Get ready to go back to the hard-rocking 1990s for a tale of love, sex, privacy, the internet and sheer Hollywood debauchery in the much-hyped true-life scandalous tale of Pam & Tommy.
Deadbeat carpenter Rand Gauthier (Seth Rogen) is busy at work on constructing a state of the art love palace for two of Hollywood’s most outrageous and carefree celebrities, Motley Crue bad boy rockstar Tommy Lee (Sebastian Stan) and his new wife and uber babe Pamela Anderson (Lily James). But tiring of Lee’s debauched behaviours and speaking his mind, Rand quickly runs afoul of the celebrity couple and is sent packing. Seething with a burning desire for revenge he plots an elaborate heist that leads him to the discovery of a highly salacious and secret videotape that will set the world on fire!
Noted director Craig Gillespie is ready to bring the sex, drugs and rock n’roll of the early 1990s and the true story of the world’s most infamous sex tape to audiences in the much-hyped television event series Pam & Tommy. And this series is a revelation. Taking audiences back to the start with Episode One, ‘Drilling and Pounding’, Gillespie introduces his characters and sets the stage for an intense and dramatic story of celebrity at its edgiest and the birth of the internet. With a talent for bringing ‘stranger than fiction’ works to the screen such as I, Tonya, Gillespie gets things rolling with Pam & Tommy and those who are prudish should avert their eyes because right from the start the sex and debauchery is out in the open. And it’s LOUD!
Constructed as a story of perspective told from multiple points of view, we are introduced in ‘Drilling and Pounding’ to Seth Rogen’s Rand Gauthier. A schlubby carpenter and one-time pornstar, Rand hasn’t had a great go of life and has been beaten down at multiple turns. He’s a loser with a capital L and while working a job for the infamous Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson quickly runs afoul of the couple and is sent packing. Rand, who has a keen interest in spirituality seeks to right his own wrongs and sets out down a road of Karma-induced retribution, and it’s here where things get interesting. Rand plays into Rogen’s wheelhouse of characters and the noted actor and comedian finds the right balance between the dramatic and comedic with his performance, and I have a feeling his character journey is going to be an interesting one at that.
While ‘Drilling and Pounding’ may set Rand up as the protagonist (at the moment) of Pam & Tommy, it also clarifies Motley Crue rockstar drummer and Hollywood’s resident bad boy of the 1990s, Tommy Lee as the antagonist and star Sebastian Stan revels in the part. Channelling absolute punk rock, alpha male flair, Stan portrays Lee not unlike a debauched Roman emperor who struts around in a leopard print g-string and seemingly makes Rand’s job difficult at every turn. Sudden fame and money have made him into a complete and utter douchebag and he’s a full-on volatile human being who takes it to Rand every time he can. It’s only our first look at Stan as Tommy Lee in ‘Drilling and Pounding’ but for the moment it’s clear that he’s nailing the character.
Starring as Lee’s sex bomb new wife and Baywatch babe Pamela Anderson is Lily James and this English rose has transformed in unrecognisable fashioned into the famed Anderson. While she’s only seen briefly in Episode One, ‘Drilling and Pounding’ it’s clear that this is Lily James unlike we’ve ever seen her before. But more on Pamela later. Another character of interest also present in ‘Drilling and Pounding’ is Nick Offerman’s Uncle Miltie. As a sleazy, low rent porn director Offerman’s Uncle Miltie is Rand’s hook-up inside the burgeoning California porn scene and you can tell that he and Rand will cook up plenty of trouble together.
‘Drilling and Pounding’ sets the stage for the drama that is to unfold in Pam & Tommy and this all begins with Rand’s plan of ultimate Kharma revenge. That revenge is a hilarious robbery in which he rips Lee of his safe and it’s absolutely hilarious to watch. Gillespie has a good handle over the comedy of the series and it’s extremely funny to see Rogen as Rand go full Mission: Impossible on the Lee’s. It’s in this stroke of intended mischief that Rand robs the Lee’s of a sizeable bounty of goodies and in amongst this stockpile is an innocent-looking videotape that contains a very sordid secret.
Things have kicked off nicely in the first episode of Pam & Tommy and Gillespie has his hands on a very intriguing new series that audiences are going to be keen to get in on.
Pam & Tommy streams every Wednesday on Disney+
Image: Walt Disney Pictures