‘Operation Varsity Blues’ reenacts and reorients a scandal
NEW YORK – Chris Smith didn’t initially think the 2019 college bribery scandal made for a good documentary subject. He was editing “Fyre,” the hit Netflix documentary about the music-festival fiasco, when his longtime collaborator, Jon Karmen, suggested another real tale of fraud and spectacle be their next film. By shifting the focus, Smith’s “Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admission Scandal,” which debuts Wednesday on Netflix, attempts to reorient center stage in a headline-grabbing drama that has already spawned one Lifetime movie. The documentary, like the scandal, has a dose of Hollywood. “One of the only people that got back to us was John Vandemoer.”Vandemoer, a Stanford University sailing coach, was the first person sentenced in the scandal.
New this week: 'Justice League,' 'Country Comfort' & scandal
This combination of photos shows promotional art for the Netflix series Country Comfort, debuting on Friday, left, "Zack Snyders Justice League," premiering March 18, center, and Operation Varsity Blues, a documentary about the college admissions scandal, premiering March 17 on Netflix. (Netflix/HBO Max/Netflix via AP)Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week. MOVIES— Four years after “Justice League” underwhelmed both critics and audiences, filmmaker Zack Snyder has come back to finish what he started. — Loretta Lynn’s new album is a celebration of women in country music and it features collaborations with Tanya Tucker, Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire and Margo Price. — Katherine McPhee, of TV’s “American Idol” and “Smash,” plays an aspiring country singer, Bailey, who’s suffered career and personal setbacks in the Netflix series “Country Comfort,” debuting Friday.
Netflix doc to examine man behind college admissions scandal
This image released by Netflix shows key art for Operation Varsity Blues, a documentary about the college admissions scandal, premiering March 17. (Netflix via AP)LOS ANGELES – A Netflix documentary will use actor recreations of FBI wiretaps to tell the story of Rick Singer, the man at the center of the college admissions scandal that sent actors Felicity Huffman, Lori Loughlin and and several other prominent parents to prison. Netflix announced Monday that “Operation Varsity Blues" will be released on March 17. More than 50 people were charged in the scandal that saw parents pay bribes to have someone cheat on their children’s entrance exams or pretend their kids were star athletes for sports they didn’t play. Singer pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and several other charges, and is expected to testify at defendants’ trials.