Original Content podcast: ‘The Inventor’ offers a compelling overview of the Theranos saga

The story of how blood testing company Theranos rose to prominence, then collapsed following accusations of fraud, is getting told and retold in many forms: There’s reporter John Carreyrou’s book “Bad Blood,” plus an upcoming feature film adaptation starring Jennifer Lawrence, plus a podcast from Nightline called “The Dropout” — and “The Inventor,” a new HBO documentary directed by Alex Gibney.

Our colleague Josh Constine already reviewed the film after seeing it at Sundance, but we had thoughts of our own, which we hashed out with guest host Anna Escher on the latest episode of the Original Content podcast.

Gibney previously spoke to TechCrunch about his Steve Jobs documentary “The Man in the Machine,” arguing that a documentary has more to offer than just “a list of facts.”

Similarly, viewers who’ve read “Bad Blood” or followed the Theranos story closely may not discover many new facts in “The Inventor.” But even so, the film is worth watching for its clear distillation of what happened, and for its copious behind-the-scenes footage of Holmes (who ends up feeling like a major presence even though she wasn’t interviewed).

There are also some parallels to “Fyre,” the recent Netflix documentary about the Fyre Festival — particularly the focus on employees who get caught up in an entrepreneur’s grand vision, even when they knew their bosses were playing fast-and-loose with the facts.

And we also share our thoughts on the third season of “Queer Eye,” both its political message and our favorite cast member (Bobby forever!).

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