Hello everyone. Welcome back to #fridayschoice. If you follow me on Instagram (@katelovesliterature), then you’ll know that I started watching Pam & Tommy a few weeks ago on Disney plus.
I said on my Instagram stories that I had mixed feelings about the show. On the one hand, I think it is very good and I have enjoyed watching it. I feel that the actors, particularly Lily James, have done an incredible job of capturing their characters. I think that the hair and makeup team deserve a lot of recognition, because without them, the actors could not transform into their characters the way they have.
It’s explicit. That goes without saying. The first two episodes were particularly explicit, and I do think that the writers did this to have an element of shock factor, because after the first two episodes, I felt that the level of sexual content and explicit scenes became less frequent as the story became more about how the tape is spreading and the impact that this is having on Pam and Tommy, but more so Pam.
I really like that this series is focusing on how much this tape being leaked did hurt Pamela Anderson. Regardless of what people thought of them and their relationship and how they got married, they were a married couple who had their private property stolen from them. That tape being put out into the public sphere was a huge invasion of privacy and this series is highlighting how Pamela especially suffered because of this invasion of privacy.
It is a sad fact that women are always judged much more harshly than men in situations like this. It is Pamela who was made fun of on talk shows, it is Pamela who was slut shamed, it is Pamela who was doubly judged because she had posed for Playboy and worked on Baywatch and sadly, people struggled, and still do struggle to understand that there is a huge difference between work that you have consented to vs. private, intimate property that was never intended to be seen.
This is where my mixed feelings arise, because I do think that the show is highlighting very important issues around consent and privacy, however it is hard to separate the important themes from the fact that the real Pamela Anderson was not happy that a show was being made.
It’s a difficult situation, because it was one of the biggest Hollywood stories, what happened was not okay. I like that the show is highlighting how badly Pamela was treated by lawyers and talk show hosts, and I would hope that a new generation is learning about consent and privacy and seeing how doing something like this to someone is wrong and not in any way justified, but knowing that Pamela Anderson was not happy about it being made, and thinking about how hard it must be to see the show talked about so often must be very difficult.
It may seem contradictory to say that I have mixed feelings about the show because of the fact that it could be hard on the real life people whom it is about and then continue to talk about it, but the reason I have chosen to talk about it is because it is a difficult one, and good pieces often are difficult. There is a grey area with this show. I am going to watch the last episode and when I do, I’ll have a more solid opinion on whether or not I think it should have been made, but the show did highlight some very important themes about topics that are still considered somewhat taboo.
The show highlights consent, privacy, the invasion of one’s privacy, the hypocrisy of the media, the unfair treatment of women compared to men and it does so very well, so for that reason, because of the show’s handling of these very important themes, I decided that I would talk about it, despite having some mixed feelings about it.
This has been Friday’s Choice.