pam and Tommy: The Untold Story of the World’s Most Infamous Sex Tape”, the series ‘Pam & Tommy’ follows the story of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee and the scandal of their leaked sex tape in 1995. On top of following the events leading to the burglary of the sex tape being stolen, and then being widely released (and the aftermath that followed), the series also gives audiences a look into Anderson and Lee’s three-year-long relationship through both current time and flashbacks.
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So far, there are only three episodes that you can currently watch; and after binging all three I can definitely say that this was the right way to get audiences intrigued into the show, thus leading them to anticipate more. The first three episodes give an incredible amount of exposition and story, but not too much that it feels convoluted or as though a lot is being thrown at the audience. Not to mention how incredible raunchy and enticing the show is as well; making each episode oddly enticing to watch.
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The series begins with establishing the characters (except Pamela, weirdly enough) and showcases a rollercoaster of a story to us that we can only wonder in mere thrilling anxiety about what’s to come next, as the plot progresses throughout all the current episodes. Each one ties in with one another like a beautiful bow, and the way going back in time to give more backstory and then coming back into current time into the next episode feels like an excellent tactic of merging two main important stories into one. Because, overall, what audiences buckle in for when sitting down to watch ‘Pam & Tommy’ is ultimately wanting to know the infamous scandal that shocked society and caused harmful controversy to both Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee; but sadly, more being directed towards Anderson.
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However, I feel as though the main director, Craig Gillespie (director of ‘I, Tonya’, ‘Cruella’, etc.) understood the traumatic impact that the event put on Pamela Anderson; and hopefully, the series goes into a direction that gives justice to her as well. At this point, it feels as though it will go in that direction, and Gillespie, based on ‘I, Tonya’), tends to focus on giving women in cultural history the justice that they deserve, so there is hope for putting Anderson in a positive light in future episodes. With all that said, I find that the writing in this show is quite spectacular; along with the cinematography being unexpectedly beautiful as well. I also want to give kudos to both Lily James and Sebastian Stan for their absolutely magnificent performances as Pam and Tommy.
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Pam’s Side Of Things
Now, like any film or series based on a real-life event, there’s always the undeniable truth about a situation. In the case of ‘Pam & Tommy’, as I mentioned before, there are a few articles you can find that detail further into how this series is not exactly for Pamela Anderson herself. She went through a lot in the time from the sex tape’s initial release to when Lee and Anderson eventually signed over the copyright to avoid any more discussion about the tape in court.
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According to a VanityFair, there were countless amounts of times that Anderson had to stand up for herself and try to advocate to receive justice for herself soon after the sex tape was leaked; and for years thereafter. Also in this article, Tommy Lee is mentioned for enjoying ‘Pam & Tommy’ himself; so it’s interesting how differing Anderson and Lee’s views on the new series are. This is one of the many reasons I have behind why I hope that Anderson is put in more of a positive light throughout the series because overall I feel as though she deserves an apology from society.
Ultimately, ‘Pam & Tommy’ is a great series so far and I can sense that it has a lot of potential towards it; along with episodes 2 and 3 hinting that Anderson will possibly get more of the spotlight than Lee. I find that as long as we acknowledge the effect and true backstory of the series, we can still enjoy it for all the work that’s been put into it and the story that it’s telling to hopefully bring the long-awaited honor that Anderson has deserved for so long.
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The End Of The Tape
The biopic aspect of ‘Pam & Tommy’ is rather thrilling and insightful when looking back on the episodes so far overall. It tells a story that was so culturally relevant for so long through both wonderful writing techniques, incredible acting, and beautiful cinematic shots throughout the series. It’s comforting to see that Craig Gillespie has directed the majority of the episodes since he’s worked on projects before, where women that were cast out to be the villain (or as though they’re somewhat “lesser”) and turned them into powerful figures to redeem themselves as they’ve always deserved the right to do.
Looking at a different element of the series, the creator/showrunner, Robert Siegel, hasn’t done anything entirely female-led (based on his IMDb); so I’m curious to see how he goes about tackling the overall writing and helping to form giving a main female character full justice. But, with how the first three episodes have played out so far, I’m certainly excited for the future episodes and to see how everything progresses and develops throughout its planned out eight-episode season. Here’s in hopes that it’s a-rockin’ and rollin’ of a time.
Be sure to catch new episodes premiering every Wednesday at 11 on Hulu!
Cast: Lily James, Sebastian Stan, Nick Offerman
Cinematography: Paula Huidobro | Editor(s): Tatiana S. Riegal, Annette Davey | Director: Craig Gillespie | Writer(s): Amanda Chicago Lewis, Robert Siegel | Producers: D.V. DeVincentis, Mike Manning, Michael L. Rosenfeld
By Leah Donato
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