So, now that you’ve devoured The Dropout’s interpretation of the rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos, you’re probably wondering “what’s next?” While you can read up on her trial, follow her sentencing and all of her current chaos, there’s no confirmation of The Dropout season 2 (though Seyfried is apparently interested in exploring Holmes as a character further).
That said, for as much as Holmes’ story seems singular and unique, it’s only a single patch in the quilt of modern tales of deception, medical drama and startup calamities. So, we decided to flip through our indexes of the best streaming services to find the shows and movies you should be watching to fill the Elizabeth Holmes-shaped void in your life.
Our picks range from a documentary about Holmes and Theranos to another podcast adaptation based on an enigmatic founder whose vision crumbled around him. We’ve even got some more lighthearted stories to cut the tension that still lingers long after the The Dropout ends.
So, dear reader, come on in, while we don’t have unique speaking voices, and we won’t try and get you to invest in a miracle, but we have plenty of shows that can keep you busy while you hope for more of Amanda Seyfried as Elizabeth Holmes.
The Inventor: Out for Blood (HBO Max)
If, somehow, you jumped to The Dropout before watching The Inventor: Out for Blood — a documentary also based on Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos — then it’s time to see a starker image of the story you just watched play out. This film from director Alex Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) approaches the whole scene from a more macro level, looking at the world that enabled Holmes’ work. Because while her pitch of a life with fewer deaths from disease was compelling, it didn’t happen just because of her cult of personality.
Additionally, Gibney’s film gave a greater spotlight to Holmes’ unique and peculiar voice and energy — placing her in a stark talking-head situation where her energy was in sharper focus. While The Dropout could have happened without The Inventor being made it certainly primed the pump for a public that wanted to see more about her life and work.
Stream it now on HBO Max
Inventing Anna (Netflix)
Depending on your point of view when it comes to Elizabeth Holmes’ time at Theranos, you may see her as either a visionary or an amazing scammer. You might even see her as a little bit of both. But if you see her as a world-class con artist, then check out Netflix’s take on one of the other big con artists of her time.
Inventing Anna, a Netflix series from Shonda Rhimes, dramatizes the real-life story of Anna Sorokin, who convinced the elite world of New York City’s party animals that her name was Anna Delvey and that she was a German heiress. And she did it all so convincingly that they’d cover her tabs left and right. The situation is akin to the Tinder Swindler, but she’s much more likable because she’s taking money from the kind of folks who nobody feels a need to defend.
Much like Holmes, Sorokin/Delvey became a figure of great interest as folks wondered if they could scam people at such a high level.
Stream it now on Netflix
WeCrashed (Apple TV Plus)
Loved Amanda Seyfried’s depiction of an oddly-voiced individual who tried to reinvent a marketplace? Well, Apple TV Plus has another one for you in WeCrashed as Jared Leto disappears into a solid impression of WeWork founder Adam Neumann. Just like The Dropout, WeCrashed is an adaptation of a podcast that drew too many ears to not get turned into a TV show.
WeCrashed, currently nearing its run of eight episodes, has earned positive marks from critics for its character work. Not only has Anne Hathaway impressed with her version of Rebekah Neumann (Adam’s ever-present wife), but it also won points with critics for its depiction of their relationship.
Stream it now on Apple TV Plus
If The Dropout didn’t show that Hulu loves its dramatizations of non-fiction projects about the medical industry, then Dopesick should. Here, Michael Keaton stars as Dr. Samuel Finnix, who has been prescribing Oxycontin to his clients because Purdue Pharma marketed its drug as a painkiller that would only be addictive to “less than 1%” of patients.
Once the world discovers what we already know, that Oxycontin was much more dangerous than it was marketed to be, everyone comes down on Purdue Pharma. Dopesick features a stellar cast including Peter Sarsgaard as investigator Rick Mountcastle, and Michael Stuhlbarg as Purdue executive Richard Sackler. While The Dropout won by focusing on the drama behind the scenes, Dopesick finds its intensity from the chaos that Oxycontin wreaked upon the world.
Stream it now on Hulu
Severance (Apple TV Plus)
Those who believe Holmes was fully aware of how false her claims were probably see her as one of many con artists who stand atop a corporate tree pushing big promises that have ulterior motives. And such a situation feels like the mysterious truth at the core of Apple TV Plus’ phenomenal series Severance. Unlike most of the entries on this list, Severance uses science fiction to talk about how we work. In this series a fictional company named Lumon Industries that pioneered a medical procedure called severance that breaks your brain into two halves: one part of you goes to work every day, and then the other part wakes up when you clock out.
How does this tie to The Dropout? Imagine being one of Holmes’ employees, and trying to separate the truths from the lies. That’s the plight of the workers who have supposedly undergone severance voluntarily, and go by the name “innies” (their non-working counterparts are called “outies”). Severance is one of the very best shows of 2022, and a must-see no matter if you’ve watched The Dropout or not.
Stream it now on Apple TV Plus
Silicon Valley (HBO Max)
A true island of misfit creators, Silicon Valley is such a weird place these days that the show bearing its name was inevitable. That said, the intense, nervous energy of its ensemble cast is akin to making a show called “Oops, All Holmes’!” But unlike with The Dropout, the technology at the root of Silicon Valley — a farcical comedy series — isn’t really going to save anyone’s lives. And none of these guys are as good at giving a keynote as Holmes/Seyfried.
That doesn’t make Silicon Valley any harder to watch, though, as Thomas Middleditch (as coder Richard Hendricks) always pulls out car-crash awkwardness that you can’t help but watch. You see, Richard’s created a data compression app called Pied Piper, which could revolutionize the way we stream things at an extremely micro level. But Richard is surrounded by all the different kinds of man-children you would expect. T.J. Miller plays a smug incubator named Erlich, while the trio of Martin Starr, Kumail Nanjiani and Josh Brener play colleagues who have a hard time working together and often make life hell for Richard. Also, Zach Woods is perfectly uncomfortable in his own skin as Donald “Jared” Dunn. Yes, that’s his nickname, and it should give you a fairly good idea of how screwed up he is.
Stream it now on HBO Max
Halt and Catch Fire (AMC Plus)
What if you want the inventive and aspirational side of Elizabeth Holmes’ work — you know, how she believed she was doing the right thing? — without the con part? Well, you may love AMC’s series Halt and Catch Fire. Based on a wonderfully unique premise, an alternative history of the personal computing and internet revolutions, Halt and Catch Fire is a great character study of broken humans trying to solve for the future.
At the head of the cast you’ve got Lee Pace (Pushing Daisies) as Joe MacMillan, an ideas guy who is both difficult to work with and remarkably ahead of the curve. Pace’s work here is phenomenal, as he’s got the nuances of this guy — who wants to be a Steve Jobs-level genius — down pat. And while everyone on this show is phenomenal (Scoot McNairy and Kerry Bishé always deliver as the husband and wife team of engineers), I can’t talk about Halt and Catch Fire without praising Mackenzie Davis’s portrayal of troubled programmer Cameron Howe.
Davis has a knack for owning the scene in every moment she gets (think back to her work in Black Mirror’s “San Junipero” episode), and she makes Cameron an amazing character you want to root for as you just gnaw at your fingernails awaiting her next self-destructive decision.
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7 best shows and movies to watch after The Dropout