It’s not just a story about how Hollywood and “celebs” entered a new era, the era of more or less control over the leakage of sex tapes. It’s also a reflection on the changing video industry, the birth of a freely available internet, and the fact that we sometimes become passively stars for small causes from even the smallest people. Hulu’s six-episode mini-series “Pam and Tommy” takes us into a world we’ve almost forgotten, and still focuses on pop culture, too.
Pam and Tommy (2022) – series review [Hulu, Disney+]. So a story about a particular cassette tape…
The series is allegedly due to an article in The Rolling Stone, making the sex tape of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee just a starting point for looking at the broader cultural context of the second half of the 1990s. From the series, Robert Siegel, because we’re so close to the life and frustration of “handyman” Rand Gauthier (in this role he had a great time playing Seth Rogen), who does secondary work to Motley Crue drummer, the famous Tommy Lee. The musician is privately married to a movie star, Pamela Anderson, but as it turns out: he’s also a very dishonest business owner. When Randy does not receive a portion of the salary in exchange for working on Lee’s property, the man decides to take revenge. A few months later, he broke into a metal star’s garage and stole photos, small valuables, and a videotape from his safe. And it is this tape that will be a kind of “MacGuffin” that leads not only the plot of the series, but also the life of a very financially successful carpenter and electrician so far. The only question is: what do we do with it? Is there a market for this type of material?
Pam and Tommy (2022) – series review [Hulu, Disney+]. Rich, beautiful and ordinary people
Episode one sets the tone this way – Randy and the Western media world see the lives of the super-rich Anderson and Lee as a series of parties, orgies, and fabulous travels. According to a simple electrician, they are people who do not deserve respect, and corrupt evaders should be taught humility. Anyway, in Randy’s eyes the arithmetic is simple: in the case of a sex tape, it should be used. Only the following episodes make Pamela Anderson and Tommy the characters mysterious, and the image presented at the beginning of the series appears as a simplified perspective. Then Lily James and Sebastian Stan took the lead in the roles of the title pair. Its magnetic charisma and screen chemistry throw off the plot multiple times, and the production itself turns into a deeply bitter and by no means amusing critique of a generation brought up on slightly shifting moral boundaries, and Anderson and Lee are not the cause, but the victims.
Pam and Tommy (2022) – series review [Hulu, Disney+]. On culture and the new sexual revolution
Of course, the matter is multidimensional and influenced a number of future scandals, so it is good that the creators are interested in the moral and cultural face of this leak. More accurate and precise is Pamela’s character, which here seems to differ from the tabloid pictures behind her, but Sebastian Stan also deserves praise as a crazy rockaman. The actor added just enough humanity to his character to make us believe that this drama affects him too.
Entering the pornography market, Randy appears to be an innocent man who has succumbed to the temptation of class inequality and is simply being taken as a subject. The protagonist, played by Nick Offerman, serves as a mentor and guide, and the long amulets of both men perfectly reflect the tone of the series. On the one hand, we’re dealing with something unleavened and cheerful and understand the jargon of famous pop culture, and on the other: dark, sloppy, with a lens heavily damaged by the media. In the middle we have two superstars who, although they didn’t bless the creation of this series, are once again, as they were years ago, being pushed by a machine they don’t quite understand. The series tries to at least make us understand that it wasn’t as straightforward as it might seem.
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