The Thing About Pam

Publisher:
NBC News

The Thing About Pam

4.3/5

Critic Rating

Two days after Christmas, 2011, Russ Faria came home from game night to find his wife, Betsy, dead. He was soon charged and convicted of her murder. But Russ Faria insisted he did not kill his wife. Betsy’s brutal murder set off a chain of events that would leave one man dead, another man implicated, and expose a diabolical scheme. It would also see Dateline NBC—the true-crime original—become a part of the never-ending saga that proves the old adage: Truth is stranger than fiction. This original series from Keith Morrison and Dateline defies all expectations.


Critic Reviews

Score: 4.5

Aja Romano • Vox Apr 22, 2020

"Dateline host Keith Morrison gently informs the listeners that this will be “a strange story"...The Thing About Pam, while gripping, isn’t a perfect treatment of the Betsy Faria and Louis Gumpenberger cases. It can’t be, because Dateline itself, through no fault of its own, is very close to the story. It’s also pretty coy about its own closeness, in its particular Dateline way. But because this case has so many tendrils, it doesn’t necessarily lend itself to emphasizing the twists and turns of the story. "

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Score: 4.5

Andrea Marks • Rolling Stone Oct 25, 2019

"The series refreshingly lacks the overly-conversational style and self-conscious stammering that have become satire-worthy trademarks of podcasts and radio. Other TV production elements don’t translate as smoothly to audio. A string of quick quotes from unnamed sources makes more sense when you can see the talking heads, for instance. Morrison as guide keeps the listener guessing, in part by making self-referential remarks that could be red herrings, or not."

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Score: 4

Kevin Chang Barnum • PodcastReview.org Oct 12, 2019

"...host Keith Morrison’s voice crackles like fire. Morrison makes it clear that he is no stranger to the microphone. His voice is confident and calm; there is always a coolness beyond the danger. While the podcasting landscape teems with Ira Glass soundalikes, Morrison’s vocal work is uniquely pleasurable. Unfortunately, despite some scattered hints, we never really learn much more about who Pam is. Like Dateline, The Thing About Pam may polarize listeners with its brand of over-exaggerated writing. At times it can be flippant about its morbid subject matter. Ultimately, The Thing About Pam never feels personal enough to grip the listener the way the best podcasts do. The show certainly has its moments, and offers a more than entertaining ride, but as it searches the shadows, it doesn’t illuminate them brightly enough."

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