After she was intrigued by Jessica Pressler’s New York Magazine article, “How Anna Delvey Tricked New York’s Party People”, Shonda Rhimes wanted to create a show on the elusive and mysterious figure of Anna Delvey. And that is how Netflix’s Inventing Anna came into being.
Anna Sorokin posed as a fake German heiress, adopted the alias of Anna Delvey and scammed the wealthy socialites of New York of millions of dollars before being imprisoned for larceny and fraud. However, Sorokin became the anti-hero epitome of the American Dream who was lauded for scamming the rich by a certain section of the society.
Based on the shocking real-life incident, Rhimes created a nine-part true-crime series on Netflix, starring Julia Garner as the enigmatic Delvey and Anna Chlumsky as a loose fictional version of Pressler. While the series has received a divisive reception, it deftly portrays the shocking odyssey of rags to riches story where Sorokin’s manipulation, lies and masterful skills help her feign opulence for quite some time.
If Inventing Anna caught your attention and left you wanting more twisted tales of lies, immorality, manipulation and scams, worry not. Here is a list of five shows that you will enjoy on Netflix if you liked Inventing Anna:
5 shows to watch on Netflix if you liked ‘Inventing Anna’
5. What/If (Mike Kelly, 2019)
With a different take on morality, manipulation and mind games, the limited series mirrors Indecent Proposal with a twist. Showing how a single decision can change someone’s entire existence, the anthology series is a gripping and thrilling tale of con artists.
Starring Renee Zellweger, Blake Jenner and Jane Levy, the series abounds in characters with dubious intentions and flaws that add to the overall charm of the series. Heavily inspired by shows like Revenge, the morbidly fascinating premise of this neo-noir, the pulpy show is stuff that noir enthusiasts’ dreams are made of.
4. Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal (Chris Smith, 2021)
In this reenactment of the real-life 2019 college admissions bribery scandal, the documentary features interviews with the ones associated with the scandal. It also tries to actively debunk the truth behind the scam that involved rich families paying a lot of money to get their children into top US universities.
The documentary goes beyond the arrest of celebrity Felicity Huffman and is a deep dive into the FBI investigation that helped uncover this scandal. It is a riveting exploration of the shocking scam that surprised people worldwide.
3. The Puppet Master: Hunting the Ultimate Conman (Sam Benstead, Gareth Johnson, 2022)
Created by the team responsible for the gripping series behind Don’t Fuck With Cats, this three-part docuseries provides a deep dive into the life and historical background of an international con artist, Robert Hendy-Freegard. Claiming to be an undercover agent, Robert scammed people into giving him over $1.4 million dollars across a decade.
Audacious, cunning and vile, the series deftly moves into the present day where one of the victim’s desperate family pleads for their mother’s safety. While it is bemusing to think of how he got away with such masterful deceit, the docuseries provides a brilliant portrait of this prolific monster and his intentions.
2. Dirty John (Alexander Cunningham, 2018)
Based on Christopher Goffard’s eponymous podcast, this true crime anthology series is actually inspired by true events. It is a collection of doomed romance tales that have fateful and tragic endings. Filled with lies, deceit, tales of emotional and psychological manipulation, Dirty John’s alarming premise serves as a cautionary tale.
Starring Connie Britton, Eric Bana, Julia Garner, Christian Slater and others, the series manages to portray the tales of dishonesty and deception in a fabulously terrifying manner. The two stories throughout the seasons include the tales of Thomas Meehan and Betty Broderick. Phenomenal performances, especially from Britton and Garner, make the premise more compelling and crazy,
1. Lupin (George Kay, Francois Uzan, 2021)
This French thriller series focuses on the vengeance sought by a professional thief. Assane Diop is shaken by the traumatic events of his past. His immigrant father was forced to commit suicide after being wrongly convicted of stealing. He chooses to avenge his father’s death by exposing the perpetrator’s corruption and bringing ruin to his wealth and pride.
Omar Sy is an absolute vision as the professional thief, thirsty for revenge. He adds an aura of mystery and charm to this espionage thriller. Adapting the name of the show from Arsene Lupin, a mastermind conman who inspired Sy’s character, the third season of the show is rumoured to stream on Netflix soon.