Wednesday, March 2, 2022

REVIEW: 'Pam & Tommy' - Rand Stumbles Around Enraged That He's Not Solely Profiting From the Tape in 'Destroyer of Worlds'

Hulu's Pam & Tommy - Episode 1.07 "Destroyer of Worlds"

Tommy confronts Rand in the Dodger Stadium parking lot.

"Destroyer of Worlds" was written by D.V. DeVincentis and directed by Lake Bell

This show is vastly more interesting when it delves solely into Pamela Anderson's perspective. She continues to have moments of great value and consequence. Of course, she isn't the only person wrapped up in this complicated story. Everyone else is simply lacking reagrding any dimension or personality. Rand is an idiot. That's all that he functions as within this story. He is an incredibly influential idiot. He sent the world plummeting into this conversation about celebrity and consent. He did so to get revenge against Tommy Lee. He isn't aware of the far-reaching repercussions of his actions though. He's fooled into believing that Miltie is coming back to bail him out. That's not going to happen. That leaves Miltie feeling like a huge waste of time. Everyone should wonder why Nick Offerman was cast in the first place. He is epically underused. Rand and Miltie do showcase how toxic masculinity is so often built around sex and controlling women's bodies. It's a one-dimensional version of that conversation though. The layers and nuance come elsewhere with Pam actually speaking on how her life has forever been shaped by her sexuality. She dreams for the best but no one seems to care what she thinks. That informs every single relationship for her. When doing press for Barb Wire, Pam says she loves a man who listens. It's mostly a way to shut down the reporter who interrupted her answering a previous question. It's a truth that runs much deeper than that too. The lawyers didn't listen to Pam's concerns about making the tape a bigger story through the lawsuit. Tommy didn't listen to her when she knew she'd be blamed for this more than he ever would. The entertainment industry wants to saddle her with lackluster projects that don't match up with the woman she wants to be. She wants to embody Jane Fonda. No one believes she is capable of that aspiration. The audience can see the grit and determination. That's admirable. It's an enviable quality that makes her so compelling at the center of this story even though she's not the one actively driving it forward. She is positioned as a reactionary character. Yet she is the one with the most vitality. That takes a true skill from the writers. Careful consideration was absolutely put into her development. It's remarkable and should be recognized. That can't make up for the shortcomings elsewhere.

Of course, Pam's perspective is more important to get right. She is the biggest victim of the sex tape. She needs to be admired for having to endure all this pressure when the world refused to listen to what actually happened to her. The tape was stolen. Erica and her girlfriend admire Pam's artistic vision. They see a female perspective in a genre that so rarely gives that control to them. It's fascinating. They want to understand it on a deeper level. They can see the genuine love that exists between Pam and Tommy. It's still horrifying to learn Rand was responsible for the tape being released. It's a private moment between two people. They recorded it for themselves. It wasn't meant to be shared. Rand offered that humiliation because he was determined to inflict karma on the man who wronged him. He still wants to justify his actions. He's a fool who is wildly in over his head. His actions are essentially irrelevant at this point. Pam is being talked about with no one considering how she feels. When she appears on The Tonight Show, her truthful answer about the tape is seen from a different angle entirely. It's much more personal. It reveals so much. But it doesn't fit in with the light-hearted nature of that show. The appearance is suppose to make jokes about celebrity culture. The public isn't willing to engage in a larger conversation about what has been done to her. Tommy isn't an engaged partner either. Pam may be pregnant again. However, she wants to get away from Tommy whenever she can. It's convenient because of the press schedule. He still drags her to things she doesn't want to do. He believes it's still his role to hurt whomever humiliates her. He wants to hurt Rand and Jay Leno. He loves her so much that he physically has to hurt whomever destroys their perfect happiness. That's not a healthy way to show love. The show is tentative in exploring that corrosive nature. It's fascinating when Pam ridicules the ruling made against her and Tommy. She knows she doesn't have any rights regarding what is published without her consent. Everyone else is baffled. They don't understand her experience. It's an alien concept to them. They take this loss as a personal defeat. Pam knew it was coming. No one listened to her. Her agency is being robbed. Her hopes for a better future are being diminished. Her light is being dimmed. It's all an in abstract nature though instead of depicting how cruel and vicious the world and the people closest to her actually were. That's despite the amount of time spent with those one-note characters. That decision basically brings the whole show down despite the interesting details with Pam.