WeCrashed: Full Series
May 6, 2022 3:36 PM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

Inspired by actual events—and the love story at the center of it all. WeWork grew from a single coworking space into a global brand worth $47 billion in under a decade. Then, in less than a year, its valuation dropped $40 billion. What happened?

Starring Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway, the Apple TV+ limited series is based on the podcast of the same name by Wondery.
posted by jimw (5 comments total)
This hasn’t gotten the same attention that The Dropout did, but they are certainly cut from the same cloth. Anne Hathaway and Jared Leto both put in solid performances of truly cringey/awful people who had a giant firehose of money pointed at them.

I’m ready for this whole genre of unicorn-flameouts based on podcasts to culminate in an Avengers-style final series based on SoftBank or the Saudi sovereign fund.
posted by jimw at 3:41 PM on May 6, 2022

Anthony Edwards plays the same kind of character in this and Inventing Anna Delvey, but his character in this has more success at tightening the reins on the entitled kid.
posted by emelenjr at 6:24 AM on May 7, 2022

I caught only parts of this. Hathaway was great as always, but Leto seemed to be channeling Tommy Wiseau. FWIW, my wife really enjoyed it, but it wasn't one of her favorites.
posted by SoberHighland at 9:24 AM on May 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

It was weirdly up and down about its subjects--they'd veer into being incredibly sympathetic to them, then whip around and show what complete narcissistic assholes they were. While yes, people are complicated and most everyone isn't purely bad, a lot of the sympathetic parts were really difficult to watch because we the audience know about how much people are suffering for their bullshit, or will soon suffer.

The other big problem was that there is very little about the other people in their orbit, so much so that when they do the penultimate episode with all the "we're gonna be rich" kids, there's just no investment in the awful things that happen to them. And yeah, it was weird seeing Anthony Edwards as basically the same person in this and Inventing Anna, but since I at least partly enjoyed this even for its massive flaws, I prefer this iteration (I hated Inventing Anna). But they let so many people off the hook--the unicorn chasers who were totally high on their own supply and willfully ignored issues, the cult kids, but especially Rebecca, because I felt like they were trying to have it both ways, showing that she was a grifter but also trying to make her a victim of Adam's con artist crap. They really soft-pedaled a lot of her shit, and I wondered if that had to do with hiring that kind of star power.

Like, also, I think we were meant to care when Miguel was upset that he was left out of WeWork's background, but the thing is, he disappears here for long stretches, just is mostly shown staring and watching and not doing anything in particular until he suddenly has a big scene, so it's impossible to care (though I didn't mind, because the actor's voice was like nails on a chalkboard for me; I couldn't stand listening to him, I don't even know what it was).

For me the best part of this was O-T Fagbenle, because he was just so fed up with the Neuman's shit and so irritated by how easily everyone fell for it. I could have watched him being venomous and pointing out the emperor had no clothes all day.

I really wanted to enjoy this, because I feel like I should like all these dramatizations about scammers lately, but this was disappointing. It looked good, I will say that--it felt like they put some money into it. It's also possible my deep loathing of Leto blinds me to things, but I wanted to love this, and just felt dissatisfied in the end.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 11:29 AM on May 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

I really enjoyed this! It was my favorite of the recent ripped-from-the-headlines series, and I couldn't get over how "right" everything felt. I'm curious as to whether the ever-louder rumblings about what a creep Jared Leto is dampened the reception of the series. This is genuinely the first time I've ever liked Leto in any role -- he's ridiculously good here -- but I had no interest in talking up the guy even before I heard about his predatory fixation on teenagers.

Anne Hathaway was delightful -- her Rebekah contained less impersonation, and was all the more brutal for it. (The play! The aftermath of the play! The way she kept showing up to WeWork and firing people for bad vibes!) I thought they were very canny about how and where they applied humor, as well. The final scene with Rebekah and Adam and the beach ("THE MONEY, THE MONEY!!!" and "I can't see!") was snide enough to be satisfying, even knowing how their story really ends. It made me think of the final word Linda Holmes had on the Dropout, that essentially these tech failure stories have tricky endings to land because our villain-protagonists are going to be just fine. Rebekah and Adam will probably never receive the same level of voluntary adulation again, but as billionaires they'll be able to purchase the equivalent.

I thought I couldn't get any more familiar with this story, since I'd already seen a documentary series and read all the articles as it was unfolding, but I thought the series did a good job explaining that Adam Neumann's narcissism was just as responsible for expanding the company as crushing it. Perhaps serious investors would always have realized WeWork was a bad deal, but until this series I hadn't understood that they took a dull investing document and made it interesting enough that people wanted to read it. At that point, they were definitely buying their own story; more self-aware hucksters would know to hide bad news under pages of dry legalese.
posted by grandiloquiet at 9:54 AM on May 9, 2022

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