Eat the Rich: The GameStop Saga is now streaming on Netflix.
By Greg Wheeler
The gap between the rich and the poor continues to grow with every passing day. But as we’ve seen in the past, if you corner a wild animal, sooner or later that beast is going to hit back – and hit hard. The story of GameStop’s stock is one such example of this, a proverbial swipe at the bigwigs in charge of Wall Street and showing how crooked the system actually is.
Across the 3 episodes available, Netflix’s documentary crew dive into the nitty gritty details surrounding this coup that saw the market completely implode overnight.
For those unaware, this GameStop fiasco is one of the strangest financial stories in recent years. GameStop is a brick and mortar store, one notorious for selling pre-owned video games. With the push toward digital games and both Microsoft and Sony competing with their respective monthly subscription services, offering free games and an extensive library of games, GameStop stores suffered and shut down en-masse.
With the stocks dwindling and the height of the pandemic hitting, many savvy Reddit users converged in the subreddit r/wallstreetbets and invested in stocks for the retailer to save it from investors betting big on the company’s downfall.
In an effort to hit back at Hedge Fund managers and big businesses, the trend went viral and at its height, the value of stock rose by 1500%, pushed the market into a chaotic frenzy and saw big investors and hedge fund managers lose millions.
When trading platforms like Robinhood stopped purchases of stock and lawsuits were leveled against online influencers like RoaringKitty under the pretense of market manipulation, it soon became clear that Wall Street was looking out for its own, engaging in its own kind of market manipulation.
The three episodes – despite being in total around 1 hour 45 hours long – still somehow include a fair amount of padding and nowhere near enough detail. The start of episode 2, for example, features a bunch of musicians rapping about the GameStop stock. Other times we’re fed repeated information about the whole saga. That’s before mentioning some of the interviews which swing wildly from misinformed investors to genuinely intelligent rapport, all the way across to a TikTok investor that “just wants to make TikToks and chill with women all day.”
Eat The Rich isn’t a particularly bad documentary, but compared to other documentaries on the topic (like the excellent Gaming Wall St. on HBO Max or the absolutely fantastic “Line Goes Up,” which tackles market volatility in relation to NFTs on YouTube) Eat the Rich pales by comparison, feeling like a very light appetizer rather than a genuinely delicious entrée.
I give Eat the Rich: The GameStop Saga a C.