There are moments when a show or movie is announced you immediately begin to question why. Who wants this story? What’s the point of making it into a series at all? These are exactly what went through my head when I sat down to watch Pam & Tommy.
I’m not going to lie, I was a kid when the whole sex tape scandal happened so while I was aware of it, we only had a very top-level version of the story we heard. And to be frank, if things happened the way the series lays out – most of the media and everyone else only had a limited understanding as well.
I also went into viewing this thinking I was sitting down for a movie – not an eight-part series. That was, of course, my own fault for quickly reading the description. So after hitting play on the first episode and realizing what I was getting myself into – I buckled down and started watching getting ready to be annoyed or turn off the show after an episode or two. That didn’t happen. Probably five minutes into the first episode, I was hooked. Not only does this story need to be told, but yes, it needs eight episodes to do it justice.
The whole Pamela Anderson – Tommy Lee – Sex Tape Scandal thing was big enough to make international news. And at the time – what was happening was shocking. It was the beginning of the internet age. We may have had internet in our homes but it didn’t have the accessibility to virtually every part of the world as it does now. So when their sex tape was stolen and put on the internet – there wasn’t a way to police it or to really track things down. It was also a time where things like sex tapes were relegated to the porn industry and considered scandalous all on their own.
How things were done and handled twenty-seven years ago is a lot different than it would be today. The internet and news cycle weren’t as fast, and stories didn’t just blip on the radar and disappear. Instead, this story headlined newspapers, evening news, specials, and more. But what it didn’t take into consideration, the people it actually involved.
Looking at the scandal through today’s eyes, you can see what went wrong and how unfairly balanced the media was on different members involved. The series brings some dignity back to Pamela Anderson, which the news and media repeatedly stripped from her. It shows people the real-world effect behind newsworthy stories that we don’t often consider.
Pam & Tommy is a step back in time, from the style, music, and everything. It gives viewers an almost insiders look at what happened – with some truly bizarre moments (and prosthetics), the series will have you hooked quickly. It’s like watching the scandal happen in real-time, and it’s one of those trainwrecks you can’t look away from. The actors melt into their celebrity characters without hesitation, and you could almost be convinced you’re watching the scandal unfold in real time. It’s hard to be torn away from the show, and you’ll quickly find yourself binging the series.
Although we may not even know how close to reality the series is, it isn’t made to further scandalize the sex tape that was released. Instead, it seems to be trying to tell the story and give a bit of humanity to everyone involved and will make you look at both Pam & Tommy differently after you watch the series.
Pam & Tommy will premiere Wednesday, February 2nd on Hulu.
About Pam & Tommy:
Set in the Wild West early days of the Internet, “Pam & Tommy” is based on the incredible true story of the Pamela Anderson (Lily James) and Tommy Lee (Sebastian Stan) sex tape. Stolen from the couple’s home by a disgruntled contractor (Seth Rogen), the video went from underground bootleg-VHS curiosity to full-blown cultural obsession when it hit the Web in 1997. A love story, crime caper and cautionary tale rolled into one, the eight-part original limited series explores the intersection of privacy, technology and celebrity, tracing the origins of our current Reality TV Era to a stolen tape seen by millions but meant to have an audience of just two.