Today, the internet can feel like a sex distribution mechanism that is only occasionally interrupted by selfies and memes. But that wasn’t always the case, as director Craig Gillespie (I, Tonya) makes clear in the new trailer for Pam & Tommy. Starring Sebastian Stan as Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee and Lily James as a dead ringer for Baywatch‘s Pamela Anderson, Pam & Tommy dramatizes the sex-tape theft that proved how incorrigibly horny everyone is, as well as what happens when two real people get caught in the crossfire.
The tale begins in 1995, when a disgruntled contractor named Rand Gauthier (Seth Rogen, also executive producing) broke into a safe and discovered the tape. Along with Milltie (Nick Offerman), he decided to try and make some money. “Nobody’s ever gotten rich off a celebrity sex tape,” Andrew Dice Clay tells them in the trailer. This leaves Rand wondering, “What if we sold it someplace nobody could find us?”
He suggests “a website,” leaving Milltie to sputter, “a what site?” Cue up footage of computers the size of small cabinets, as well as the absolutely shattering moment when Pam discovers one such tape. “What the hell is this?” she wonders.
While the trailer provides Sebastian Stan with plenty of opportunities to flash his wolfish smile, Lily James is the miniseries’ beating heart. It’s not just that she looks like Anderson; her anxiety is so intensely obvious that you might need to take a walk after watching. As in so much drama around sex, the bulk of the consequences are felt by the woman. In an intimate fight with her rockstar partner, she says, “You don’t seem to understand what a big deal this.”
“I’m on that tape the same as you,” he shrugs. “But this is worse for me,” she insists, leaving her clueless boyfriend to respond, “How is this worse for you?” The trailer ends with her letting out a sigh, and in that brief exhalation you can feel her whole world crashing down. Check out the trailer for Pam & Tommy below.
The series premiers February 2nd on Hulu, and it does so with the approval of Tommy Lee. In a recent interview, he said, “The story’s actually cool. What actually happened wasn’t, but [Stan] tells me it’s pretty wild,” he added. “I feel like it was forever ago. But it’s a cool story and people need to know. It’s cool. I’m stoked.”