I'm in a funny pickle here. As I've written about for Tom's Guide, I'm canceling my Netflix this month. But the more I see of Julia Garner in the upcoming Netflix show Inventing Anna, the more I think to myself "how soon am I going to come crawling back?"
The titular Anna, if you somehow missed her story when it was originally published in New York magazine, is Anna Delvey — who was an invention of one Anna Sorokin. Confused? Don't feel bad, as Anna confused and swindled her way through the glitzy and glamorous world of high society in New York City.
And this new show — which shows that if you can fake it here, you better get out if you want to fake it anywhere — looks to be the most binge-able show coming to Netflix in February 2022. And I'm going to break down why it's so interesting.
A story meant to not just be read, but seen
Anna Sorokin was one of the most iconic grifters and con-artists during her four-year (2013-17) stint in New York. This is all the more impressive when you consider she was scamming when lying your way to luxury and power was in vogue. From Theranos to WeWork, Sorokin was putting up numbers among stiff competition.
Sorokin's story, where she manufactured a new personality that got her into all the biggest parties, events and meetings, went public in 2018, in a Jessica Pressler-penned story in New York Magazine entitled "How Anna Delvey Tricked New York’s Party People."
Sorokin's scams were wrapped around a hilarious con. In short: you can trust the rich and glamorous Anna Delvey to pay you back, she would pay herself, but... where did she put her wallet?
Over nine episodes, Inventing Anna will paint Sorokin/Delvey's story on Netflix, showing us the how and why of it all, as well as the aftermath. Eventually found out, arrested and awaiting trial, Sorokin meets journalist Vivian Kent (played by Anna Chlumsky, who I thought had retired), who looks to find out her truth.
Naturally, the truth of Delvey and Sorokin is likely filled with more lies than a pile of resumes. But based on the trailer, Garner and Chlumsky will share excellent banter, the kind of which will keep you coming back throughout those nine episodes.
Inventing Anna comes from a proven creator
The other thing that makes me believe Inventing Anna will be a strong outing is that it's the first project that producer Shonda Rhimes has a creator and writer credit on since Scandal.
Arguably the biggest name in TV, with other huge production credits such as Netflix's Bridgerton, as well as ABC's Grey's Anatomy and How to Get Away With Murder in her resume, Rhimes is a force always worth acknowledging. (Sidenote: I once got a tour of an office in Hollywood that I was told was nextdoor to Rhimes' Shondaland production company. Even her offices are spoken about as a big deal.)
And that back catalogue creates another reason why I'm of the belief that Inventing Anna will be the show to watch. Anything Shonda Rhimes does, much like the things Sorokin/Delvey did, grabs attention.
Can Inventing Anna reel me back?
The fact that it's nine episodes is another fact that I kind of like. Any show that avoids a double-digit episode length seems to have met some sort of editor (a problem that many Netflix shows padded with more filler than a giant eclair suffer from). And I thank that editor for their hard work.
At the end of the day, though, Inventing Anna's mix of pedigree and story gives it high odds to become the show people won't stop talking about. The show, much like Squid Game, that drives the conversation.
And as much as I hate to admit it, FOMO is one of Netflix's biggest weapons. Although the break has me finally watching the years-old Halt and Catch Fire on AMC Plus. My goal is to miss at least one whole billing cycle and save $20 by not paying the Netflix price this month. But will Netflix's newest grifter pull that money out of me?