Success or Scandal: “Pam & Tommy”

Photo posted by @pamandtommyonhulu on Instagram

After its first three episodes aired on Feb. 2, the Hulu series “Pam & Tommy” immediately became a topic of great discussion. An eight-part show all about Playboy princess Pamela Anderson and Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee’s sex tape scandal, “Pam & Tommy” has people questioning whether it is ethical to even watch or not. Despite its star-studded cast and intriguing storyline, the series has brought about controversy, and VALLEY is here to tell you why.  

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The Success

The commercials showing Seth Rogen rocking dad jeans and a mullet were not all that caught the public’s attention. The “Pam & Tommy” cast is teaming with beloved actors and actresses including Sebastian Stan as Tommy Lee, Lily James as Pamela Anderson and Nick Offerman as a sleazy adult film producer. These recognizable names drew in film and TV audiences of all different types of genres. However, the best part about seeing these beloved faces on screen wasn’t their acting, but seeing their intense hair and makeup transformations to bring the 90s setting to life.

Let’s get one thing straight — the subject and ethics of the series may be slightly controversial, but there is no questioning the quality of the makeup and costumes in “Pam & Tommy.” Lily James looks more like Pamela Anderson than Pamela Anderson herself. So, how did the makeup department achieve this successful transformation?

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No expense was spared when it came to ensuring that James and Stan effectively portrayed their characters of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee. Both actors wore colored contacts and fake tattoos to match those of the celebrities. The details that really count, though, are the ones like the prosthetic used on James’ forehead to better replicate Anderson’s features. Hats off to the hair and makeup department — they added an element to the show that it would not have been successful without.

The Scandal

However, we must remember that this series was not a creation of fiction. The story is based on real events that impacted many people’s careers and futures. This is where the controversy lies.

Pamela Anderson had supposedly not given permission for the show to be made, most likely because it focuses on a very dark time in her life. While “Pam & Tommy” seems to empathize more with Anderson than any other character, we are left to question if the show is exploiting her or not. Will more people look up the tape that she didn’t want to be released? Is it right for Hulu to profit off of this type of exposure?

These questions don’t necessarily have a correct answer, so whether you watch “Pam & Tommy” or not is entirely up to you. Like every entertainment creation, this series has its flaws and its triumphs, and the audience gets to decide what matters more.



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