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“Inventing Anna”

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I’ve been on a bit of a scandal binge lately, and one of the series that grabbed my attention was “Inventing Anna” on Netflix.

It’s the story of Anna Sorokin, a.k.a. Anna Delvey, played by Julia Garner. The series offers a window into the world of hedge funds, and a young woman with an idea but no real money behind that vision.

Anna is a phony heiress known as the “Soho Scammer.” It’s a nine-episode series that, honestly (you won’t see much of that in this show), could have been condensed to about five. As it drags on, you’ll find yourself wondering how one more person believes that Anna’s father, who “controls her trust fund,” will be wiring the money “any day now.”

How much of this story is true? Well, each episode opens with this disclaimer: “This whole story is completely true. Except for all the parts that are totally made up.”

The series begins with Anna already at Rikers awaiting trial. The story is as much about reporter Vivian Kent (not her real name) and the fictional “Manhattan” magazine cozying up to and then telling Anna’s story. This is the part of the plot I had the most difficulty with. The idea that a reporter would talk someone out of taking a favorable plea deal in order to redeem her own ethically blemished career just doesn’t come across as credible — and from what I’ve read, didn’t happen. For me, Kent’s obsession to get the story and her own ethical lapses are as scandalous as Anna bilking investors.

I love a good scandal, but I know enough about the true story now to be disappointed in the way the journalist was portrayed in this piece. Stick to the facts because, as always, truth is stranger than fiction, and it’s almost always more captivating.