As news stories trickle through into the collective consciousness, it’s hard to get a grasp of the nuance of what is happening. Headlines and excerpts usually settle on some narrative and frame all subsequent information within it.
So what happened in early 2020 when the failing Gamestop stock rocketed up from a value of $3 per share to $347.51 over a few short weeks?
Netflix documentary Eat The Rich: The Gamestop Saga does a commendable job of unpicking the fact from fiction, and putting the human face on what for many was a weird bubble in the foreign land of stock markets and hedge fend traders.
Over 3 episodes director Theo Love (McMillions) successfully tackles the explanation and background into this extraordinary perfect storm of circumstance.
What Is Eat The Rich: The Gamestop Saga About?
So what kind of human faces are we talking about? Facilitated by Reddit group r/wallstreetbets and an easy to use share trading app called Robinhood, thousands of people began buying shares in Gamestop which caused them to spike.
This was bad news for the hedge fund managers who were essentially betting on Gamestop going out of business and the share price falling (a process known as ‘shorting’).
One side of the coin is the hedge fund face. Various interviewees outline their position, which ranges from wry amusement, irritation at retail traders (i.e. your common non-professional hobbyist) messing with the day job of the big guns, or exasperation due to the millions to billions of value wiped off of their books.
On the other side you have the type of people who were buying the shares. Their motivations also range widely; some angry and bitter with a need to stick it to the establishment, whilst others clamoured along with the rush in the hope of making some serious cash.
That the series ends by rounding up who did well and who lost out of the whole situation is a nice touch.
Eat The Rich: The Gamestop Saga Official Trailer
Is Eat The Rich Worth Watching?
As the story told relies heavily on electronic sources (Reddit, YouTube, apps, and stock market software) Eat The Rich: The Gamestop Saga takes the format that worked so well for the documentary Don’t F**k With Cats: Hunting An Internet Killer but thankfully calms it down.
Messages, notifications, meme explanations, and internet personalities are all presented in energetic editing, but not to the level where Cats dragged you to live inside Facebook for its duration.
At 3 episodes, Eat The Rich can comfortably be watched whole of an evening and a very enjoyable evening it would be, too.
The series ensures the mixture between fact, opinion, and interviewee is well balanced and fills in plenty of background to show that the story is much richer than a ‘bunch of people buy shares’.
Why did the Robinhood app shut off the ability to purchase, leading to a crash in the share price? How far should the advice of YouTuber ‘Roaring Kitty’ be taken? And who *really* loses out at the end?
Netflix has this kind of formula down to a tee now. The meal it serves you with Eat The Rich may seem like simply more of the same, but it’s still satisfying to sink your teeth into.
Words by Mike Record