Fraud Fix on TV

I seem to gravitate to stories about real life scammers and con artists, having devoured stories like Bad Blood by John Carreyrou (about Theranos) and My Friend Anna by Rachel DeLoache (about Anna Delvey), so it’s been so satisfying to finally see the stories getting a wider audience via new documentaries and streaming TV series. Wes and I love a good documentary or fraud story (or both), so here’s what I’ve been binging of late on the topic…

Inventing Anna on Netflix is the Shonda treatment of the Anna Delvey scandal. I really loved seeing all the different facets (though fictionalized), though I thought it could use some serious editing and focus in other areas. Still, a winner!

The Dropout on Hulu was just fantastically done, and the acting is just superb. Even though you know it’s a train wreck, you can’t look away. Highly recommended!

After all the online buzz, Wes and I had to watch the Tinder Swindler documentary on Netflix about Simon Leviev who preyed on women via Tinder to support his lavish lifestyle. As I told Wes when it was over, I’m never dating again, even if we break up. 😀 Utterly fascinating, though!

The Puppet Master on Netflix was less compelling than the Tinder Swindler, but was the same vibe (icky guy using women for his own gain, etc.) though longer and not as “omigod” as the previous. It was just… really frickin’ weird.

Even though it’s been out for a while, McMillions on HBOMax is just a bananapants this-really-happened-y’all documentary about the McDonald’s Monopoly game being rigged and investigated by the FBI. This has the weirdest cast of “characters”, and every episode leaves us going “whaaaaa?!”

LuLaRich on Amazon Prime was a deep dive into the icky business practices of Lu La Roe, which everyone had a piece of (yup, I’ve got leggings still in my closet). Horrifying and fascinating… a cautionary tale….

The Act on Hulu is just the jaw dropping dramatization of the life and murder of Dee Dee Blanchard, likely killed by her daughter Gypsy after years of being kept sick by Munchausen-syndrome-by-proxy Dee Dee. Amazingly acted but just a giant “no frickin’ way” during every episode…

And, of course, the twin documentaries about the Fyre Festival are just a good time and a good deep dive into the insanity that is social media, celebrity, and when it all goes horribly sideways. Fascinating.

I wonder what other bananapants true stories are out there, just waiting to be told…

–Marissa

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