Inventing Anna

I’m obsessed with ‘Inventing Anna’ for all the wrong reasons. So, what’s it all about? Well, I’m here to tell you.

I watched this series because I watched ‘The Tinder Swindler‘ (which also baffled me that people could fall for it) and Netflix suggested it—so I gave in. I watched the entire series in a weekend. Don’t judge me.

What it’s about

It’s a nine-part mini-series produced by Shondaland productions (Shonda Rhimes’s production company). It’s based on the true story of Anna Delvey (actually Anna Sorokin) who pretended to be a rich German heiress and who weaselled her way into New York’s high society in the mid-2010s. In reality, she was broke, and Delvey wasn’t even her real last name.

She conned banks, lawyers, New York’s high society, hotels and friends. This is probably why every episode starts with the line, “This whole story is completely true, except for all the parts that are totally made up”.

Not to spoil everything, but Anna ended up going to jail. However, she got out in February 2021 but was back in custody for overstaying her US visa.

What I think about it

Honestly, I liked the series. I think I liked it because I wasn’t aware of the story until Netflix suggested it and it exploded on the internet. I kind of loved seeing what Anna got away with, all the while being disgusted with her. It was a rollercoaster.

Seeing as I didn’t know about the story until the series came out, I was interested in how Vivian (the journalist based on Jessica Pressler) pieced everything together, and how the different characters fit into the story. It’s like you’re discovering with Vivian.

I found myself Googling what was fact and what was fiction, and most of it’s true. It’s scary how much she got away with. It’s amazing how Anna almost got a $40 million loan—seeing as she has no assets or money. You have to admire her determination, although she’s completely out of her mind. More on this a bit later.

Obviously, the writers have had to take some creative licence to fill up nine episodes, so a few things were very dramatised, like her relationship with the tech guy. It’s uncertain who the guy is and how long their relationship lasted, or how serious their relationship was. Also, I hated the way people idolised Anna (especially in the first few episodes). I wonder if it was really like that.

I’m not sure what to think of how Rachel was portrayed. The series makes her look judgemental, weak-minded, entitled, and like she just used Anna (like everyone else). I’m sure that’s not the case in real life.

I’m also left to wonder if there really was a friendship between Vivian and Anna’s lawyer, Todd Spodek, and if anyone from Scriberia really helped with the story.

The problem with Anna

The series makes you feel bad for Anna when we shouldn’t. There’s obviously something very wrong with Anna mentally for her to think that it’s fine to get away with just stealing people’s money and believing her own lies like that. She’s a psychopath (I can’t make an official diagnosis, but I’m pretty sure she’s something like that).

Say what you will, this girl had balls of steel (more like steal). But I feel like the writers humanised Anna too much. We shouldn’t feel sorry for her. What she did was terrible, and she’s not sorry about it. If you watch interviews of the real Anna, she is way more obnoxious, and you hate her so much.

Also, I still wonder how she pulled it off. I don’t mean just loaning the money and whatnot, but how was she able to live the way she did for that long? How did she get the money for all the expensive clothes she wore? Did she shoplift?

Other comments

The ‘Inventing Anna’ reviews have been mixed. Some love the show, and others think it’s disappointing. Again, I quite liked it, but watch it and decide for yourself.

For me the show is a comment on capitalism, consumerism, and ‘faking it till you make it’, but most importantly it showcases that it’s not what you know (or have) but who you know—apparently.


Did you watch ‘Inventing Anna’? What did you think about it?



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