Let’s get it out the way, Inventing Anna on Netflix wasn’t exactly the best show ever. We’ve been eagerly awaiting it for a very long time, and it did kinda fall flat. It was long and drawn-out and took what is one of the most interesting fraud and con stories in history, and made it quite simply, bland. But, there are plenty of other shows to fill the Inventing Anna shaped void we now have, and they are shows you might actually like this time.
From other shows about huge cons and fraud cases, to similar true crime drama series to get stuck into – Netflix has a lot better on offer if those are the sort of things you want to watch. Here is a list of other shows and films you can watch on Netflix that are like Inventing Anna, but arguably do it a lot better.
The Tinder Swindler
Right, we’ve all heard of The Tinder Swindler, but if you for some reason haven’t you need to get watching it now. The documentary film tells the true story of the victims of Simon Leviev. He met women on Tinder, told them he was a billionaire heir and son of a diamond mogul, before claiming his “enemies” were after him and they needed to send money to protect him. The films states Leviev stole around $10million (£7.4million) from his victims, all over the world.
The Puppet Master
Just like Inventing Anna, The Puppet Master tells the story of an unbelievable con. The new true crime documentary series is all about the life and crimes of Robert Hendy-Freegard, who conned at least seven women and one man out of nearly a million pounds and his crimes went undetected for years. Netflix has described the case as a “jaw-dropping story of one of the world’s most audacious conmen”.
His conning began in 1992, and he would tell people he met he was working for MI5. His victims were led to believe they were accomplices in highly elaborate secret service operations and their families were in grave danger if they did not obey. Freegard exploited, abused and controlled them with extreme cruelty, confident his victims were too paralysed by fear to escape. He would demand his victims went into hiding and hand over money, with one person who is featured in the Netflix doc giving him £300k.
The limited series Unbelievable is based on the real life events of Marie Adler, a teenager who said she was raped and then told police she had lied. 18-year-old Marie had claimed she was attacked at knifepoint, only to retract it all. Like Inventing Anna, this is another of the true crime Netflix shows which is based on a viral article – the story was written up as “An Unbelievable Story of Rape”, the Pulitzer Prize-winning piece by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong.
This series is a true crime drama which focuses on notorious serial killer Charles Sobhraj. He operated in the 1970s and was at one point Interpol’s most wanted criminal. He killed at least 12 tourists along the “Hippie Trail” in Nepal, India and Thailand. Sobhraj posed as a gems dealer and plied backpackers with booze, drugs and offered shelter to win their trust before robbing and killing them.
The Dirty John anthology is a dramatised series based on true stories. The first season, which is literally about a man dubbed “Dirty John”, follows the story of Debra Newell and serial con-man John Meehan. Debra falls in love with the wealthy anaesthesiologist John, before it becomes clear he might not be as wealthy or even as qualified as he first makes out. Their relationship gets intense very quickly, and soon he’s convinced Debra to cut off her immediate family. Debra then finds documents to prove his lies and detailing his previous arrests and restraining orders against women he had previously dated.
Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey
Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey is a true crime drama on Netflix. The film recreates the incredible true story of Lisa McVey, who was abducted aged 17 by serial killer Bobby Joe Long, but managed to persuade him to set her free. Not only that, she was then able to recall her ordeal so well, and had purposely left behind crucial evidence, so that police were able to track down the killer.
Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened
Fyre Festival gets a brief mention in Inventing Anna, because Anna Delvey stayed with the event’s founder, Billy McFarland. If you love a story of a big scam or con, Fyre Festival is possibly the biggest one in history. It was meant to be the best festival the world had ever seen, on a beautiful island in the Bahamas. The founder called it “the biggest event of the decade, I promise you” and the promotional videos showed gorgeous Instagram models parading around on beaches, having parties and eating incredible food. But what greeted people who got there was a disaster scene: collapsing tents, soaked mattresses and no festival. The Netflix documentary tells the story of what happened.
Like Inventing Anna, Dirty Money is another Netflix series which shows the lengths people will go to for money. It does exactly what it says on the tin – it’s all about different cases of dirty money. Think money laundering, corporate corruption, securities fraud and dodgy accounting. It’s one of Netflix’s best rated true crime documentaries to date, with a score of 100 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes.
What/If is all about manipulation and cons. The synopsis reads: “Desperate to secure funding for her med tech startup, an idealistic scientist and her husband strike an outrageous proposal from a notorious investor: A night with Sean in exchange for funding.”
Fargo is a true crime drama, based on a host of different stories. It’s based on the film of the same name in atmosphere, style and location only – Fargo presents more quirky characters and a new storyline that told with dark humour and odd twists. It follows crime stories such as manipulation, cons, fraud, murder and blackmail.
In From The Cold
In from the cold gives European secret service vibes, if you’re into that sort of thing. It’s not at all based on a true story, but it focuses on a mother’s life which is turned upside down when she must choose between putting her family at risk and returning to her past as a bio-engineered Russian agent.
Inventing Anna is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook.
Related stories recommended by this writer:
• Anna Delvey has gone IN on the real Rachel Williams calling her a ‘Karen’ and a ‘hypocrite’
• ‘Shocking and dangerous’: The real Rachel has slated Netflix for portrayal in Inventing Anna
• What the cast of Inventing Anna look like compared to the real life people they portray