One of Star+’s top titles in 2022, The Dropout: The Story of a Fraud could be the miniseries that will consecrate the career of Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia). After earning her first Oscar nomination last year, the 36-year-old actress has a chance to take home her first Emmy for her work on the show.
The Dropout tells the incredible story of the rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes, founder of Theranos, considered a business prodigy and the youngest woman to become a billionaire. However, she has seen her empire crumble as her lies and deceit are exposed during her journey.
Compared to icons like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, Elizabeth –played by Amanda in the miniseries– has always dreamed of being a billionaire. Committed to creating a project that would change the world, she used her intelligence and acumen to skip steps and follow the path of many of these established names in technology.
Through Theranos, the young businesswoman claimed to have created a technology that would revolutionize blood testing. People could self-diagnose themselves at home with just one drop, without having to go to the hospital and pay a bill to have their arm pricked by needles. An ambitious project that could forever change the very expensive health care system in the United States.
Amanda Seyfried as Elizabeth Holmes
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In 2015, Forbes named Elizabeth the country’s youngest billionaire after Theranos was valued at $9 billion. Her downfall, once rumors of fraud began to circulate, was even faster. She is currently on bail awaiting a court ruling after being convicted of wire fraud and conspiracy.
Like Inventing Anna (2022), The Dropout delves into the character’s schemes to reach the top and goes beyond: in the Star+ miniseries, the audience knows her motivations and desires, without the linear narrative wasting time with silly dramas or concerns of the character. Here, the focus is entirely on Elizabeth and how her hunger for success destroyed not only her dream, but the relationships with friends and partners she made along the way.
What The Dropout does best is to show a sense of humanity among the people who have lived through the former billionaire’s life. It is the people who were part of the deception, such as Sunny Balwani (Naveen Andrews), Elizabeth’s boyfriend and eventual COO of Theranos, who are the counterpoint to the constant change of personality of Amanda Seyfried’s character. There are also those who were deceived by the dream of doing something new for the world and who believed in Elizabeth’s vision, like Stanford professor Channing Robertson (Bill Irwin), former colleague Rakesh (Utkarsh Ambudkar) and the lovely chemist Ian Gibbons ( Stephen Fry).
Amanda Seyfried emerges as a force of nature in The Dropout. Her Elizabeth goes from the innocent girl who entered Stanford full of dreams to the cold, calculating billionaire in seconds. A formidable work that could deservedly earn him his first Emmy win.
Naveen Andrews and Amanda Seyfried
Disclosure / Star+
Inspired by a podcast of the same name, the series takes its material seriously and makes the increasingly rare choice of telling its story in chronological order, even as it closes most episodes with Elizabeth Holmes’ 2017 testimony to authorities about the fall of the world. Theranos. Showrunner Elizabeth Meriwether drives the narrative formidably, making it increasingly compelling as audiences follow the protagonist’s journey – and those who discovered her fraud – to its final conclusion.
With six 2022 Emmy nominations in all, The Dropout can surprise and knock down favorites like Inventing Anna itself and HBO’s hit The White Lotus. But even if it leaves the Oscars of TV without awards, the miniseries leaves a mark as one of the great works of streaming this year.