Hulu’s The Dropout

Hulus The Dropout stars Amanda Seyfried and features eight episodes.


Hulu’s “The Dropout” stars Amanda Seyfried and features eight episodes.

Kate Matthes, Staff Writer

Hulu’s recent series “The Dropout” follows the true story of Elizabeth Holmes, a seemingly genius entrepreneur whose company is not all that it seems.

Elizabeth Holmes was only 19 when she dropped out of Stanford University to pursue her new company: Theranos. Her goal was to create a machine that could test for hundreds of illnesses from only a few drops of blood. Holmes’ company grew to be worth billions of dollars, her product was praised and she was believed to be a brilliant entrepreneur. However, Theranos’ blood tests proved to be inaccurate causing false indications of medical problems for customers. It was discovered that their machines did not work as they were supposed to, causing the company to run blood tests through pre-existing machines. Holmes was accused with 11 counts of fraud and lost the company she had once been CEO of. 

Hulu released its first episode of “The Dropout” on March 1, followed by additional weekly episodes. “The Dropout” shows Holmes, played by Amanda Seyfried, as she rises to success and also as her downfall begins. One of the show’s focuses is Holmes’ personal life, including her relationship with her parents, brother and boyfriend turned business partner, Ramesh Balwani. Throughout the episodes Elizabeth’s story unfolds. When she first brings her blood testing idea to others she is faced with opposition and doubt. She eventually manages to create a team of scientists and gather millions of dollars of investments in her company. She even succeeds in creating a partnership with Walgreens. During one scene, based on a real life event, Elizabeth fakes a blood test in front of investors after her product fails to perform.

As the episodes continue Holmes and Balwani, played by Naveen Andrews, encounter more problems. They scramble to appear as if everything is under control, lying to investors and their own employees. The series highlights Holmes’ ability to mislead others and reassure those who came to her with concerns. The show suggests that Holmes was driven by her obsession with creating a life changing product. In one scene Elizabeth’s father reads a note Holmes wrote as a child, “What I really want out of life is to discover something new, something mankind didn’t know it was possible to do.” 

While not all of the events in the show actually happened, the creators included many true aspects of Holmes’ life. This included her idolization of Steve Jobs, who she wanted to imitate, and her signature green juice she can often be seen drinking. As her company develops through the series, Holmes takes on a different look. She begins to change her wardrobe to all black outfits, always wearing turtleneck sweaters and red lipstick. Some suspect that Holmes’ deep voice may be fake or exaggerated, maybe to make herself appear more authoritative. The series plays into this idea with scenes of Holmes repeating her sentences in a mirror while putting on a deeper voice. 

After a negative Wall Street Journal article is published about Theranos, things start to fall apart. Elizabeth’s employees speak out against her and she is blocked from operating a lab for two years. Dylan Minnette and Camryn Mi-Young Kim play two of these employees that alert others about the company. The series ends as Elizabeth and Ramesh separate and a complicated legal battle begins. This entertaining new series is a must-see.