There’s an interesting content pipeline going on right now, as viral articles, podcasts and documentaries are turned into various series with movie stars entering these fictional adaptations of real-life splashy scandals. This trend is reaching boiling point this spring, with several of these limited runs dropping within months of each other. They’re so good you’ll want to relive those crazy stories all over again.
Do you remember March 2020? It was a time of hand sanitizer, sourdough entrees, and never leaving the house. In this dark and uncertain time, a man brought us comfort, and his name was Joe Exotic. The Netflix docuseries “Tiger King” was a beacon of unity as we collectively brought together the antics of Joe Exotic, Carole Baskin and the rest of the big cat enthusiasts. Just two years later, there’s a miniseries, “Joe vs. Carole,” with John Cameron Mitchell wearing Joe’s signature mullet and Kate McKinnon taking on the role of Carole. The series premieres Thursday on Peacock and is based on the Wondrey podcast, “Over My Dead Body: Joe vs. Carole,” hosted by journalist Robert Moor, which came out just before the Netflix series. The podcast dives a little deeper into the legendary feud between Joe and Carole, so it’s worth checking this one out, at least to see the Mitchell Exotic channel.
Also this week, arriving Friday on Hulu, is a story fresh from the headlines: “The Dropout,” a limited series about Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, who was convicted of defrauding investors in January 2022. The series is created by Elizabeth Meriwether and stars Amanda Seyfried as Holmes and Naveen Andrews as her former romantic and business partner Sunny Balwani. The show is based on the 2019 podcast of the same name, and there’s plenty of Holmes content to browse, including Alex Gibney’s 2019 documentary “The Inventor: Out For Blood in Silicon Valley” (on HBO Max) and the book “Bad Blood” by John Carreyrou, the Wall Street Journal reporter who broke Theranos’ story and who is played in the series by Eben Moss-Bachrach.
Seyfried delivers a phenomenal performance as Holmes, who affected a generally low voice and began to mold himself after Apple’s Steve Jobs. But Seyfried offers more than simple mimicry. Son Elizabeth is a clumsy, complicated person with a grand vision who begins to believe her own lies, even as she consciously fabricates them. The rise and fall of Theranos was a reckoning for the girlish tech bustle culture that allowed Holmes to go as far as she did, and the series explains why she was able to do what she did. she did, despite so many red flags along the way.
Another embattled entrepreneur’s story will air on Apple TV+ on March 18, with the premiere of “WeCrashed,” based on the Wondrey podcast about Adam Neumann and his own larger-than-life ambitions for the WeWork coworking space. . “The Office” writer Lee Eisenberg and Drew Crevello wrote and created the series, with Jared Leto playing the outrageous Israeli Neumann and Anne Hathaway as his wife Rebekah.
Neumann fared much better than Holmes, who faces 20 years in prison for fraud, as he was handed a billion dollar golden parachute after being ousted by his board for flying too close of the sun. For even more WeWork, watch Hulu’s 2021 documentary “WeWork: Or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn” directed by Jed Rothstein, or check out “Generation Hustle” Episode 5 on HBO Max . There are also two books on the founder’s rise and fall, “Billion Dollar Loser” by Reeves Weidemann and “The Cult of We” by Elliott Brown and Maureen Farrell.
Also on “Generation Hustle,” Scam Queen Anna Delvey (she gets Episode 4), the young fashionista who posed as a German heiress and robbed hundreds of thousands of friends and banks trying to get started a society based on art. clubs in New York. New York Magazine’s Jessica Pressler wrote Anna Delvey’s definitive 2018 article, ‘Maybe she had so much money she lost track of it’, which now serves as the basis for the Netflix series “Inventing Anna,” which was released on February 1. 11. Julia Garner stars as Anna, while Anna Chlumsky plays the reporter who continues her story. It’s a fascinating exploration of what it’s like to try to understand and explain someone as ruthless as Anna.
Dive into these stories ripped from the headlines, which are so much weirder than fiction, they’re also juicy enough to relive.