Operation Varsity Blues Trailer

In 2019, a man named Rick Singer helped the kids of wealthy families get into their dream colleges by cheating on college admissions tests, falsifying sports credentials, and more. This turned into a huge scandal that counted the likes of actresses Lori Loughlin (Full House) and Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives) among the perpetrators who gamed the system and ended up facing the legal repercussions (at least as much as the wealthy are subjected to). Now Netflix will tell the full story in Operation Varsity Blues, a documentary that uses real FBI wiretaps to fuel dramatic reenactments led by Matthew Modine (Stranger Things) as Rick Singer.

Operation Varsity Blues Trailer

Dubbed the largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice, this scandal dominated headlines in 2019 and called attention to huge gap that exists between the working class and the wealthy, and all the inequality that comes with it. We’re talking about people who already had immense advantages over others due to their wealth, and they still tried to cut corners. It’s just one of the many ways the rich constantly get a leg up on the middle and lower classes.

Personally, I’m not sure how I feel about documentaries that use so much reenactment footage to ramp up the drama. Sure, the conversations in question come directly from wiretaps, but I’d almost prefer if this was turned into a full fledged drama instead. But I suppose that would mean a lot of information would be left out of the film in favor of more dramatization, so maybe this is the right path for this story.

Operation Varsity Blues is directed by Chris Smith, who was also at the helm of the documentary Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened. He also executive produced the wildly popular true crime documentary series Tiger King, which was a huge hit for Netflix in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic last year. The project also reunites Smith with Fyre producer Jon Karmen.

Everything you’ve heard is true. But you haven’t heard everything. Using real conversations recreated from FBI wiretaps, the filmmaker behind Fyre brings you Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal.

An examination that goes beyond the celebrity-driven headlines and dives into the methods used by Rick Singer, the man at the center of the shocking 2019 college admissions scandal, to persuade his wealthy clients to cheat an educational system already designed to benefit the privileged. Using an innovative combination of interviews and narrative recreations of the FBI’s wiretapped conversations between Singer and his clients, Operation Varsity Blues offers a rare glimpse into the enigmatic figure behind a scheme that exposed the lengths wealthy families would go to for admission into elite colleges, and angered a nation already grappling with the effects of widespread inequality.

Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal debuts on Netflix on March 17, 2021.

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