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The internet was already all-in on Hulu's upcoming Pam and Tommy when the first images of Sebastian Stan and Lily James — who play '90s icons Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson, respectively — went viral. So it's only natural that the streaming service decided to double down on the anticipation by dropping an early teaser for the still-shooting miniseries during the Walt Disney Company's annual upfront presentation to advertisers and the press.
The roughly minute-long clip, which hadn't been released online as of press time, reveals new footage of James and Stan in character, including shots of the Downton Abbey star wearing Anderson's iconic Baywatch swimsuit. The trailer also teased the plot and overall tone of the series, which was helmed by I, Tonya director Craig Gillespie.
Like that acclaimed 2017 retelling of the Tonya Harding scandal, which won an Oscar nomination for Margot Robbie and an actual Oscar for Allison Janney, Pam and Tommy puts a comic spin on a piece of sordid '90s history. The trailer is largely centered around Rand Gauthier (played by Seth Rogen), the disgruntled electrician who stole and then leaked the notorious sex tape that the couple filmed during their whirlwind courtship and marriage. Rogen previously modeled his era-appropriate outfit (and beardless face) on Instagram and earned praise for his own transformation.
Former Parks and Recreation star Nick Offerman appears opposite Rogen as Gauthier's partner in crime, Uncle Miltie, and the trailer includes the scene where the bumbling duo recognize the value of what they've stolen. "It's like we're seeing something we're not supposed to be seeing," muses Rogen. "Which is kind of what makes it so f***ing hot."
In real life, of course, the release of the tape was no laughing matter for Anderson. Filmmaker David Hogan, who directed her cult 1996 comic book movie Barb Wire, recently told Yahoo Entertainment that she was furious about the invasion of privacy and the cast and crew knew not to discuss the tape in her presence. "Of course, it was all the talk on the set," he added, recalling an incident where he walked in on some of the film's producers watching the tape in the production office.
The Pam and Tommy trailer suggests that Anderson and Lee will ultimately emerge as the heroes of this ribald, R-rated story, even as the series pokes fun at their larger-than-life pop culture image. But that might not be enough to satisfy early critics like Anderson's close friend, Courtney Love, who took to Facebook to slam the series in a since-deleted post. "I find this so f***ing outrageous," the singer wrote. "My heart goes out to Pammy. Further causing her complex trauma. Shame on Lily James, whoever the f*** she is."
Disney's other high-profile trailer reveal stayed firmly within the PG-realm, with ABC unveiling an extended first look at the long-awaited reboot of the beloved 1980s series The Wonder Years. The original revisited the 1960s through the eyes of Fred Savage's Kevin Arnold, with Daniel Stern providing the voice of his grown-up self.
The new version takes place in the same era, but follows the experiences of a Black family in Montgomery, Ala., when the American South was still roiled by race-related violence. In fact, the first episode — which was directed by Savage, who is also an executive producer — pointedly incorporates a news report announcing the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
Video: Danica McKeller on 'Wonder Years' reboot featuring Black family
That report is seen by the show's main character, Dean Williams (played by Elisha “EJ” Williams), a precocious 12-year-old who considers himself to be "the Great Uniter" — bringing together white and Black kids at his recently integrated school. The trailer also introduces the members of his extended family: his cool dad, Bill (Dulé Hill), super-smart mom Lillian (Saycon Sengbloh) and popular older sister, Kim (Laura Kariuki).
Meanwhile, Don Cheadle provides the musings of the adult Dean, reflecting on those "wonder years" decades later. "It's weird to grow up in a time when your mom and dad have to give you the 'police talk,' or when a presidential election creates a racial divide," the Iron Man star remarks — an observation that speaks volumes about the kinds of timely connections the new show will draw between the past and the present.
But some things never change: Joe Cocker's classic version of "With a Little Help From My Friends" still serves as the anthem of The Wonder Years. Twitter was particularly pleased that that bit of pop culture history remained intact.
Oh wow! The Wonder Years of my childhood https://t.co/dSout6KigO
— Isabella y Diego (@isabellaydiego) May 19, 2021
This The Wonder Years reboot has the chance to be something really special. Please don't mess it up https://t.co/cQqTN9FHbc
— Justin Burkhardt (@JustinBurkhardt) May 18, 2021
Love the orignal Wonder Years show. Rewatched it a few years back and it still held up. The new one looks really good. So awesome that they got Don Cheadle to narrate. Love that With A Little Help From My Friends is in the trailer. Good version too.
— Daniel Fugate (@df2506) May 18, 2021
The trailer for the reboot of the Wonder Years looks pretty good. It captures a similar feeling of the original. Looking forward to seeing the new series next fall. pic.twitter.com/Laz49Wc8te
— Gershon Rabinowitz (@GershOnline) May 19, 2021
Now i gotta rewatch the og wonder years now https://t.co/ZMxDSbZkPD
— Nick Carbone (@nickycracc) May 18, 2021
Pam & Tommy premieres later this year on Hulu; The Wonder Years premieres later this year on ABC.
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