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To “save” Pamela Anderson, Pam & Tommy weakened her

  • Like Impeachment: American Crime Story, Framing Britney Spears, I, Tonya and Lorena, Hulu's Pam & Tommy is "the latest attempt to rehabilitate a maligned nineteen-nineties icon, who is nearly always a white woman," says Doreen St. Félix. "The trend distills enormously complicated stories to straightforward fables of misjudgment, and constricts a woman’s life to the arc of her worst experience—all to vindicate the 'rightness' of contemporary sexual politics." Pointing out that stars Lily James and Sebastian Stan "were made to surrender their bodies to the technicians in makeup and costume" resulting in a "wax-museum vitality to their characters’ looks," St. Félix says that the "series purports to tell the love story of Anderson and (Tommy) Lee, triumphantly, through the rude genres of the rock-and-roll romance, the heist comedy, and the Internet origin tale. But the show tracks as a spirited, funny, but ultimately awkward, mea culpa from Hollywood, and as a belated bid to regroup and get on the right side of pop-culture history. It’s television as low-risk media criticism." Anderson, meanwhile, is "written exclusively through the filter of sympathy and passivity. She is the bright, would-be ingénue trapped by her Americana beauty (Anderson was born in Canada), her Playboy imprimatur. To 'save' Anderson, Pam & Tommy weakened her; the portrayal feels pitched particularly to respectable white women who instinctively otherize someone like Anderson....If Pam & Tommy wanted to do something like justice to Anderson, it might have given her more activity outside of whimpering and sighing."


    • Pam & Tommy's Pamela Anderson-Jay Leno scene wasn't a word-for-word re-creation because the original Tonight Show interview is hard to find: “We had departments that, like, mine for these things," says Lake Bell, who directed this week's episode, which actually conflated two of Anderson's appearances with Leno. "One of the greatest miner of Pamela Anderson was Lily James, because every day, every second — on set and off set — she had her earbuds in, listening to interviews, mapping the cadence, the musicality and the resonance, the quirks, intricacies of that particular voice, and how Pam was under pressure. It was remarkable. We watched what we could find of that interview. It’s brutal. The gentleman who plays Jay Leno (Adam Ray), is uncanny. His mimicry was incredible.”
    • Nick Offerman says his sleazy Pam & Tommy Uncle Miltie character is 82% based on the way he looks: "In the look, I have to give it up to my wardrobe and makeup collaborators," he tells The Hollywood Reporter. "The artist who did my wig, his name is Barry Lee Moe. And that’s the character right there. That’s 82 percent of the answer to your question. He and I understood that a guy who would have his hair look like that — if you meet that guy, you know. You’re like 'Holy cow,' check your wallet, check your kids and maybe wear a condom just to shake hands with him. Between that and the great writing, I feel like I can’t take much credit because I didn’t think 'How can I sleaze this guy up?' It comes from within. I opened my answer with superficiality, but I think all of those aspects are fueled and flavored by one’s inner sleaze."
    • How Pam & Tommy uses "tattoo transfers" to make Sebastian Stan look like Tommy Lee: Tattoo transfers are essentially decals removed from paper with water and applied over a nearly three-hour period (their removal takes only 45 minutes). Autonomous FX owner Jason Collins, who applied Stan's tattoos, tells The Hollywood Reporter he would occasionally apply his art the night before so that the actor’s 12-hour shooting day wouldn't stretch to 15 hours. Collins’ team created maps using stencils and numbering systems to make sure they were applied identically every day: “We call it the Bible,” he says.
    • Lily James reveals there were Barb Wire scenes she re-created that were left on the cutting-room floor

    TOPICS: Pam & Tommy, Hulu, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Adam Ray, Jason Collins, Jay Leno, Lake Bell, Lily James, Nick Offerman, Pamela Anderson, Sebastian Stan, Tommy Lee, Hair and Makeup