“The Dropout” certainly ended with a bang – or at least a scream – as Elizabeth Holmes (Amanda Seyfried) abruptly faced the realization that the phalanx of lies she had built up around her company, Theranos, had irrevocably imploded. Based upon the ABC News podcast of the same name, the Hulu limited series, which wrapped its eight-episode run last week, very accurately dramatized the sordid true tale of the now-disgraced CEO, who became the darling of Silicon Valley upon dropping out of Stanford at the age of 19 to establish her biotech concern which she claimed was going to revolutionize medical testing. Spoiler – it didn’t! In what amounted to a massive scam, the supposed groundbreaking technology she was peddling didn’t actually exist. Once valued at $7 billion, Theranos is worth zero today as its once-celebrated founder awaits sentencing following being found guilty of three counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy as a result of her tall tales.
Amid the sea of true crime/scandal stories currently clogging our screens, “The Dropout” is a standout, due primarily to Seyfried, who stuns in the lead role with a near-exacting embodiment of Holmes, right down to her uniquely deep cadence and pronounced mouth movements. The Chicago Sun-Times deems the portrayal a “career-best performance” and that is not hyperbole. “The Dropout’s” supporting cast also shines onscreen, as do the show’s many locations.
While set mainly in Silicon Valley, the series was lensed in its entirety in Los Angeles, with the production team securing some of SoCal’s most alluring real estate for prominent roles. A few of the illustrious properties to feature on the show include Glendale’s famed Schaffer Residence, which pops up as the Bay Area home of Theranos board member Channing Robertson (Bill Irwin). Sophia Loren’s former Thousand Oaks ranch, La Concordia, which was reimagined in recent years by Tony Duquette protégé Hutton Wilkinson, masquerades as the sylvan home of former Secretary of State George Shultz (Sam Waterston). And a massive mansion in the tony Holmby Hills neighborhood portrays the pad Elizabeth shares with her boyfriend/Theranos president Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani (Naveen Andrews) in the latter part of the series.
Purported to be located in Northern California’s Atherton neighborhood, in reality, the dwelling can be found on a large corner lot just down the road from the Playboy Mansion at 10350 Wyton Dr. (Please remember this is a private home. Do not trespass or bother the residents or the property in any way.)