14 Con-Filled Shows to Binge After “Inventing Anna”
Years after the case of Anna Delvey, aka Anna Sorokin, captivated an international audience in real life, Netflix’s “Inventing Anna” is bringing the true-crime story to life in a new series. Between 2013 and 2017, Sorokin lived under the false identity of “Anna Delvey,” an ultrarich German heiress in New York City. Under her fake identity, she managed to charm and con banks, businesses, hotels, and people. Her string of frauds was finally uncovered, and she was convicted in 2019.
It’s no wonder Hollywood was desperate to turn this stranger-than-fiction crime story into a TV series. After all, who can resist watching a charming con artist, especially one who moved through such glitzy, glamorous circles? “Inventing Anna” isn’t the first TV series about people getting away with a grift, and it won’t be the last. If you’re in the mood to dive into more tales of fraud and deception, we’ve got just the recommendations for you. From fictional thieves you can’t help rooting for to real-life con artists and their intricate webs of lies, here are the shows to stream after watching “Inventing Anna.”
Shows Like "Inventing Anna": "Burn Notice"
The main characters in “Burn Notice” and “Inventing Anna” both conceal their true identities – but they have very different reasons for doing so. At the start of this spy series, CIA contractor Michael gets “burned” during an operation, meaning that he’s disavowed, exposed, and cut off. Without any resources or explanations, he has to build a new life and identity for himself. He uses his CIA skills to start a career as a private investigator, but he’s not just taking on jobs for his clients – he’s trying to find out who burned him and what really happened.
Shows Like "Inventing Anna": "Good Behavior"
If your favourite part of “Inventing Anna” is the messy woman at the center of it all, “Good Behavior” is for you. “Downton Abbey” favorite Michelle Dockery plays Letty, a con artist and ex-thief whose career came to an abrupt end when she was sent to prison. Now, she’s been released for good behavior and is hoping to get her life back on track – but she just can’t seem to maintain her good behavior in the real world. While attempting to rob a hotel room, Letty accidentally overhears a conversation about a planned contract killing. She tries to intervene in the hit but ends up instead in a dangerous relationship with the hitman himself.
Shows Like "Inventing Anna": "Leverage"
Looking for a lighter, breezier con-artist story? You can’t go wrong with “Leverage.” Nate, a former insurance investigator, gets hired by a wealthy executive to take down his closest competitor. Nate agrees to lead a team of quirky con artists – each of whom have their own specialties and reasons for being in the “business” – and that’s when things really get going. Whereas Anna Delvey in “Inventing Anna” grifts the wealthy for her own gain, the “Leverage” grifters are a bit more altruistic, going after powerful people who have wronged “regular” people and exacting perfectly planned revenge. And if you can’t get enough, a reboot, “Leverage: Redemption,” began airing in 2021.
Shows Like "Inventing Anna": "The Mentalist"
Patrick Jane built his career as a celebrity psychic, but his “psychic” powers were pure fiction – really, he was just a very observant con man. But after he brags about helping law enforcement profile a notorious serial killer, the killer murders Patrick’s family in revenge. Now, he’s working with law enforcement and using his prolific observational skills to help solve crimes. He’s still got his own motivations, though: he wants to use his connections with investigators to track down and get revenge on the man who killed his family.
Shows Like "Inventing Anna": "White Collar"
Just like Anna Delvey, Neal Caffrey, the protagonist of “White Collar,” pulls off his cons in the glossy world of high society. A charming con artist and thief, Neal draws the attention of FBI agent Peter Burke but manages to evade him time and time again. Finally, Neal’s luck runs out, and Peter catches up to him. After a failed prison escape, the pair make a deal. Neal agrees to help Peter investigate and catch white-collar criminals and con artists, and in exchange, he gets out of prison early. The pair’s rapport develops over the years into a hilariously mismatched partnership that nevertheless does a pretty great job of cracking cons.
Shows Like "Inventing Anna": "Psych"
“Inventing Anna” is all about the destruction wreaked by a charming con artist, but “Psych” takes a lighter (and much, much funnier) approach. Raised by his law-enforcement dad to have incredible powers of observation, slacker Shawn flips the script when he’s falsely accused of a crime by solving it, then claiming that he solved it because he has psychic powers. When his “visions” prove accurate, he’s hired as a police consultant, along with his best friend Gus, and has to keep up his psychic ruse in order to stay afloat. Paired with police detective partners who have varying degrees of skepticism about his “abilities,” Shawn has to balance running a long con to keep his secret with his growing respect and affection for his new colleagues.
Shows Like "Inventing Anna": "Gossip Girl"
The rich and glamorous world that the characters of “Gossip Girl” inhabit is exactly the world that Anna Delvey conned and cheated her way into, at least for a little while. If you’re more into the glossy, glamorous, and scandalous world of super-rich New York high society than you are into the true-crime aspect of it all, then why not go straight to this iconic drama series? On the Upper East Side, a group of rich teenagers attend an exclusive prep school, fall in love, form alliances and betray each other, and deal with high-stakes family drama – all while dressed in peak ’00s fashions.
Shows Like "Inventing Anna": "Lupin"
Where Anna Delvey pulled off her con for self-serving reasons, the main character of “Lupin” has a different goal in mind. Assane Diop’s father, an immigrant from Senegal, was framed for jewel theft by his wealthy and powerful employer. Trapped in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, he takes his own life, leaving Assane a teenage orphan. Decades later, Assane sets out on a mission to take down the family responsible for his father’s imprisonment and death. To get close, he pulls off a number of thefts, cons, and disguises, all so he can finally avenge his father and reveal the family for what they truly are.
Shows Like "Inventing Anna": "Sneaky Pete"
While most shows about con artists, both fiction and nonfiction, usually follow the fraudsters as they actually carry out their crimes, “Sneaky Pete” takes a slightly different angle. We pick up with Marius, a con man just out of prison, trying desperately to avoid retribution from the mobster he once robbed. In order to hide out and hopefully save his life, he steals the identity of his prison cellmate, Pete. Posing as Pete, he “reunites” with Pete’s long-lost family and tries to restart his life under a new alias in hopes that his past won’t catch up to him. Of course, nothing comes that easy.
Shows Like "Inventing Anna": "The Catch"
“Inventing Anna” has the Shondaland powerhouse brand behind it, and so does “The Catch,” another sleek and stylish drama, this one about a fictional con artist and the lives left in his wake. Alice, a private investigator, is pursuing a case that’s very personal to her: Her fiancé bailed on her and stole from her. As it turns out, he’s not just a small-time con artist – he’s actually part of a massive, international crime organisation. Alice is determined to track him down and put an end to his criminal enterprise before anyone else can get hurt like she did, but as it turns out, finding him is just the beginning of the story.
Shows Like "Inventing Anna": "Cable Girls"
To pull off her long con, Anna Sorokin created the identity of “Anna Delvey” and hid behind her fake backstory for as long as possible. That’s also the starting point for the complicated antiheroine of “Cable Girls.” Alba, a young woman with a complicated past and a present-day mission, steals the name of another woman at a job interview at a phone company in 1920s Madrid. Now going by the name “Lidia,” she’s focused on targeting the wealthy family clique that runs the company, all while bonding with a few of her new coworkers. There’s just one big problem: The owner’s daughter is engaged to a man who knew Alba before – and who could expose her past at any time.
Shows Like "Inventing Anna": "Hustle"
While the grift in “Inventing Anna” is all about personal gain, the fictional team of con artists on “Hustle” has their own form of an ethical “code.” The premise is a pretty straightforward: A group of grifters, all with their own specialties and expertise, team up to pull off short and long cons, usually against people who somehow have wronged others and deserve a little revenge. Even as they commit plenty of crimes themselves, the team adheres to their own set of rules to do as little harm as possible. They’ll return what they “borrow,” avoid harming the innocent, and even quietly find ways to help their targets’ victims.
Shows Like "Inventing Anna": "Money Heist"
If you’re more into a full-fledged heist story than the kind of slow-burn con seen in “Inventing Anna,” then “Money Heist,” the internationally beloved Spanish thriller, is for you. The show starts out with a mysterious but pretty straightforward plot: A mismatched group of criminals, under the direction of a secretive leader, plan to rob the Royal Mint of Spain. As the story progresses long past the initial robbery, we flash back to the characters’ backstories and move forward to the next steps in their lives. It’s still a show about the ups and downs of high-stakes, big-money crime, but it’s more of a true heist than a subtle grift.
Shows Like "Inventing Anna": "Better Call Saul"
One of the most complicated and recognizable con artists on TV today is Saul Goodman. First introduced as an amoral attorney on “Breaking Bad,” Saul gets his own backstory explored in the prequel spinoff “Better Call Saul.” He starts out as Jimmy McGill, a former con artist who now works as an earnest, mostly honest public defense lawyer. The show traces his evolution into the no-holds-barred “fixer” of “Breaking Bad,” as he slowly starts to lean back into his past as a grifter and becomes more and more corrupt. It’s a very different kind of setting from “Inventing Anna,” but it still hits the spot for a story about someone’s descent into a snowballing series of crimes.