Here is my review of Hulu’s new highly anticipated limited series, Pam & Tommy. All about the infamous Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee sex tape.
How does this provocative true story translate to the small screen? And do Sebastian Stan and Lily James hit it out of the park as these two iconic stars? Let’s talk about it.
Pam & Tommy Series Review
Pam and Tommy is created by Robert D. Siegel and stars Lily James as Pamela Anderson, Sebastian Stan as Tommy Lee, Seth Rogen as Rand Gauthier, Nick Offerman as Uncle Miltie, Taylor Schilling as Erica Gauthier.
Set in the early days of the internet, Pam & Tommy is based on the incredible true story of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee sexting.
Stolen from the couple’s home by a disgruntled contractor, the video went from underground bootleg VHS curiosity to full-blown global sensation 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.
When the first set of photos of Pam & Tommy came out, my initial reaction to them was astonishment and disbelief. Is that really Lily James and Sebastian Stan? How could that possibly be?
And once it settled in that these two incredible performers were taking on these roles and they looked that authentic my anticipation for this limited series skyrocketed.
It also helped that Craig Gillespie, who directed Cruella, I Tanya, and multiple episodes of one of my favorite new series of last year Apple TV Plus’s Physical, was involved in developing the series.
And now Pam and Tommy has finally graced our screens. And after watching all eight episodes, I can say that all I can feel is underwhelmed.
After the first initial shock and awe of seeing Stan and James as these iconic stars wears off in the first episode, you’re left with another 7 hours. That leaves me with my biggest qualm of this limited series.
Who thought that this story constituted 8 hours of television? There is no reason that Pam and Tommy needed to be this long.
If the writers had taken all of the real meat of this true-life tale and reigned it into three or four episodes, they would have had a tight and wholly entertaining hit on their hands.
As is, the series is wildly inconsistent, with some moments being totally absorbing while others are monotonous and thrown away.
It also doesn’t help that all of the men in the show, which make up nearly all of the characters, are completely unlikable, but we pretty much knew that would be the case going into Pam & Tommy.
While I don’t mind entertainment that follows antiheroes, there is just so much foul and debaucherous behavior going on here that it gets tiring trying to care for any one of the many characters that were following Besides one.
The show does succeed, especially in its latter batch of episodes and humanizing Pamela Anderson and elevating her beyond the stupid, dumb blonde caricature that was bestowed upon her by the media.
We really get to see a whole other side to this woman whose dreams and aspirations were put on hold against her will because of this sex tape and how it will haunt her for the rest of her life.
There’s always so much more to a person than what meets the eye, and if Pam & Tommy gets anything right, it’s to show how unfairly judged this ambitious starlet was.
Another thing this series gets so right is its casting of Stan and James, who are both transformative in these roles. There is no doubt in my mind that they will have golden statues being thrown at them left and right for their work here and deservedly so.
And while the makeup, costume, and hairstyling departments all had an incredible role to play in making these performers look as variable as they are, it’s the two performers who take it all the way.
They completely lose themselves to become Pam and Tommy and seem to fully understand these two people who on the outside seem simple to play but are really far more complicated.
And it also helps that they look like they are having an absolute blast chewing the scenery, so in turn, it is an absolute blast to watch them.
As far as the supporting players like Seth Rogen, Fred Hechinger, Taylor Schilling, and Nick Offerman are concerned, everyone is fine, but they’re really all just background noise surrounding our two leads.
Anytime these actors were on screen, I was pretty much just counting the minutes down until James and or Stan were back in our races. But despite their astonishing efforts, they are let down by their writers.
It’s quite obvious that showrunner Robert Siegel, who wrote The Founder and The Wrestler along with his crew, have no idea what they actually want Pam & Tommy to be.
One moment the show is a serious character-driven crime drama, then it’s a fun and nostalgic trip back to the sex, drugs, and rock and roll of the 90s. Then all of a sudden it feels like a melodramatic, cheesy Lifetime biopic.
Then it switches gear again and devolves into a raunchy comedy where Sebastian Stan has a full on conversation with his animatronic erect penis.
You honestly will probably get whiplash from how unfocused and all over the place this limited series is.
And unfortunately, because of this, I had a really hard time just sitting back and enjoying Pam & Tommy for what it is or I suppose what it should have been.
This really should have just had a razor-sharp focus on these two, their relationship, and the unfolding events after the release of the infamous sex tape.
And even though we do get that and those scenes are the most gripping and entertaining, the rest of the material which makes up most of the show is just unnecessary filler. We came here for a show about Pam and Tommy, not the schlub sorry Seth Rogen who stole the tape and now is some recluse selling weed in California.
Even so, as much as I believe this show squandered its potential and is an overall disappointing experience, I still must very slightly recommend it only for Sebastian Stan and Lily James. They single-handedly saved this ship from sinking completely.
So I am going to give Pam & Tommy Hulu Original Series 2.5/5.
Despite two transformative and captivating performances from Lily James and Sebastian Stan, this series is severely let down by a lack of focus, pointless subplots, unsavory supporting characters who lack interest, and a far too long run time for this particular material.
What are your thoughts on the show? I’m curious to know if others are liking it more than I did and if you’ve also think Stan and James were amazing please sound off in the comments section down below.
Guys thank you so much for reading the review of the Hulu Original Series Pam & Tommy.
Pam & Tommy Series Trailer
Check out the trailer of the new American biographical, drama, and romance Hulu Original Series, Pam & Tommy 2022.