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‘Pam & Tommy’ Is a Nostalgic Survey of a Toxic ’90s Love Affair


‘Pam & Tommy’ Is a Nostalgic Survey of a Toxic ’90s Love Affair

I will never forgive Pam & Tommy, the new Hulu miniseries centered on the multimedia hell-storm triggered by Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee’s stolen 1995 sex tape, for not letting Mötley Crüe and Third Eye Blind fight. I mean physically, brutally fight; I mean a full-bore, Anchorman-style studio brawl. “Hi! Hi! Hey! Who the fuck are you guys?” snarls Crüe drummer Tommy Lee in the fifth episode. Lee, played by Sebastian “Winter Soldier” Stan as an antic whirlwind of personal and professional decline, has just burst into a studio room larger than the meager space allotted to his aging, flailing, ’90s laughingstock of a band. “Third Eye Blind,” the guy playing notoriously smirky 3EB frontman Stephan Jenkins replies, with a simper. Yes! Ha ha ha! YES!

More words are exchanged, most of them expository (turns out they’re on the same record label) and all of them inaudible due to the distracting sound of me salivating like a cartoon wolf tempted with a giant raw cartoon steak. FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT. “What the fuck, they book these ass clowns in the Big Room over us?” Lee thunders, rhetorically. “Guess so! Sorry, man!” Jenkins shoots back. I will renew my Hulu account for the next five years, this instant, if they let all these assholes throw hands for even 30 seconds. C’mon! I don’t care that no such fracas occurred in real life. (As far as we know!) C’MON! Have some balls, man! Take a little something called poetic license! But alas. “Doesn’t matter,” Lee mutters, deflated, as he storms out, and I suppose it doesn’t, and I will be mad about this until the end of time.

This is definitely not the desired takeaway from Pam & Tommy, which is both sordid and scolding, exploitative and excoriating, hell-bent on having its cake and sticking Tommy Lee’s dick in it, too. Sorry for that image, but this eight-episode chaos whirlwind of a show includes a quite lengthy (sorry) scene in which Lee argues with his penis, which is voiced by Jason Mantzoukas and shot in lurid closeup as it undulates mid-conversation. Tommy and his dick are holding court in a hotel bathroom,…

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