Sat. Sep 24th, 2022
Promotional image of Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow emerging from a stylized depiction of the female genital anatomy.
enlarge Promotional image of Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow emerging from a stylized depiction of the female genital anatomy.

Netflix released a trailer for the six-episode series on Monday The Goop Lab with Gwyneth Paltrowwhich — as expected — seems to spew as much pseudoscience and evidence-free wellness muck as the mogul’s infamous “contextual commerce” business, Goop.

In Netflix’s own words, the show wants to be guiding”deeply curious“viewers by”groundbreaking wellness topics,” like “energetic healing and clairvoyantsThe show—like Goop—appears to be largely female-focused, and the trailer’s release was accompanied by an image of Paltrow appearing to descend into an artist’s rendition of a vagina.

Goop critics were quick to dismiss the show, arguing that it — like the brand — actually plans to exploitable viewers by unproven and potentially dangerous health practiceslike the same garbage that Goop has been promoting for years† And the show, like Goop, only claims to “empower” women by convincing them to try questionable treatments and products.

Critics on Twitter were particularly ruthless against throw away and mock the show (and Goop) all day. The announcements of the show’s trailer have been bombarded with disapprove of memesviewers squeezeand messages berating Netflix to get involved with the infamous company. (Reactions were mostly negative, but there were some) strong puns there too.)

Despite the quick response online, the most sharp and succinct critiques of the show seem to appear in the trailer itself. As the teaser points out, the unproven wellness practices and products on display are “unregulated” and just plain “dangerous.”

In one clip, Paltrow himself asks one of the show’s guests, “What the hell are you doing with people?”


Still, the trailer also provides Paltrow’s justification for the show’s existence — and Goop’s. In an apparent answer to the unspoken, yet blaring question of “dear lord, why?” Paltrow explains, “We’re here once, one lifetime. How can we really milk the shit out of this?”

Based on the context, she seems to argue that privileged people like her might as well become guinea pigs for snake oil sellers, just in case they were given a slightly more fortunate status than the one they already enjoy.

But another interpretation provides a clear description of Paltrow’s business model, which is used in the multi-trilliondollar wellness industry. (That’s a lot of milk.) With the ever-elusive possibility of a better life, bolstered by her celebrity status and good genetics, Paltrow’s Goop sells uber-expensive ambitious wellness products. That includes a $350 crazy straw, an $84 water bottle with a rock with “positive energy” in it, and an $85 “Shaman Medicine Bag” with “magically charged rocks.”

The business model is depressingly successful. Goop’s valuations have risen to $250 million in recent years and the company has expanded into brick-and-mortar stores on multiple continents. The Netflix series is just the latest sign of Goop’s achievements.

There have also been setbacks. In early 2018, doctors reported that a woman died from bee sting therapy, which Paltrow had previously personally approved. In September of that year, Goop paid $145,000 in civil fines to settle a lawsuit filed by 10 prosecutors alleging the company was making unsubstantiated, harmful health claims. And a potential deal to publish a Goop magazine with Ars’s publisher, Condé Nast, reportedly fell through due to Condé Nast’s insistence on fact-checking (relief)

Still, Paltrow has been unwavering and unabashed, criticizing evidence-based medicine practitioners for not “believing” in unproven health treatments.

With the new show, Paltrow remains steadfast. In a statement to Cosmopolitan, Paltrow said the show takes the same “open-minded approach that we’ve cultivated at Goop and applied a different, visual lens with Netflix.”

The series will be available on Netflix from January 24.

View image by Netflix

By akfire1

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