Photo By: Noah Nickel via Disney+
The Dropout, a new limited series on Disney+, follows the journey of infamous tech entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes (Amanda Seyfried) from the inception of her infamous company, Theranos, through to its eventual collapse.
Based on real life events, the limited series invites viewers into the world of Silicon Valley start-ups as Holmes tries to secure funding for her invention while preserving her vision for the future of healthcare.
The series begins with a young Holmes heading off to Stanford, where she quickly connects with renowned scientist and professor, Dr. Channing Robertson (Bill Irwin). By the end of her freshman year, she finds herself in his graduate-level research program where she eventually develops the initial concept for her supposed blood testing device: Theranos.
Throughout the first five episodes, the plot shifts between Theranos’ origin story and Holmes’ 2017 testimony in a fraud case lodged against the company. It paints the picture of a young, naïve Holmes but also playfully hints at the wreckage that is to come.
While Seyfried has already established herself as a phenomenal actress, she brings an even greater degree of depth to her role as Holmes. She switches almost effortlessly between her character in college and years later as a tech mogul, delivering strong but distinct performances in each realm. As Holmes begins to make progress securing financing for her company, Seyfried’s portrayal of her also shifts to become more rigid and cold. Viewers see her slowly adopt tendencies that mirror her role models: Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, as she sheds her naivety and develops a more hardened exterior.
The series pays particular attention to detail, especially in wardrobe and hair/makeup. Even when Theranos is at its peak, none of the characters look completely put together; oftentimes, it’s quite the opposite. Like the company itself, its executives put on a polished front, but we still see some cracks in their armour through hairs out of place, dark circles under their eyes, or wrinkles on their foreheads. These details help humanize the characters as they scramble to put together a working prototype only months before its launch.
The series captivates viewers with a carefully selected background score. creating a sense of urgency as investors grow impatient and Theranos’ staff begin to question the company’s integrity.
As of today, the first five episodes of the series are available to stream on Disney+, with new episodes releasing every Thursday. This season will have eight total episodes, with no official announcement regarding whether the show will continue on for another season.
Wherever they decide to take this series, it’s one that you don’t want to miss. With its strong performances and great attention to detail, The Dropout offers a compelling take on recent events that makes for an extremely intriguing show.