Since last year, we knew that both Hulu and Netflix were working on documentaries about one of our favorite scams of all time, the Fyre Festival. Obviously, I was very excited to get an in-depth look at this complete and utter sh*tshow, but I had to wonder, are these movies really both necessary? Netflix announced that theirs would drop on January 18th, so I started to get excited. Then, last week, Hulu proved that it really is a messy b*tch who lives for drama, and dropped theirs three days before Netflix as a surprise. Hulu gets an automatic 10 bonus points just for that level of pettiness.
So because I’m a hardworking journalist (and a fellow messy b*tch who lives for drama), I watched both documentaries, and I’m going to break down some of the differences. First of all, both movies are actually really good. The fundamental story is fascinating, and both Netflix and Hulu did a great job of crafting a narrative that feels informative and fun at the same time. Both have interviews with some key players, including a few of the same people, who are obviously extra hungry for
exposure justice. Oh, and both make Ja Rule look like a total dick. Like, how is his lawyer allowing him to tweet?
Sooo did they have all this food or did they serve cheese sandwiches??? Asking for a friend… https://t.co/kSIqgbtvwS
— Ja Rule (@Ruleyork) January 20, 2019
The thing I liked most about the Hulu documentary, Fyre Fraud, is the amount of backstory it gives us on Billy McFarland. From his credit card company Magnises, all the way back to hacking the computers in elementary school, we get a clear picture of how Billy has always had a compulsion to scam. Part of the reason we get so much of this information is because Fyre Fraud has interviews with Billy. He doesn’t provide that much useful info, other than a lot of red flags to look out for if you think you’re on a date with a sociopath. Because of pending legal action, there are some things he won’t comment on, but he also tells some wild lies, like that they had 250 luxury villas rented, but they lost the box with all the keys. I can’t make this sh*t up. We also get interviews with Billy’s hot Russian girlfriend, who I have some serious questions for.
Fyre, the Netflix movie, has some of the backstory woven in, but it focuses more on what was happening on the ground in the Bahamas. While Billy sat this one out, lots of key members of the Fyre team are interviewed, and you really get a sense of how many people tried to stop this disaster from happening. Basically, Billy didn’t want to hear any negativity, so people either left or got back to work. Heads up: there is one story about a request Billy made of one of his employees that will fully leave your jaw on the floor. Fyre also talks a bit more about the pain Billy & Co. caused for the local residents of the Bahamas, which is truly the most f*cked up part of this story. Some of these people gave everything they had to make this thing a success, but they were just being lied to the entire time.
Overall, Fyre (Netflix) gave me more information to actually understand what happened at Fyre Festival. I’ve always wondered why the whole thing wasn’t just canceled the week before, and I get it now. Both movies do an excellent job of showing how brilliant the influencer-based marketing campaign was, and how it was destined to be a disaster from almost the first minute of planning. If you’re truly interested in this kind of stuff, you really should watch both movies, because they complement each other quite well. If you’re like, busy or something, watch the Netflix one, because it has the Fyre Festival content you’ve been craving the most.
Or if documentaries aren’t really your thing, but you still want the deets on Billy McFarland, listen to the Fyre Festival episode of Not Another True Crime Podcast:
Images: Netflix; @ruleyork / Twitter; Giphy