Back during the simpler, social media-free days of 1995, everyone and their mother had Mötley Crüe's tatted bad boy drummer, Tommy Lee, and Baywatch bombshell Pamela Anderson's names in their mouths. Their pop culture masterpiece (and personal nightmare) was the very first celebrity sex tape to be sold and distributed via the internet.
For those who don't know, this infamous celeb duo — who eloped in Cancun, Mexico, after knowing each other for a mere four days — didn't leak the tape themselves. In fact, Pam has been quite open about the fact that this era of her life was "a very painful time." It was actually their electrician, Rand Gauthier, who stole the couple's safe from their home in an act of revenge.
In Hulu's dark comedy series Pam & Tommy, Rand Gauthier is portrayed as an innocent, an antihero so to speak. So, was he really a victim? Or was he a villain for using their honeymoon bang session as revenge porn? Let's dissect the story.
Seth Rogen's portrayal of Rand makes it easy for viewers to want to root for him.
The warmly hilarious Seth Rogen (Knocked Up) plays Rand, Tommy Lee's financially struggling carpenter and electrician who's fed up with the drummer's erratic, volatile behavior and violent threats. He's also likely fed up with Tommy walking around in banana hammocks, but that's beside the point.
In the series, viewers see Rand get increasingly anxious as Tommy repeatedly changes his mind about his interior design "vision." The staff has to redo hours upon hours of work, but Tommy continuously reminds Rand that his motto is "MINO" — aka Money Is No Object. Tommy won't pay the workers as they go, though, leaving Rand scrambling to purchase and repurchase materials. It's like he's living paycheck to paycheck, except the paychecks aren't coming in.
As mentioned in Rolling Stone's 2014 feature story, Rand and a handful of others were unrightfully fired after spending three months renovating the couple's Malibu mansion. Tommy refused to pay Rand the $20,000 he owed him. The straw that broke the camel's back, however, unfolded when Rand went to retrieve his toolbox from the mansion, only to be greeted by Tommy pointing a gun in his face. The aggressive rockstar allegedly uttered the words "get the f--k off my property.”
In Craig Gillespie and Robert Siegel's Hulu series, the gun is literally pressed against Rand's face. It's a scene that leaves Rand — who sports a stunning curly mullet — so petrified that the carpenter even wets his pants. Suddenly, the audience is met with a flashback scene showcasing him as a young boy. Rand's cold, selfish father puts him in the basement with an array of snacks. He orders his son to stay down there while he entertains a group of ladies upstairs.
But when the poor youngster's bladder can't take it anymore, Rand tries to sneak upstairs to use the bathroom. Sadly, his monster of a father catches him, carrying Rand back to the basement and telling him he's "a worthless piece of s--t." A stream of urine is then seen flowing down Rand's khakis.
Evidently, the encounter with Tommy teleports Rand back to a traumatic moment from his childhood. It's clear that said flashback is intended to help us better understand the theology-obsessed carpenter. He's been neglected and disrespected ever since he was a boy.
Given Rand's interest in religion — he believes in the Hindu and Buddhist concept of karma — he tells his coworker (who was also fired) that "The righteous, they get rewarded. The wicked, they get punished."
Rand convinces himself that plotting to steal the couple's garage safe is a form of karma, that he is the manifestation of karma that Tommy deserves. Rand also tells himself he deserves the $20,000 he earned (which he does), but that isn't the main motive for the scheme.
While a vengeful Rand never expects to unearth a sex tape, he does, and he chooses to exploit the couple in hopes for a chunk of change. Listen, we love an underdog, we even love an antihero. But when it comes down to it, what Rand factually did in the 1990s was inherently wrong and obviously illegal. The series portrays Rand as a meek figure, but perhaps the real meek, innocent figure of the story is Pamela Anderson.
Who's the villain of the miniseries?
Would we categorize Rand — who lived his life in his father, actor Dick Gautier's, shadow — as a villain? Not exactly. If anything, Tommy is the villain. He's narcissistic, controlling, and downright frightening. And hey, in 1998, he spent six months in Los Angeles County Jail for allegedly assaulting his wife, Pamela Anderson.
While we genuinely feel for Rand, Pamela didn't deserve the humiliation, pain, and sheer misogyny she experienced after the notorious sex tape spread around the world.
New episodes of Pam & Tommy release Wednesdays on Hulu.