Parents' Guide to

The Thing About Pam

By Monique Jones, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Plodding true crime dramedy treats violence flippantly.

TV NBC Drama 2022
The Thing About Pam poster

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This series is a frustrating and surprisingly boring attempt to cash in on the true crime boom. First is the obvious controversy over Zellweger in a fat suit to portray Hupp. It's clear that this series is meant as a star vehicle for Zellweger, who also serves as an executive producer. But the decision to play Hupp in a fat suit cheapens the characterization. This is exacerbated by showing Zellweger opposite actual plus-size actress Katy Mixon, who plays the series' victim.

There is no true internal conflict or seeming interest in the story about Hupp -- it appears that one of the only reasons the series was created was to cash on the boom true crime podcasts are having in pop culture. The other reason seems to be to an attempt to cash in on the popularity bigger-than-life characters are having in the zeitgeist in general, such as the characters from the Tiger King documentaries. However, The Thing About Pam doesn't seem interested in telling us why Hupp is so enigmatic, or why true crime listeners became enthralled with her tale of murder. Its rare plot points are peppered with meandering, meaningless narration that try to make the show feel strangely more like Desperate Housewives, Fargo, or Pushing Daisies rather than a dramatic retelling of a real event. The series also seems just as disinterested in Betsy Faria (Mixon), the woman Hupp killed. The Thing About Pam, therefore, feels offensive to Faria's memory, since she was more than just an object for a quirky story.

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