Wednesday, February 23, 2022

REVIEW: 'Pam & Tommy' - Pam Endures a Searing Examination That Invades Her Privacy Further in 'Pamela in Wonderland'

Hulu's Pam & Tommy - Episode 1.06 "Pamela in Wonderland"

During a grueling deposition, Pam is pushed to the emotional brink.

"Pamela in Wonderland" was written by Sarah Gubbins and directed by Hannah Fidell

Pamela Anderson is seen as solely responsible for everything pertaining to the sex tape. That's a false reading of events. It fundamentally showcases the misogyny that permeates throughout society. The pressure comes down on her harder than anyone else. Because she appeared in sexual acts that have been made available to the public, people assume they can treat her a certain way and she'll take it. It builds to a point where even the stenographer is commenting on how vicious and demoralizing this deposition is. It's unfair and absolutely brutal. Pam is suppose to bear through it. She has to answer for every sexual act between a married couple. Their personal lives are on display for the entire world. It wasn't of their own choosing. They never offered their consent. When the recording was made, it was all about documenting their love for one another. That obsession was so compulsive and magnetic. It blinded them to the recklessness of their actions to a certain extent. And yet, they are completely in marital bliss. They don't care about the world around them. They yearn for a family. That may ultimately come to fruition. A baby wasn't conceived during the honeymoon. The documentation doesn't have that significance. However, Pam realizes she may very well be pregnant during the deposition. The grueling nature of having to explain her personal conduct to a group of men was enough to explain ending up in a bathroom throwing up. It's also visceral when that potential pregnancy realization dawns on her. It too is a private moment. One that she can't immediately confirm. It's simply a suspicion. This entire journey has equally centered on Pam and Tommy's desire to have a baby. They have endured that struggle while facing the scrutiny that comes from the tape. That's the dichotomy between their private and public lives. The world feels entitled to know every single detail. People feel a sense of ownership over Pam because she has given so much freely. They equate her doing photoshoots with Playboy Magazine as justification for the sex tape. It's the next natural extension of her sexuality and willingness to earn a profit. She has an acting career. That has been her central aspiration throughout this story. This episode is the first instance that depicts her time in the Playboy Mansion. It may still all read as a fantasy. But it firmly placed Pamela Anderson on an upward trajectory. One where a great life was being fulfilled.

That's all Pam wants as well. She needs to know that everything is going to be alright. She sought that clarity from her mother following her first photoshoot. She was confident on set after awhile. She inspired Hugh Hefner and the photographer. Of course, she compared herself to the other girls. She assumed she had to alter her body in order to better fulfill the beauty standards established in this medium. Her mother always saw her as perfect. She is more than accepting of any change Pam is willing to make. Pam has complete control over her identity. She will take ahold of opportunities when they support her and allow her to have agency over her worldview. That has been slowly stripped away over the years. She has had to fight to gain more significance on Baywatch. And now, people only want to talk about her tumultuous relationships. She has no control over anything. She is also suppose to explain everything. She is the one who has to be accountable for every action others take. She was skeptical about this lawsuit. She didn't want to back Bob Guccione into a corner. That would only inspire him to publish stills from the tape. Tommy and her lawyers didn't listen. She is perfectly rational throughout this whole endeavor. But again, the spotlight is entirely on her. That too has been a prominent position throughout this story. Her career has continually been placed on the rise while Tommy is struggling to maintain any relevance. His best days are possibly behind him. He acts as such a wild card throughout this whole scandal. The world is changing. Pam and Tommy have simply become the test case for how the immoral, seedy parts of the internet can take advantage of people in their private moments. They had nothing to do with the release of the tape. And yet, a whole story is being concocted about them recording it in the first place to sell it off. It's all about the money. That's how the lawyers want to paint it. It's actually about dignity and respect. Pam needs to know that her lawyer is fighting on her behalf. She spends this day being absolutely humiliated over and over again. Her lawyer may only be able to do so much. The vast majority of these questions are demeaning and despicable. And yet, the lawyer feels free to ask them because degrading woman for daring to flaunt their sexuality as an empowering tactic is unacceptable. Pam has to be condemned for doing so and made so she can never feel like the victim in the public's eye. It's a complete lie. One that leaves Pam all alone by the end of this legal journey no matter what the outcome ultimately becomes.