The full trailer for Hulu’s Pam & Tommy series is here, and besides leaning on a Meatloaf song for a winky meta-joke about the era, this looks like Craig Gillespie working very much in the vein of I, Tonya, reframing an infamous moment in a famous woman’s life from contemporary context. There is a lot of dramatic irony hinted at in Pam & Tommy, chiefly that we, the audience, know how permanent the internet is, how irretrievable Pamela Anderson’s and Tommy Lee’s intimate video is once it’s on the world wide web, but in the context of 1998 in the series, Pam and Tommy don’t know that yet. We also know, despite the romantic, truly-madly-deeply framing of Pam and Tommy as a couple, how tumultuous their relationship really was, another way in which the audience is ahead of the characters in the show.
But there is also a lot of obvious sympathy for Pamela Anderson and what she went through when The Tape was released. People metaphorically high-fived Tommy Lee, but Anderson was rampantly slut-shamed for…doing what couples do on their honeymoon. The double standard is undoubtedly going to be part of the series, and as sympathetic as Lily James looks as Pamela Anderson, Sebastian Stan is giving off BIG dirtbag energy (he does play a good dirtbag), which makes me wonder if we’re going to see a portrayal of the darker aspects of their relationship, too. The song choice, kitschy and dated as it is now, seems to point that way. What won’t they do for love? And why do I get the feeling it’s going to be two very different things for Pam and Tommy?