In the ’90s, everybody seemed to have their fifteen minutes of fame. It wasn’t until the last five or so years, though, that these stories got turned into films and miniseries. We’ve gotten O.J.: Made in America, I, Tonya, and Richard Jewell recently. Now it’s time to see the Pam and Tommy Sex Tape Scandal come to streaming and televisions all over the United States. That is for those who didn’t live through this story in the news, talk shows, and nudie magazines when it happened.
The honor of playing Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee in the show goes to Lily James and Sebastian Stan. They both embody these two icons of pop culture. Pam is at the height of her career, starting in her most famous role as C.J. Parker, and Tommy Lee enjoys worldwide fame as the drummer of the popular hair metal band Mötley Crüe. This show depicts their lives involving a family vacation recorded on a videotape. On that tape is their intimate sexual meanderings.
The show depicts the events leading up to and after this videotape gets recorded. It has a bit of a comedic tone to it, but they try to make this entire issue come across as very serious. This tape was private property, and showing one’s body should be that person’s decision and not someone who stole and sold their property. Rand Gauthier (Seth Rogen) is a former sex worker who is currently a carpenter. He happens to work at the new Lee house when the pilfering of said tape gets it into the wrong hands. This whole situation shows you shouldn’t screw over your help or people working on your home.
The showrunner Robert Siegel and writers create a time capsule into the world of the ’90s. Like these other shows and movies, Pam & Tommy shows this era of our country in a light that makes it fun for people almost 30 years later. The clothes, cars, hair, and attitude of people of the time are pretty hilarious. It’s funny going back in time to see these stories brought to the forefront of pop culture compared to today’s celebrities.
Besides the cast I’ve mentioned so far, the show also has some other standouts among its ranks. Nick Offerman as Rand’s financial backing, Taylor Schilling as Rand’s ex-wife/girlfriend, Andrew Dice Clay as a scary gangster/loan shark, and Fred Hechinger as an internet porn distributer. These men and women add a nice flavor and chemistry to the cast, along with the bigger-named stars. All these more minor roles are integral to the overall story.
Pam & Tommy does a great job showing the fifteen-minute news cycle at its height. This show has excellent performances from Lily James, almost unrecognizable as Pamela Anderson, Sebastian Stan, and Seth Rogen. The showrunner, directors, and writers all have a great plan with this show. It’s funny at times when dealing with the time as a whole. Still, it’s also very serious when dealing with people’s privacy and how people’s bodies are depicted on the internet, in magazines, and on videotapes. The fifteen minutes of fame only goes as far as the person wants it to go, especially when it has to do with this kind of intimate betrayal.
4 1/2 stars
Dan Skip Allen
Founder/EIC disappointment med