Tuesday, May 31, 2022
Hulu's The Dropout tells an amazing story. I do not know if it is fair to the main characters or an accurate representation of how easy it is to scam angel investors and the Katy Perry and Angry Birds addicted aging executives who run corporate dinosaurs like Walgreens. It's also hard to imagine getting top science and technology graduates from top programs to sign non-disclosure agreement after non-disclosure agreement and to work under 24-hour surveillance and conditions where they are prohibited from speaking to colleagues from other parts of the enterprise. But perhaps I am naive about work conditions in start-ups, or perhaps young graduates are naive about contracts. Both are possible.
But I do know that it features stunning performances by great actors, including Amanda Seyfried (right), who does for Elizabeth Holmes what Johnny Depp did for Willy Wonka, and William H. Macy. How many iconic roles can one actor create? If I were Richard Fuisz, I don't know if being played by William H. Macy (left) would take the sting out of being portrayed as an obsessive, jealous, greedy, glorified patent troll.
Which brings me to the justification for this post. In episode 6 of The Dropout, about three minutes in, Fuisz is making his first contact with Wall Street Journal reporter John Kerryrou (played wonderfully by Ebon Moss-Bachrach -- every scene with him and LisaGay Hamilton as his editor Judith Baker is priceless). Fuisz says that he read something by Adam Clapper who writes something called the Pathology Blawg and then he furrows his brown and mutters "I don't know why he spells it like that." Well we do!