In 2019, The Dropout podcast hosted by American journalist Rebecca Jarvis premiered. In it, she explored the rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes, founder of the company Theranos. Now, three years later, the television adaptation of this podcast has arrived in the world of series. It is a Hulu original series that premiered on the platform on March 3. However, in the rest of the world we had to wait until yesterday, April 20, to see it on Disney +, through the Star catalog.
The Dropout: The Rise and Fall of Elizabeth Holmes reviews in eight episodes the deviant path taken by a great idea to the point of ridiculing the creative privilege of the all-powerful that abound in Silicon Valley. The script deconstructs the tropes of the “scam” genre to offer a fascinating and occasionally brilliant chronicle of the scam.
Amanda Seyfried, known mainly for her roles in Mamma Mia! or Dear John, brilliantly stars as Elizabeth Holmes, the entrepreneur who between 2003 and 2018 climbed the ranks among the most influential people in the biotech world while scamming patients, investors and everyone else through lies.
A scam that duped billionaires, politicians and prominent investors but that was also for years playing with the health of thousands of people. And while the series does an exhaustive review of Elizabeth Holmes’ profile, it does not forget to point out that the victims were human beings.
Elizabeth Holmes founded Theranos at the age of 19 with the idea of creating a device that would run tests on a single drop of blood. The problem is that despite efforts to find investors and the involvement of prominent engineers, the machine in question did not quite work. However, the business and launch promises she was handing out to anyone who bet on the idea soon turned out to be a lie.
Beyond the scam, of which she has been found guilty of four counts of fraud in January 2022, the series shows the impunity with which they played with the health of patients, making them believe that this modern machine would give them accurate results of their health status. However, not only were they not using the machine they had promised, but in many cases several patients have testified that they gave erroneous diabetes results, such as a false positive for HIV.