Fans seem to have conflicting opinions about the rise of crime-related content on streaming platforms. While some of it is true crime that has seen a comeback in the last few decades, the new formula that all producers seem to be tapping out on is that of con artists. From Inventing Anna to The Tinder Swindler and now the new case of Elizabeth Holmes, we’re seeing a pattern. Do we have the tendency to romanticize these con artists and view them as geniuses?
Inventing Anna: the beginning of con romanticization
When Netflix released its recent hit series Inventing Anna, produced by ShondaLand, fans knew they certainly would see a lot of glamour. After all, the series does surround the richest of New York City and is a Shonda Rhimes production. But, even after its release, the series left many viewers either awestruck by the opulence or appalled by the sheer glamorization. Mashable even called the series “as hollow and flashy as its namesake”
As for the case of Anna Delvey that was uncovered by Jessica Pressley in 2018, fans seem to find this con artist very amusing. From her dryly witty remarks to the struggle she had to go through in her initial years, the word “girlboss” being associated with Delvey isn’t a rarity.
What draws fans into these series?
A lot of critics and viewers agree that this comes down to the way the creators portray these con artists. A great example would be the Indian series Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story. While Harshad Mehta was actually an underdog that took the Bombay Stock Exchange by storm, viewers all agree that there is a clear romanticization of the man. For viewers not familiar with the series, consider it the Indian equivalent of The Wolf of Wall Street.
Going back to Anna Delvey and Shimon Hayut, we see how both the creators and viewers tend to strongly romanticize these con artists. On the viewers’ end, it is because the crimes depicted are so flawlessly executed. In these cases, fans cannot help but think they would fall for the same thing, under the same position.
Is it just fascination or is it empathy?
These con artists also garner sympathy due to their humble beginnings. Hence, it is understandable why in these cases, fans and viewers admire the con artist’s drive and whatever means they choose to achieve their dreams.
The hustle culture many seem to look up to nowadays also seems to be responsible for this. A young person willing to do all they can, despite knowing the risks that their actions might bear, sits a bit too well with the viewers. In a world heavily focused on capitalization, we often find the hustle culture becoming the norm while the general population has come to disdain rest and dreaming relatively small.
Stream Inventing Anna on Netflix, or maybe take a much-needed break and pick one of these calming movies to watch after a long day of work.
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