‘The Dropout’ Review: From ‘Mean Girls’ to Mean Girl; Amanda Seyfried is Mesmerising as Theranos Fraudster

“The Worst Possible Thing in the World is to Have Someone Who Doesn’t Believe in You.”

– Elizabeth Holmes

Elizabeth Holmes created a name for herself in the 2010s as the world’s youngest self-made billionaire for creating the health care company, Theranos. At its peak, Holmes was worth $4.5 billion, and her company was worth an estimated $10 billion.

Theranos was responsible for a revolutionary medical device that could detect different types of antibodies and illnesses from a single drop of blood.

The catch… it was all a sham.

The Amanda Show

The Dropout — Money. Romance. Tragedy. Deception. Hulu’s limited series “The Dropout,” the story of Elizabeth Holmes (Amanda Seyfried) and Theranos is an unbelievable tale of ambition and fame gone terribly wrong. How did the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire lose it all in the blink of an eye? Sunny Balwani (Naveen Andrews) and Elizabeth Holmes (Amanda Seyfried), shown. (Photo by: Beth Dubber/Hulu)

Based upon Rebecca Jarvis’ biographical podcast of the same name, The Dropout details the rise and inevitable fall of Elizabeth Holmes and her company. Amanda Seyfried takes on the role of Holmes alongside Naveen Andrews, who plays Sunny Balwani, Holmes’ boyfriend and business partner.

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In short, despite an ensemble cast of fantastic performances, The Dropout is Seyfried and Andrew’s show. Both of them are brilliant as the problematic entrepreneur, and their relationship is as fascinating as infuriating.

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Amanda Seyfried’s version of Elizabeth Holmes is spot-on, right down to that famous guttural voice, which Holmes concocted to sound more authoritative in a male-dominated industry. Seyfried is so good in the role that she’s a lock-in for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series. It’s too early to tell if she’s guaranteed a win, but don’t be shocked if she’s one of five nominees.

Supporting Stars

The Dropout — “Flower of Life” – Episode 105 — With the Walgreens deadline looming, Elizabeth and Sunny scramble to find solutions to their technological failures. Ian is drawn into Elizabeth’s lawsuit against Richard. Sunny Balwani (Naveen Andrews), Wade Maquelon (Josh Pais), Elizabeth Holmes (Amanda Seyfried), and Jay Rosan (Alan Ruck), shown. (Photo by: Beth Dubber/Hulu)

Joining Seyfried and Andrews is an ensemble cast featuring William H. Macy, Elizabeth Marvel, Laurie Metcalf, Stephen Fry, Bill Irwin, Alan Ruck, Sam Waterston, and many more notable names. Too many to list in the review. But it was Macy, Marvel, and Fry who stood out to me.

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William H. Macy plays Richard Fuisz, one of the many real characters featured. Fuisz is famous for his battle with Theranos after attempting to file a rival medical analyzer patent. Macy is ferociously spiteful and is often infuriating to watch, a testament to his supreme acting capabilities.

Marvellous Ms. Marvel and the Fantastic Mr. Fry

The Dropout — “Flower of Life” – Episode 105 — With the Walgreens deadline looming, Elizabeth and Sunny scramble to find solutions to their technological failures. Ian is drawn into Elizabeth’s lawsuit against Richard. Ian Gibbons (Stephen Fry) and Linda Tanner (Michaela Watkins), shown. (Photo by: Beth Dubber/Hulu)

Marvel plays Noel Holmes, Elizabeth’s mother and Fuisz’s neighbour. While she only appears sporadically throughout the series, she creates one of the more captivating performances of a caring yet somewhat distant mother.

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Admittedly, I am a big Stephen Fry fan, so imagine my joy when he first appeared in the series. Fry plays Ian Gibbons, the CTO of Theranos and a friend of Holmes. Often none-the-wiser to the shady inner workings of the Theranos. Fry is as charming as he is captivating as Gibbons, and he’ll tug at your heartstrings as his world and profession slowly begin to shift as Holmes, and the company start to unravel.

A Must Watch!

The Dropout — “Iron Sisters” – Episode 106 — Fresh out of college and newly employed by Theranos, Tyler Schultz and Erika Cheung discover shocking truths about Elizabeth and the company. Richard and Phyllis work with John Carreyrou to build a case against Elizabeth. Elizabeth Holmes (Amanda Seyfried), shown. (Photo by: Michael Desmond/Hulu)

The cast wouldn’t be anything without the supreme teleplays. Elizabeth Meriwether is the showrunner and executive producer of The Dropout, and she has done a more than a fantastic job in creating a series that is entertaining as it is enthralling and enraging.

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A few podcasts and documentaries that have covered this subject often make it hard to understand or find difficulty in explaining all of the technical aspects of Theranos, but The Dropout is laid out in an easy-to-understand format, and despite some scenes featuring heavy medical and computer information, you won’t get lost in at all.

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It may only be February, but The Dropout is my favourite limited series of 2022 so far and will likely remain in my top ten for the rest of the year. While many are still upset that Kate McKinnon exited the role, Amanda Seyfried proves her range and shows that Elizabeth Holmes was a role she was born to play.

The Dropout will premiere on March 3rd on the following services:

  • Hulu (United States)
  • Disney+ (Certain Regions)
  • Disney+ Hostar (India & Southeast Asia)
  • Star+ (Latin America)

About Post Author

Jordan is a British-Trinbagonian film & TV journalist currently based in the UK (not London). You can see his articles on various websites, including The Disinsider and The Cinema Spot. He is not the Las Vegas Raiders player of the same name, but Jordan fully supports him despite knowing nothing about the NFL. You can find Jordan on Instagram @ig_jordansimmons

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