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Fortune Seller A TV Scam Review: Wanna Marchi, the OG Influencer From Hell – Leisure Byte

Fortune Seller A TV Scam is an Italian crime docu-series, released on Netflix on 21 September 2022. The series is filled with pop culture references, that explore the known and unknown elements of Wanna Marchi and a historical moment in the history of Italian TV. The series is directed by Nicola Prosatore and the screenplay for the series is written by Alessandro Garramone.
There are 4 episodes in total with a runtime of about 45-52 minutes respectively. The main cast featured in the series includes Wanna Marchi and her daughter Stefania Nobile who recount the whole experience from their perspective. Along with sit-down interviews of journalists and people who were connected to the scamming case.
Netflix’s description of the show reads:
Savvy saleswomen or devious scammers? Wanna Marchi and Stefania Nobile became the undisputed queens of Italian TV shopping — until they went too far.
-Fortune Seller A TV Scam Review Does Not Contain Any Spoilers-
Wanna Marchi was the undisputed queen of teleshopping, capable of earning billions of lire, with products without any value, from slimming concoctions that she called belly melter to sprigs of ivy passed off as amulets against the evil eye. Over the course of the four episodes, the story of the telemarketer is retraced, from extraordinary success to conviction for criminal association aimed at aggravated fraud.
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The series starts off with Marchi giving her introduction and telling everyone that she is 79 years old and all she knows is how to sell things. She is then given a pen by the producers to try and sell it to them and so she does, but she doesn’t sell it like a normal pen but adds the element of magic to it. And it is our cue of how splendid her career as a saleswoman must be.
Born in a humble family of farmers, she was married at the young age of 18 to Raimondo Nobile, with whom she had two children – Maurizio and Stefania. Her marriage to Raimondo is defined as violent and full of infidelity. To cater to the needs of her family she started working as a beautician and had a fair amount of success to even opening her own beauty & perfume shop.
But that was just the start, as she started to advertise her products on private channels and it opened the world of telemarketing for her. From selling her own products to liaising with others, she sold everything in great numbers. Wanna Marchi didn’t know how persuasive of a public speaker she was until thousands of people would call up to order anything she sold.
Her USP lied in calling out and emotionally playing with the insecurities of the general public. Although nothing has really changed from the 70s-80s, until now, since people are still obsessed with products that would make them slim, beautiful or give them a lot of money. She targeted those groups and presented her products as the ultimate solution that would take all their troubles away.
But as the series goes deeper into the narrative, it takes on that true crime tone typical of many similar productions. With elements like the intimidation of the mafia, the shady business partners, the appearance of mysterious Freemasons and above all the second take-off part of the mother-daughter duo’s career.
No matter how successful they were, gradually they fell down from the stage with bad personal & financial decisions. But as they say, tenacious and evil people always find their way back and so did they. The second turnover in their lives is marked by the sale of lotto numbers, of the salt that does not melt due to the evil eye, of the master of life Do Nascimento and more greed.
Marchi at one point thought she was so good at selling anything, that she convinced herself that she could sell nothing. But above all, she can persuade others, even in a bad way. That’s what landed her in trouble when you start to think of yourselves as untouchable and above all.
In such Netflix docuseries, the person often gives substantial evidence of their innocence and the guilt of the crime. But not the protagonists of this series, as they claim that they have been to prison and don’t care what they (show creators) release. They obviously don’t confess to their crimes but present a sophisticated version, where they aren’t the only bad guys.
The most contradicting thing is what Marchi comments, that people are a fool to believe and buy their products & idiots deserve to be scammed. But they are selling the products to them, if they didn’t buy them, then she wouldn’t be as famous. Her whole business depends on these people and they feel no liability or remorse for all the people they extorted money from by selling scam products.
In a true sense, she is the original and first example of an influencer. A term that is so common today, but a new type of species in her era. Her customer service was a well-planned scheme too, where they would follow up with the people over their progress and sell more when the products didn’t work.
Fortune Seller A TV Scam is currently streaming on Netflix.
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