Pam and Tommy
TV shows only get one first impression, and the first two episodes of Pam and Tommy don’t disappoint. The opening is a riotous whirlwind of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll that throws viewers into the heart of a sensational scandal that took the world by storm, with the turbulent love story between Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee (Sebastian Stan) and Baywatch star Pamela Anderson (Lily James) behind it all.
The circumstances that led to the release of the infamous sex tape are as ludicrous as the musician’s drug-addled antics: a frustrated and enraged contractor (played by Seth Rogan), who has been working tirelessly on renovating the couple’s bedroom into a fantastical love nest, decides to steal their safe, having been mistreated – and even held at gunpoint – by the rockstar. What he doesn’t expect to find locked inside is the tape, which he decides to leak to the public. Series creator Robert Siegel embraces the ensuing madness and runs with it, throwing in a pinch of sharp humour along the way.
James and Stan are perfectly cast as the lovestruck couple. Both actors are almost unrecognisable in their respective roles as they embody these eccentric celebrities. Stan is especially captivating as Lee – his unbridled charisma can change from comical to threatening in an instant. Meanwhile James portrays Anderson with complete sincerity. Sparks fly whenever the pair are onscreen together; despite their chaotic surroundings, they are sincerely infatuated with one another. Viewers should be warned, however, this production holds absolutely nothing back when it comes to the hedonistic lifestyle – talking genitals and all.
Although the establishing episodes in this eight-part series concern themselves solely with the heist, alongside the couple’s spontaneous reunion, a cold opening of Pamela being interviewed about the tape on television suggests the show will be digging a little deeper into broader themes of voyeurism, sexism and celebrity as it progresses.
For now, though, Pam and Tommy is an electrifying, no-holds-barred drama about larger-than-life characters in a larger-than-life situation that has a lot more to give.
Pam and Tommy is released on Disney+ on 2nd February 2022.
Watch the trailer for Pam and Tommy here: