Entertainment

The dropout: fake, fake, until you can make it

The miniseries (based on the ABC News investigative podcast of the same name and a true case) tells the story of elizabeth holmes, a young woman who dropped out of university at the age of 19 and, following the example of her idol Steve Jobs, wanted to turn her start-up into a great revolution in the pharmaceutical industry. For that she created Theranos (mix between therapy and diagnosis). The problem is that her invention could never work and nobody knew it. Holmes and her team used all kinds of tricks and lies to keep the ship afloat at the cost of false and wildly dangerous diagnoses.

The Holmes-Theranos case had already been covered by news reports (the main one was from The Wall Street Journal, which has a leading role in the series), books and even a documentary such as The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley about Holmes and Theranos, by Alex Gibney, available on the HBO Max platform with the local title Bleeding Silicon Valley.

Holmes also became a superstar in the industry, rubbing shoulders with celebrities, influencers, and politicians in American society. All based on a lie.

Across eight episodes, The Dropout charts Holmes’ journey from adolescence to his downfall. The script for The Dropout tries to be as clinical as possible, hinting that Holmes’ original intentions were genuinely noble. At its best, it’s a sharp look at the techno-friendly, socio-economic mindset that enabled a hoax as colossal as Theranos. Holmes hurt countless people who trusted her, especially patients. But the series works more as an interpretation of the history that we already know through the podcast, reports and documentaries, there is nothing particularly revealing or introspective.

That does not stop it from being highly entertaining, engaging from the first episode to the last. Especially for the work of Amanda Seyfried (winner of an Oscar for Mank and an Emmy for this performance) as Holmes, who bases her acting work on her face, her non-blinking, her gaze, the gestures of her mouth and how her tone of voice as the lie grew larger. It is interesting after seeing the miniseries to revisit the documentary to observe the original Holmes and finish convincing us that Seyfried’s work is enormous. Music also plays a fundamental role in the miniseries, in the endings of each chapter and mainly in the narrative of the construction of Holmes, who always seems to be escaping from the world by putting on his headphones.

The Dropout (2022) – Trailer Subtitled in Spanish – Miniseries

Amanda Seyfried is supported by a first-rate cast, starting with Naveen Andrews (the Sayid of Lost) as Sunny Balwani, the millionaire programmer who accompanied Elizabeth during her career, first as a friend, then a mentor, eventually a lover and even a company director. .

Along with them, Sam Waterson, Laurie Metcalf, Michael Ironside, William H. Macy, and Stephen Frye participate, standing out as Ian Gibbons, who gives heart to the story, and in a certain way a representation of moral conscience in Theranos.

In Elizabeth Holmes, all the clichés of “if you want, you can” meet at problematic levels from the first chapters.

In 2014, blood-testing startup Theranos and its founder, Elizabeth Holmes, were on top of the world. The revolutionary idea that through a single drop of blood, a device could detect countless diseases, amazed the planet.

Holmes was the world’s youngest self-made billionaire, and Theranos was one of Silicon Valley’s unicorn startups, valued at roughly $9 billion.

However, then everything would fall apart.

The shortcomings and inaccuracies of the technology of Theranos, along with the role Holmes played in covering it all up. Holmes was removed as CEO and charged with “massive fraud.”

The company was forced to close its labs and testing centers, bringing it down like a house of cards. While awaiting trial, Holmes found the time to become engaged and marry the heir to a luxury hotel chain named Billy Evans.

Holmes has since been convicted of fraud in federal court. In January 2022, jurors found Holmes guilty on three counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit fraud.

They found her not guilty on four other counts and failed to reach a unanimous verdict on the remaining three counts against her. She can face 20 years in prison – the verdict will be given in the next few days – but Holmes, who is considered by many to be a sociopathkeep posting inspiring posts and living a life of luxury, as if you were in a permanent TEDX talk.

A fraud for the world and especially for all women scientists who dream of making real social, medical and cultural changes.

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