We need to talk about Lizzie
Yesterday, I didn’t do so much watch all five available episodes of The Dropout, so much as I devoured them! I have spent the last several months in a fever dream, thinking only of Maggie Gyllenhaal’s film The Lost Daughter. Well while I may spiritually still be with Olivia Colman, my mind is now with Elizabeth Holmes (Lizzie to me).
The Dropout has it all – it’s giving what Shonda wanted Inventing Anna to give, in the sense that it is both entertaining and yet digging into something deeper about this scam artist/girl boss (Girl Scam Boss?). The early scenes that help provide context for what we already know about Lizzie don’t really work, but they are so wonderfully over the top that you can’t help but make the face of that emoji we all use, but aren’t sure what it means. I mean her running track was more Josie Grossy than Mind of Murderer.
Amanda Seyfried is so good in this show – within minutes, sometimes seconds, she goes from giving a nuanced, layered performance that feels totally lived in to doing the necessary camp tone the scripts call for. She is acting with her whole body, and not just when she’s dancing.
The music choices are wildly iconic, every needle drop seems like they just plugged whatever year the scene takes place in into Spotify and choose whatever they saw first. The costumes are amazing. I have long thought that contemporary costuming deserves as much credit as period work and the wardrobe department here crushes it. The capital G Girl Boss slacks, whatever Felicity Hoffman’s husband is wearing, the Patagonia!
A few more things:
1). Cameron Frye/The Lost Roy Brother using Mrs. Legolas’ Firework lyrics to justify spending hundred of millions of dollars. We need to EAT THE RICH, indeed because if you’re going to waste money because of Daisy Bloom’s mom, be inspired by Dark Horse.
2). Ellis Grey & Lady Bird’s mom are going to eat Lizzie up. I know it’s more likely that Jerry Lundegaard will play a bigger role in the downfall of Theranos (it stands for therapy and diagnosis…have you heard?), but personally I love to see a Girl Boss lose to the mothers of two fictional Girl Bosses. Or well one Girl Boss (Meredith Grey) and one lover of Dave Matthew’s Band (Christine “Lady Bird” Macpherson)
3). Episode 4 is entitled Old White Men and it’s basically like an episode of VEEP somehow takes over the show. Go back and watch it – we have Selina (that guy who looked like five other actors and says “we’ve been sitting on these balls for an hour and a half, she doesn’t get to treat *us* like this. We’re *f-cking Walgreens* and we’re walking), we have Amy (the gay dude from Devil Wears Prada), Dan Egan (the aforementioned Firework singer), and the other guy is Gary. Most pleasing!
4). Utkarsh Ambudkar’s performance as Rakesh. Ambudkar was previously in two Kaling joints, so I’m a fan, and really love his easy, breezy, Silicon Valley girl vibe here. Also the show needed some eye candy. Also, am I attracted to Lizzie’s dad
5). Obsessed with the fact that after reading a whole ass book, listening to a podcast (maybe 2), and watching a documentary, I am still on the edge of my seat. The Dropout understands what some other shows based on our crime obsessions do not. Yes, we want the plot, but we also want MOMENTS. Did they have to give us Lizzie dancing into Sayid’s office? No! Is it burned into my brain? Absolutely.
The Dropout has a point of view, a wild tone, and hopefully something to say about why were all so fascinated by Lizzie and the story of her lil Sega Genesis blood machine. I’ll be waiting with breath that is baited for the last 3 episodes
What do you love/hate/love to hate? I need to talk about it (clearly)!