Trailer of the Week: Pam & Tommy
Because who doesn’t love a Nineties scandal given the splashy telly treatment?
What is it?
The “Official Teaser Trailer (2022)” for Pam & Tommy, the “Hulu original limited series” that’s “based on the scandal between Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee”. It stars Lily James (Cinderella) and Sebastian Stan (The Falcon and the Winter Soldier), and is directed by Craig Gillespie, who made the ace I, Tonya.
Once upon a time – 1995, to be precise – red-swimsuited Baywatch star Pamela Anderson met Tommy Lee, the extravagantly tattooed drummer with Mötley Crüe. After spending approximately 96 hours in each other’s company, they were married on a Cancun beach. The bride wore white*. The groom wore board shorts. On their honeymoon they, as you do, consummated the relationship and filmed the happy occasion for posterity. Later that year, their house was burgled by their electrician, Rand Gauthier. This bright spark (geddit?) stole the video cassette (ask your dad) containing the aforesaid footage. The clip quickly became a phenomenon on this new thing called “the internet”, which was then in its screechy, whiny, dial-up modem infancy. And, lo, the Celebrity Sex Tape was born.
*a white bikini.
What's a Celebrity Sex Tape?
Don’t come here with your fake-ass prudery. But in case you’re serious, per Wikipedia: “A celebrity sex tape is typically an amateur pornographic video recording involving one or more famous people which has, intentionally or unintentionally, been made available publicly. Such videos have often been released without the consent of their subjects and have damaged celebrities’ careers.”
I know, right? In the era when celebrity culture came of age – ie. became an industry in and of itself, separate from actual culture – this was major, especially given the super-famous status of Anderson (Baywatch was a Saturday night TV phenom and is apparently “the most popular TV show in history”) and Lee (Mötley Crüe were hair-metal massive). The couple – “Pommy”? “Tammy”? – sued the company who distributed the video online.
Everyone saw the video anyway. The company went bankrupt, meaning the couple got nada, apart from even more fame. Or infamy. One of the two. Pammy and Tommy split after three years, amid allegations of spousal abuse (he did jail time for that) and hepatitis C infection (she said of he). And 23 years after that, this seemingly knockabout series was made.
Does it look good?
DOES IT LOOK GOOD? It looks brilliant. As blonde bombshell beach babe Pammy, Lily James is unrecognisable as the fairytale and period-drama-specialist English rose who was in Downton Abbey, Cinderella and The Pursuit of Love. As LA Rock’n’Roll Douchebag Tommy, Sebastian Stan is unrecognisable as the dude who was ice-skater Tonya Harding’s sadsack husband in the larky I, Tonya. And Seth Rogen is unrecognisable as the formerly doughy comic-actor who plays Rand.
What's the music like?
Like the umlauts in their name, the songs of Mötley Crüe are silent (rights issues?). Instead we’ve got Lenny Kravitz’s Are You Gonna Go My Way. Small mercies, etc.
Best line that tells you everything you need to know?
“Goddam,” whispers Nick Offerman “Uncle Miltie” to Rogen’s Rand. “It’s so… private. It’s like we’re seeing something we’re not supposed to be seeing. Which is kinda what makes it so hot. If this thing ever got out…” Cue meaningful stare between the “bad guys”. Cue capers aplenty.
When's it out?
2nd February 2022.