August 18, 2022

WeCrashed begins at the end. As WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann (Jared Leto) is called into an emergency meeting about his company—which was once the third most valuable privately-owned company in the world—Neumann and his wife and business partner Rebekah Neumann (Anne Hathaway) stroll in with an air of overconfidence, as if they live in a world where their success is assured, even as their company is falling apart at the seams. This obliviousness and avoidance of how the real world works are key to what makes WeCrashed a hilarious and enthralling cringe drama that manages to be both extremely fun and appallingly uncomfortable at the same time.


Based on the podcast of the same name, Apple TV+ series WeCrashed follows Adam Neumann from his beginnings as a “serial entrepreneur,” making baby onesies with knee pads and women’s shoes with detachable heels, to the rise and fall of one of the most valuable startups in history. Created by Lee Eisenberg and Drew Crevello, WeCrashed is both an insane journey complete with illusions of grandeur, but also a love story between Adam and Rebekah, as we follow the tumultuous history of this shared workspace business.

To present this personal bubble that Adam and Rebekah live in, WeCrashed treats this power couple’s ideas as the way they see them in their own heads. Whenever the Neumanns come up with another crazy idea, the score swells, the joy is palpable, and even though the audience can’t believe the ridiculousness they’re hearing, WeCrashed shows the type of delusion these two live in and how they could believe the wildest ideas are actually great. Not only is the victory of these moments hysterical, the reality of the situation and the reaction from more level-headed individuals only heightens the genius of these scenes.

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Image via Apple TV+

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WeCrashed fundamentally wouldn’t work without two great performances to make us believe the bullshit these two are selling, but both Leto and Hathaway are fantastic at balancing extreme conviction and deranged pretension. Leto plays Adam Neumann almost like a billionaire Tommy Wiseau, a character with lofty ambitions, and just wants to feel like part of a community. Leto is excellent in making Adam a sympathetic character that we want to see succeed. It’s easy to see why WeWork co-founder Miguel McKelvey (Kyle Marvin) would follow him even through the most nonsensical choices. Adam’s strength is in his ability to sell people on his unconstrained imagination, and not only does Leto as Adam make the potential of WeWork seem compelling to the other people in the show, but he also makes even the most unhinged ideas sound like they could work, thanks to his presentation of these ideas. While Leto’s reliance on prosthetics comes off as distracting at first, he quickly gets lost in the role that might be one of his best.

Hathaway is also magnificent as Rebekah, who has struggled to find her place in the world, always stuck in the shadow of her cousin Gwyneth Paltrow, and then struggles to find where she fits in both WeWork and her husband’s life. Hathaway absolutely nails the good-natured ostentatious behavior of Rebekah, the kind of person who believes that stating that WeWork’s goal to “elevate the world’s consciousness” actually means something other than gobbledygook. Like Leto with Adam, Hathaway has to walk an incredibly thin line for Rebekah. So much of Rebekah centers around groan-worthy aspirations and excruciating situations, but her genuineness and hope of making the world a better place, be it through the power of yoga or attempting to expand WeWork beyond office space, is admirable, even if it is misguided.

The absurdity of WeCrashed is what makes it a truly great cringe drama, as we watch this couple and this company fail upwards. Whenever it seems like the troubles can’t get any worse, a lifeline comes along at the right moment, which only serves to aggrandize the fundamental issues at the core of this story. Each episode serves to expand these characters and this WeWork world in truly fascinating ways. In the show’s third episode, “Summer Camp,” we are shown how the communal party aspect of WeWork affects the individual worker, and how quickly a promising career at this startup can become a burden of exhaustion and uncertainty. In the fourth episode, aptly titled “4.4,” the weight of WeWork losing millions of dollars a day is pronounced as Adam strives to keep his business going at all costs, while also continually trying to expand locations and the goals of the company. We know exactly where WeCrashed is heading, but the way this journey is explored is completely captivating.

Image via Apple TV+

While WeCrashed is a love story and a based-on-true-events drama, the core of WeCrashed is the difficult balance between having confidence in one’s ideas and indulging delusions. It takes a bold mind to make such grandiose statements as saying you want to “end loneliness” or that “all we wanted to do is save the world,” and Adam and Rebekah truly believe these ideas. While it’s easy to laugh at how these two present these concepts, for these two who have made the impossible possible, it’s also easy to see why their most ludicrous ideas could seem like a reality. But WeCrashed also sells its audience on what Adam and Rebekah are selling and themselves. They’re borderline idiots at times, but we want to root for those idiots. These aren’t scammers who wanted to fraud their way to billions of dollars, these are two people who have assured themselves that altering the way the world thinks and acts can be irrevocably changed for the better. They believe the world can be changed with the power of We, and their overconfidence makes the audience want to buy into this as well.

Throughout WeCrashed, Rebekah tells Adam that he’s a supernova, a star that is making a difference. What Rebekah fails to mention—or maybe doesn’t understand—is that a supernova is born out of a catastrophic explosion. WeCrashed is a tremendous presentation of this explosion, one of the most thoroughly enjoyable dramas and laugh-out-loud comedies of the year so far, bolstered by two phenomenal performances by Leto and Hathaway. WeWork might not have been the revolution that Adam and Rebekah Neumann hoped it would be, but at least it gave us WeCrashed, a sensational blend of docudrama, heart, comedy, and drama that is one of 2022’s best miniseries.

Rating: A-

WeCrashed debuts its first three episodes on Apple TV+ on March 18, with subsequent episodes airing every Friday.

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