Jumping in on the string of successful dramatizations of real-life crime stories (re: Inventing Anna), NBC added The Thing About Pam to their lineup. Starring Academy Award-winning Renee Zellweger as Pam Hupp, the show follows the insane true story of a small town murderer and a fantastically botched investigation and trial.
The Conservative Critic asks: Is it entertaining? Does it have artistic/intellectual value? And is it liberal propaganda?
Conservative Critic Meter Check:
Overall rating: Very good
The Thing About Pam is a darkly humorous tongue and cheek take on real life murder in a small town in the midwestern United States. The show runners take the bizarre true story and design a carnival mirror to reflect a caricature which allows viewers to be as outraged as possible at the disturbing behavior of Pam Hupp, the borderline covered up by the District Attorney and local law enforcement and sympathetic to those impacted. Exposing the government for the injustice they are capable of, the show leans right and is a worthy watch for anyone looking for a good spring show.
Is it entertaining?
Rating: Fun and unique
Crime dramas are a fun genre and this one takes a unique spin by creating a sinister ora around the bumbling point of view of the titular Pam Hupp. Complete with an omniscient narrator, the viewer gets to follow along with the story already knowing the outcome but getting the rich detail of the narrative.
Overall its a unique take on a good genre and its a fun watch.
Does it have intellectual/artistic value?
The Thing About Pam is not bad but there is something in its campiness that doesn’t quite work. Zelweger does a stunning job becoming the sociopathic midwester manipulator, but she’s absolutely buried in fat suits and prosthetics. When she moves it literally looks like she’s someone in one of those blow-up sumo wrestler suits. It’s awful and jarring and really takes viewers out of the experience. The same for the makeup and styling of the phenomenal Judy Greer as District Attorney, Leah Askey and Josh Dumel as Joel Schwartz. When some of the characters are played straight (all of the victim’s family) it’s odd to have overly costumed and made up characters walk among them.
That being said, there is nothing truly wrong with the show and nothing about the flaws takes from the show’s watchable quality.
Is it liberal propaganda?
Rating: Slightly right
The show exposes the capacity of the government to promote injustice and stick to their guns on injustice. From destroying evidence to swamp-style friendships, the show’s true villain is a corrupt government. For that reason, it leans to the right.