“Inventing Anna” hooks audiences

In 2019, supposed German heiress Anna Delvey was convicted of conning the upper classes of New York society into giving her around $250,000. After she was arrested in 2017, her story became known to the public, and “New York Magazine” writer Jessica Pressler became interested in writing her story. Netflix partnered with Shonda Rhimes to create a series based on Pressler’s experience investigating Anna Delvey, creating the addicting “Inventing Anna.”

The casting of “Inventing Anna” was spectacular. Anna Chlumsky delivered an amazing performance as Vivian Kent, the character based on Pressler. I felt one with her, struggling to stay motivated on such a complex investigative journalism piece while she faced sexism by her editor. Julia Garner played a brilliant Anna Delvey, expertly stepping into the psyche of such a paradoxical character, one we both despise for her capability to con, but also admire for the way in which she uses her intelligence.

The storyline was expertly crafted, each episode focusing on one character whom Delvey conned, jumping in time to tell their story as Kent interviewed them. This kept me craving for more episodes, as each story helped put together the puzzle of how Delvey was able to steal so much money from so many people and still come out on top. Even though the criminal of the series was Delvey, the series manages to humanize her and even expose the sexist systems within American society that enable men to act foolishly and be rewarded for it, while women perish for the mistakes they make. Especially in the telling of Delvey’s lawyer Alan Reed, the series shows how men who defraud their companies can even be promoted, while women like Kent and Delvey who chase after the “American Dream” doing anything they can, get punished for their actions.

My only complaint with the series was their portrayal of Rachel Williams, Delvey’s friend who fell victim to her cons with Delvey stealing $60,000 from her. The series painted her out to be an enemy to hate, turning in her friend in order to get her money back. Characters made fun of her for claiming financial and mental strain as a result of her experiences with Delvey because she was able to sell her story for enormous profit. Trauma is debilitating in living life, making it hard to get out and go to work to provide for yourself; so if someone has an opportunity to use their story to make a profit, you might as well, getting something good out of these awful experiences. Putting money aside, Delvey still stole from Williams, and crimes need to be met with justice, which Williams was seeking. The way in which Delvey’s other friends ganged up on Williams for aiding the arrest of their “friend” was comical, as how can you stick up for a so-called friend who steals all of your money?