‘Inventing Anna’ depicts a Millennial scammer enraged at being born unlucky

Category: Television

Inspired by the New York Magazine article “How Anna Delvey Tricked New York’s Party People” by Jessica Pressler, the Netflix limited series Inventing Anna portrays the rise and fall of Anna Sorokin, aka Anna Delvey (Julia Garner), through the lens of a disgraced journalist Vivian Kent (Anna Chlumsky), a stand-in for Pressler.

Desperate for her big break, the expecting Manhattan magazine reporter investigates the whys and hows behind the infamous Soho grifter and her glitzy crime saga. Anna maintains she did not do anything wrong and insists that this is how the society punishes women for aggressively going after fame and fortune. She sabotages Vivian’s attempt to connect the dots by pulling off the Hannibal Lecter move – manipulation with false information, deceit, character assassination, and then some.

Just how many doors can you open in the New York City socialite circles without a real fortune of your own? Quite a few, according to the financial, social, and emotional casualties left in her wake. Anna acted like an obnoxiously spoiled and entitled trust fund brat dressed to the nines like old money and browbeat her way into the old ‘catch-22’ situation — I can only get in if I am already in. The illusion of wealth, shameless name-dropping, self-aggrandizement, and arrogance go a long way towards obtaining the keys to the Kingdom. And once you’re in, you can totally cash in your credibility even if it’s merely by association; ‘She has to be good for the money.’ New York’s wealthy elites and big players vouched for Anna, the fake heiress who wanted to establish a lavish art club à la Soho House on Park Avenue South with their money.

Is it wishful thinking or willful blindness? In the face of all evidence to the contrary, Vivian still believes in redemption. Oh, come on, Vivian! Wake up and smell the coffee. Anna casts people in roles that increase her power and sense of importance as if she were the producer, director, writer, and only actor of her own show.

A liar is a liar, and a leopard cannot change its spots. In this current ‘fake-it-till-you-make-it’ culture, however even this textbook case of a narcissistic sociopath could be eventually rewarded just because she is a brand investors might throw money at. I just hope and pray Anna Sorokin is deported ASAP and that’s the end of the story, but I have a sneaking suspicion that we haven’t heard the last of this Instagram-legendary con artist. There is no shortage of shows about the millennial scammers these days, but very few pay attention to the victims of their criminal behavior. As a victim of crime and power abuse, I have a tremendous amount of empathy for those powerless supporting actors who are gaslighted, bullied, harassed, abused, and eventually discarded like trash. Trust me. I feel your pain.

The nine-episode limited series Inventing Anna premieres February 11, 2022 on Netflix.

About the Author

Meg Mimura is a TV critic who actually watches shows zealously in search of thought-provoking and paradigm shifting human drama worth our precious time. She is a member of Television Critics Association. Follow her on Twitter.