February 8, 2023

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Pam And Tommy “The Master Beta”

Episode Four

So, I make these banner images for the shows I cover, and they’re somewhat personalized.  But then I noticed that this one, well, includes a typo saying it’s “Tuesdays” with Pam & Tommy.  It should read “Thursdays”.  I’ve been doing this for years, and I don’t know how that one slipped past me.

Eh, it’s only an eight episode mini-series, and I now return to my regularly scheduled half-assed nonsense I call a review.

By this point, at the halfway mark, the mini-series is really hitting hard at the idea that Pamela Anderson was the real victim here.  But it’s also not above pointing out how the men, by and large, keep making things worse for themselves and others, and how the writing pretty much emphasizes how much in the wrong Rand is even if he’s trying to be a likeable goof.

Case in point:  he never stopped to think that if he could make a copy of the tape, so could others.  The hypocrisy is strong when he tells the dude selling bootlegs that said dude is stealing and that’s wrong.  There’s an obvious gap in his personal morality, but the mini-series as a whole seems to be indicting the culture that didn’t seem to think that Pamela Anderson on some level if not deserved it, then at least was somehow complicit in it.  Sure, there have been a few similar “hidden” videos since then that have been much more controlled releases, but that was not the case for this one.  That’s the obvious crucial difference.  Even if Pam bares all for a magazine or in a movie or something, she still is doing so by choice and not because someone swiped a personal memento made between her and Tommy.

Though there is some comedy when Pam and Tommy learn there’s a website selling the tape–Pam finds the crew of Baywatch watching it–and they don’t know how to use the Internet and have go in disguise, more or less, to the local library to use the Internet.  It was still early in the days of web usage, as seen whenever Rand has to load his site and it does so incredibly slowly, but it was still a little darkly funny that these two wealthy celebrities have to go to the library to check something online.

Plus, if there’s a theme here of men trying to control the women in their lives, there is a double-meaning to Rand saying he can’t pay for the divorce to Erica “yet”.  It could mean he lacks the financial means or it could mean he lacks the desire to take that final step.

However, for all that Rand clearly has no where near the level of control over the project as he thinks he does, he’s not alone in the “making things worse”.  Maybe Pam flips out and smashes a paparazzo’s windshield, but she’s clearly a lot more stressed about what’s happening than Tommy is.  Pam is humiliated.  Tommy is, well, pissed.  Enough to hire a sleazy PI to find Rand and rough him up in an effort to get the tape back.

By the by, it did take the happy couple a few days to even notice the safe was missing, so draw your own conclusions.

But it is during the scene where Tommy hires this Anthony Pellicano that Pam learns for the first time that Tommy never paid Rand for his services and confiscated the man’s tools.  I don’t think Pam will sympathize with Rand over all this, but she clearly didn’t know what happened and is maybe a little upset over all this.

Then again, Tommy also hires a biker gang to beat up Rand.  He manages to get away, but it looks like his partner Miltie will be…not helping at all as he has the means to flee to Europe.

Still, for all Pam is the one saying she has it worse, it does seem unlikely that Tommy is able to realize that.  She even predicts Tommy can brag about the video to his friends or something, and she can’t do that.  The way the story is being told, Tommy doesn’t get that.

That seems to fit into the overall theme for this mini-series.

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