Elizabeth Holmes’ company Theranos turned out to be a house of cards when it was discovered to be making false claims that a groundbreaking new blood test was able to detect serious illnesses such as diabetes and cancer. She defrauded notable investors out of millions of dollars and the whole debacle played out on TV screens around the world, including Charlie Brooker’s. Speaking to Metro, the ‘Black Mirror’ creator explained the genesis of the idea behind ‘Joan is Awful’:
“I was looking ‘The stall‘, which is the dramatization of Elizabeth Holmes and the Theranos story, with my wife and we were kind of commenting, ‘It feels like it happened yesterday, and here it is already a television drama.'”
Brooker already had an idea based on “a story of an average woman who finds herself on the front page of the newspaper” and simply applied it to the world of television instead of journalism. In doing so, Brooker recognizes that the age of streaming potentially grabs real stories with real victims a little too quickly. Shouldn’t there be at least some time between the scandal, the fictional adaptation, and awards season? “Joan is Awful” seems to answer that question with a resounding yes.