Scandals

Sex tape scandals, ’90s nostalgia and a talking penis: Yes, you should watch Disney+’s ‘Pam & Tommy’

When did the first images of Lily James playing Pamela Anderson in a new miniseries Pam and Tommy fallen, they captured an amazing transformation. The pursuit of love the star didn’t just look like herself disguised as a famous Baywatch actor; thanks to the show’s hair, makeup and costume teams, she appeared as if she had jumped into Anderson’s body Being John Malkovich-style. This feeling has only grown with the arrival of several trailers. In the finished product, his performance borders on weird. He has to, and not just to make sure James never looks like he’s simply slipping into a red bathing suit for easy impersonation.

Now streaming on Disney+, with its first three episodes on the platform at once and the remaining five set to drop weekly going forward, Pam and Tommy focuses on Anderson’s marriage to Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee (Sebastian Stan, The 355) in the 90s. As a result, it’s all about the couple’s sex tape, as this intimate recording was the pop culture scandal of the 90s, and there’s no getting into Anderson and Lee’s romance. without this. Indeed, the series knows it tells a crazy story, even in celebrity terms. He’s well aware that everyone watching will be toying with their own already formed ideas about the incident, as well as the larger-than-life public figures of the central duo. Pam and Tommy leans into that exact certainty to begin with — talking about the penis and all — but, as James’ performance demonstrates, he never sees the story he’s telling as a joke.

Erin Simkin/Hulu

First, those talkative genitals. After meeting Anderson at a club, instantly clicking, and enjoying a drunken night out, Lee is smitten — and his junk (voiced by Brooklyn nine-nineby Jason Mantzoukas) audibly helps him talk about his feelings. It is a moment that attracts attention and that Pam and Tommy will always be known for; yes, it is now and always will be the spectacle of talkative packets. But the immediately memorable scene also serves up the risque with a side of heart and makes one of its OTT subjects — as Anderson and Lee have long been considered in the public eye, at least — more human in the process. It’s even a little cheesy: it’s a guy who falls in love with a girl and works on his arousal by talking to himself, as there have been plenty of romantic comedies over the years.

Pam and Tommy is part romance and part comedy. But above all, it’s an acknowledgment that Anderson and Lee’s fate isn’t quite the tale it’s been immortalized over the past quarter-century. It’s no coincidence that Australian-born director Craig Gillespie helms some of the show’s episodes, as he unpacked a sordid real-life story that cemented the reputation of a famous woman in Me Tonya, too much. That’s the real point of interest here, though the fact that the series took place without Anderson’s approval undermines its goals more than a little. Yet on screen there is no doubt Pam and Tommyto expose how unfairly Anderson was treated after carpenter Rand Gauthier (Seth Rogen, An American pickle) stole footage of private moments with her then-husband.

Kelsey McNeal / Hulu

Lee might get the chance to converse with his dick – with Stan playing this scene and his whole role, with as much commitment as James shows over and over again (and with as much useful TV style) – but he’s also painted as a dick first. Gauthier is one of the contractors helping to build the ultimate bedroom for Lee’s marital bliss, and the rocker is a customer jerk. He keeps changing his mind about what he wants, blaming others, and when he decides he’s unhappy, refuses to pay or return Gauthier’s tools. So the disgruntled ex-employee hatches a plan to get away with Lee’s safe, not knowing what’s inside. When he finds the tape with guns and cash, he’s still so out to get revenge on Lee that he enlists porn producer pal Miltie (Nick Offerman, Developers) to help make it public, which he considers his new payday.

Pam and Tommy wants you to initially side with mullet-wearing Gauthier — including when Lee pulls a gun on him when he’s just trying to grab his work gear — but his true allegiance rests with Anderson. So does his tender heart, something the show shares with Lee and his chatterbox of an appendage. As it charts the path Anderson and Lee’s gang takes from their vault in Gauthier to eagerly paying customers and then the internet to the early days of online pornography, the series repeatedly returns to the spinoffs for the Baywatch and Barbed wire Star. As she explains to Lee and their attorneys more than once, things aren’t the same for a man caught getting intimate on camera as they are for a woman, and the way this true story unfolds. has already taken place IRL has clearly shown this. several times.

Come for the scandal, for the talking penis everyone’s talking about, and for a show that always knows it’s a wild ride, but stay for a much more thoughtful account and interrogation of a tabloid incident that changed many. lives – and one more than most – woven too. Also stick around for the show’s eagerness to hang out with its eponymous duo exhibited as real people and victims of crime, rather than pop culture punchlines. Stick around, too, for the magnificent performances from James and Stan, with both actors investing remarkable depth in characters who have rarely been allowed to be seen as such. And, obviously, keep sticking around for the dripping 90s nostalgia in the process, including the outfits and soundtrack (because yellow jackets isn’t the only new show to revel in tunes from the decades).

Check Pam and Tommy trailer below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EstAx0ZLWJo

The first three episodes of Pam & Tommy are currently available to stream via Disney+, with new episodes releasing every Wednesday.

Top image: Erin Simkin/Hulu.

Posted on February 04, 2022 by

Sarah Ward