Hulu series 'The Dropout' details rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes, Theranos

BySandy Kenyon OTRC logo
Friday, March 4, 2022
'The Dropout' details rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes, Theranos
Sandy Kenyon has more on the new Hulu series "The Dropout" about the rise and fall of Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes.

Back in January, the entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes was found guilty of fraud in connection with the rise and fall of her company.

Theranos had to close down after Holmes was accused of misleading investors by promising and then failing to deliver a machine that could run hundreds of medical tests based on a single drop of blood.

A new limited series called "The Dropout" that charts her rise and fall is streaming now on Hulu, starring Amanda Seyfried in the title role.

The terrific new series is based on an ABC News podcast and was created by TV producer Liz Meriwethe, best known for her comedies about a "New Girl" and "Single Parents."

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Here, Meriwether has given us a drama equal to the fascinating and maddening character who is the living, breathing definition of the word "enigma."

In fact, Holmes is so mysterious and puzzling that Seyfried still wonders who she really is.

"Elizabeth was still in some ways just as much of a mystery as she was in the beginning," she said.

As shown in the Hulu series, Holmes left Stanford University at 19, a college dropout who founded her company on a simple premise. What If you could test your own blood in your own home? And what if it wasn't a whole vial, but just a drop?

She raised $700 million for Theranos and became world famous, only to have the company go bust.

Throw in an epic love affair with Sunny Balwani, played by Naveen Andrews, and add the fact both went on trial for fraud, and you have more than enough for eight hours of compelling TV.

"Getting in her head, understanding what she was really thinking, that's what this is aiming to do," said ABC News Chief Business Technology and Economics Correspondent Rebecca Jarvis, who has covered the story since 2014.

The series takes its title from Jarvis' popular podcast, and she explained its origin.

"It started with questions," she said. "There were no assumptions. There was just curiosity."

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Jarvis will continue to pursue the truth while Holmes appeals her recent conviction, but for now, Seyfried's embodiment offers a greater understanding.

"It just feels really good (to hear), 'I got lost in it,' because that's the whole point," Seyfried said.

The first three hours of "The Dropout" are streaming now on Hulu, owned by Disney, the same parent company as this ABC station.

This drama is the best since "Normal People," and while they are very different shows, both amount to the most compelling and entertaining programming you can find.