Wednesday, February 16, 2022

REVIEW: 'Pam & Tommy' - Pam Worries Any Action Will Expose More People to the Tape in 'Uncle Jim and Aunt Susie in Duluth'

Hulu's Pam & Tommy - Episode 1.05 "Uncle Jim and Aunt Susie in Duluth"

The tape falls into the hands of Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione.

"Uncle Jim and Aunt Susie in Duluth" was written by Brooke Baker & D.V. DeVincentis and directed by Gwyneth Horder-Payton

Everything is going to be beautiful and perfect. That's the mentality Pam wants to approach her life. Plenty of things are causing her stress. It has become so personal for her as well. Of course, all of this is laced with the irony of none of the things she prays for actually come to fruition the way she wants them. She wants to remain optimistic. She is concerned. She wants people to listen to her. And yet, she is surrounded by men in rooms who determine her fate. They have the power. She is the true victim here. The tape is being promoted under her name. Tommy Lee is involved to a certain extent. He isn't sexualized in the same way. She yearns for an exciting movie career. She fears that Tommy is jealous of the opportunities she has. His career has already reached its peak. Fans say his best work is already behind him. He is no longer part of the cultural zeitgeist. He isn't relevant. It's no longer beneficial for the record label to book the main recording studio. He has to settle for a smaller space. He is angry at the world. He takes out his frustrations on everyone. Of course, that is coupled with the sweetness of him looking at a teddy bear he was planning on giving to his child. He is sad over that loss. The show presents him as a more nuanced person. He has to be in order to exist as a functional character in this world. And yet, it has been distracting to see the show split its focus when so much of the attention should be on Pamela Anderson. It's beneficial that this episode doesn't feature Rand or Miltie at all. Their side of this story probably still has more to come. And yet, the story has already outgrown them. Copies of the sex tape are being made and sold. They no longer have the only website selling the tape. Their business venture certainly innovated a new form of delivery for this product. Everyone remains in the dark about what is possible now with the internet. Pamela hopes this story can remain small. She doesn't want to draw more attention to it than it deserves. It's growing with each passing day. Tommy and the group of lawyers amplify it too. They decide they need to take preemptive action to ensure stills from the video aren't published in Penthouse Magazine. That's all driven by the fear of what Bob Guccione might do. It's not driven by an actual threat with real context. It's simply about striking fast to protect what's theirs from becoming even more widespread. It backfires. Pam was fully aware that this would be the outcome. She has so much more to lose. Plus, everything that Tommy does is ultimately a reflection on her. That's how deeply-rooted misogyny is in society. It dictates everything. Time doesn't need to be spent in the writers room for The Tonight Show as jokes are pitched about the tape. It's pivotal enough when the story makes it into the monologue of such a culturally relevant show. Of course, that highlights just how disgusting that piece of entertaining always was. Jay Leno believed he was playing to average citizens in middle America. In reality, he was condemning a woman all in the name of laughter. It's despicable. But again, the tape is blowing up now. That can't be changed. It can't be small any longer. Legal action changed all of that. That's the point that made this a story worth reporting on. Sure, it was worthy of news consideration before the lawsuit was filled. That's what made it sensationalized though. It ensures the actual story is covered up. The truth isn't revealed. It's simply about the scandalous nature of celebrities who can be seen in their most private moments. Pam loses opportunities. That says it all at the end of the day. She knew this would happen. No one took her seriously. And so, her life is ruined with her having no control over it. Tommy doesn't get it. He continues to invade. That too sets the stage for their dissolution as a couple.