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In September 2021, the Amazon Prime four-part docuseries LuLaRich came onto the scene and shared the incredible story of the unprecedented success of the the LuLaRoe clothing brand, as well as the questionable decisions and tactics the company allegedly used to become a multi-billion-dollar behemoth in the retail world.
After watching the engrossing series and hearing all the stories — both good and bad — you might be wondering if there other docuseries and documentaries that touch on similar experiences and topics. Below is a list containing stories about dreamers, high profile businesses that ran into problems, pyramid schemes, over-the-top fraudsters, and those who find themselves on the other side of success.
Why Women Are Quitting Their Side Hustle: Leaving LuLaRoe (YouTube)
In May 2019, more than two years before LuLaRich made its way to Amazon, Vice released the a 30-minute documentary titled Why Women Are Leaving Their Side Hustle: Leaving LuLaRoe which spent a considerable amount of time with three of the company’s thousands of consultants who bought into the idea that they could get rich by selling inexpensive leggings, dresses, shirts, and other garments, and went broke in the process.
Like the four-part docuseries that would follow, this Vice documentary dives into the ways in which the women realized they were actually part of a pyramid scheme and the numerous lawsuits that were filed against LuLaRoe over the past few years. It also provides even more information on the stories of Roberta Blevins and Courtney Harwood, two of the more prominent figures from LuLaRich.
Betting On Zero (Hoopla)
Whenever people discuss pyramid schemes, one of the names that comes up more times than not is the direct sales group Herbalife, a publicly-traded, multi-level-marketing corporation that specializes in dietary supplements. The 2017 documentary Betting on Zero follows controversial hedge fund manager Bill Ackman as he puts up billions of dollars in an attempt to expose the multi-billion-dollar company as the largest scheme of its kind in history.
Herbalife is one of the companies that comes up multiple times throughout LuLaRich and this Ted Braun documentary on the company and the one man who put his money, reputation, and pride on the line to expose its tactics offers a detailed look at the world of pyramid schemes.
Money Explained (Netflix)
Launched in 2018, the Netflix docuseries Explained has taken deep dives into everything from music to the world’s water crisis and chess to hurricanes, and just about anything in between with an informative yet fun approach. In that time, the streaming giant has also released more specialized collections including ones on the COVID-19 pandemic, sex, and most recently, money. This five-episode series tackles topics that include get rich quick schemes, credit cards, student loans, and much more, providing information that helps you better understand each.
The “Get Rich Quick” episode of Money Explained is especially pertinent to anyone who just finished LuLaRich as it quickly breaks down things like pyramid schemes, how people become involved, and how they become trapped in a system that essentially only benefits those at the top.
WeWork: Or The Making And Breaking Of A $47 Billion Unicorn (Hulu)
Since its launch in 2010, WeWork has provided hundreds of thousands of members with shared workspaces that have been used by startups, remote workers, and more. But, like many revolutionary ideas, there is a crazy story behind the rise of the community-centric venture and the major players who made WeWork one of the most controversial companies of the past decade. That story is told in great detail in the 2021 Hulu documentary WeWork: or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn.
Much like LuLaRich, which discussed how LuLaRoe’s quick rise to fortune ended up causing a lot of problems for those involved with the company, WeWork: or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn shows how Adam Neumann, the company’s eccentric founder and former CEO made a fortune with a revolutionary idea before crashing back down to earth.
The Inventor: Out For Blood In Silicon Valley (HBO Max)
Alex Gibney’s 2019 documentary The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley tells the remarkable story of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes as she went from one of the most promising rising stars in the tech world to being indicted on multiple charges related to the fraud she and her business partners allegedly committed.
The two-hour documentary consists of interviews with the former Theranos employees who blew the whistle on the company’s “Edison” miniature blood-testing kits that were ineffective, and at times dangerous, despite claims by Elizabeth Holmes that they were fully functioning while securing more funds. And, like LuLaRich, the HBO film shows what happens when companies are willing to do anything to sell their product even when there are countless flaws.
Fyre Fraud (Hulu)
In April 2017, the Fyre Festival became one of the most talked about events of the year but for all the wrong reasons. The 2019 Hulu documentary Fyre Fraud exposes the promoters who claimed to be throwing the most luxurious music festival of all time with elaborate “glamping” setups, top acts, gourmet food, and a one-of-a-kind experience on a private island in the Caribbean, but failed to deliver. Instead of getting everything they were promised, those in attendance were stranded on the island with little food, unsuitable shelter, and no way home.
The filmmaking duo behind LuLaRich — Jenner Furst and Julia Willoughby Nason — also directed Fyre Fraud and approached the 2017 festival the same way in which they tackled the controversial retailer. If you liked the way in which Furst and Nason dove into LuLaRoe and the way the company’s schemes impacted the hundreds of thousands of people who bought into its promises, then you’ll love the stories told here.
Behind The Curve (Netflix)
The 2018 Netflix documentary Behind the Curve gives a well-rounded look at the community of conspiracy theorists who are convinced (and try to convince others) that the world is not a pale blue dot floating in space but a flat surface. Through interviews with some of the Flat Earth Movement’s biggest players and loudest voices, this interesting documentary goes into the mindset and belief systems of these figures and why they believe wholeheartedly that the earth is not round.
Just about everyone featured in Behind the Curve buys into the belief that the earth is flat and will do anything and everything in their power to prove that. Even when their elaborate and expensive experiments fail to prove their case, they don’t let go of their beliefs and values.
Love Fraud (Showtime)
The 2020 Showtime four-part docuseries Love Fraud spends a great deal of time with the various women who have fallen for and been defrauded by Richard Scott Smith, a prolific conman who has used his internet savvy and charming demeanor to rob them of their money and dignity throughout the past two decades.
Much like with LuLaRich, the case against Richard Scott Smith in Love Fraud isn’t something that has been settled and dealt with years earlier, but was still ongoing when production began. It is fascinating to see how so many people got wrapped up in Smith’s lies and deceit during his career as a fraudster and how various women have been brought together by a common enemy.
McMillions (HBO Max)
McDonalds has ran its annual Monopoly prize game for about as long as most of us can remember. During that time, most of us have won anything from a free Big Mac to a gift card, but few of us have won or know anyone who has won any of the big cash prizes as large as $1 million, and there’s a reason for that. The 2020 HBO six-part docuseries McMillions tells the strange and hard-to-believe story of how the iconic game was fixed from 1989 to 2001, resulting in $24 million worth of fraud.
Even though LuLaRich and McMillions focus on two completely different subjects, both provide an entertaining and informative look at their respective worlds and help you better understand how someone could find themselves wrapped up in these types of schemes.
The 2016 documentary Tickled starts off innocently enough, when journalist David Farrier uncovers the odd subculture of competitive tickling. But, as the inquisitive documentarian dives deeper into the story he becomes more and more involved, eventually learning of the dark nature of these online videos and the fraudster behind them.
Without giving too much away, Tickled is a documentary that you NEED to watch. It’s strange, unsettling, and you will want to turn it off multiple times, but it’s so out there and intriguing you can’t help but become wrapped up in its twisted story.
These are just some of the great documentaries and docuseries you should check out if you have watched LuLaRich. And, since you’re here, you might as well check out CinemaBlend’s 2021 fall TV schedule to see what other shows are coming to the airwaves and streamers.
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Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop barking at the mailman, or chatting about professional wrestling to his wife. Writing gigs with school newspapers, multiple daily newspapers, and other varied job experiences led him to this point where he actually gets to write about movies, shows, wrestling, and documentaries (which is a huge win in his eyes). If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.