While we’re apologizing to the women who’ve been torn apart in the media for years — Britney Spears, Megan Fox, Janet Jackson, Marcia Clark — let’s add Pamela Anderson to the list. Though there have been documentaries, articles, and books written about her life, Hulu’s Pam & Tommy shines an even brighter light on the cruelty and rampant misogyny she endured. Written by co-showrunners Rob Siegel (The Wrestler) and DV DeVincentis (The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story) and directed by Craig Gillespie (I, Tonya), the eight-episode limited series goes beyond the tabloids and pulls back the curtain on the first viral celebrity sex tape scandal.
Pam & Tommy chronicles the relationship between the actor and Playboy model Pamela Anderson (Lily James) and former Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee (Sebastian Stan), including the first time they met, Tommy’s public proposal, and their immediate beach wedding, all of which occurred in less than a week. But it’s not just about their romance. We get a look at their individual struggles, like Anderson’s frustrations with not being taken seriously on Baywatch, and Lee’s music career post-Mötley Crüe.
The series is an adaptation of Amanda Chicago Lewis’ 2014 Rolling Stone article about construction worker Rand Gauthier (Seth Rogen) and the events leading up to the break-in (aka “Operation Karma”). The first episode focuses on Gauthier’s tense interactions with Tommy Lee during renovations. Lee’s constantly evolving ideas were more than frustrating for Gauthier and crew, meaning undoing previously finished work and redoing it.
Lee fired the crew and refused to pay for the work already done. When Gauthier returned to collect his tools, Lee threatened him with a gun. Hellbent on revenge, Gauthier later stole a massive safe full of firearms, jewelry, and cash, but it was a home video that would lead to the big bucks. That’s the setup for the series, which then follows all the characters as they handle the outcome of Anderson and Lee’s sex tape distribution.
Pam & Tommy has a similar tone…