Goop is a wellness and lifestyle brand created by actress Gwenyth Paltrow, who you may have seen in Iron Man, Shakespeare in Love, or The Royal Tenenbaums. Paltrow now spends her time working on what she calls the “optimization of self,” an attempt to help people lead their best lives, which at a surface level, seems quite admirable. Goop, Paltrow’s brand/wellness blog, is notorious for selling unconventional and expensive wellness products. You could even say that Paltrow herself is infamous because of some of the unconventional things that she says. In 2017, she recommended that women use “vagina eggs,” claiming health benefits but was later sued $145,000 for making false claims. Goop’s products often sound just as ridiculous as the infamous vagina egg. Products sold by Goop include a $27 “Vampire Repellent,” $42 “Love Potion,” a $68 crystal straw, and many, many, sex toys.
The Goop Lab was released on January 24, 2020, by Netflix, and is comprised of six episodes. It is focused on exploring different pseudoscience topics. The series follows Goop employees, and occasionally Gwenyth herself, as they test them out, and determine if they “work.”
The show is facing copious amounts of backlash for its wackiness and the so-called risk that comes with the show’s influence. To be fair, each episode does preface with a screen saying that one should always check with their doctor about health matters, but people are concerned that this is not enough, and all of the health claims later come with little question. The show has many issues but is not truly a threat to society in any way, as some other articles may suggest; part of the show’s brand, in a way, is being strange and unconventional. It would also be false to say that everything suggested in the series is completely bogus. Some of these topics do have roots in real scientific study. It would have been better if the series included more of this, and it would probably have gotten less backlash as a result.
While the show isn’t harmful, when it comes to entertainment and content, it falls flat.
It’s hard to ignore the privilege and first-world problems often mentioned. For example, as you watch Goop employees whine through diets they try out in an attempt to lower their “biological age.” The “Goopers” reactions to the experiments seem like they’re sup
It’s hard to ignore the privilege and first-world problems often mentioned.
posed to leave us satisfied but remain unconvincing since they lack concrete evidence. Other topics the episodes go through are psychedelics, female pleasure, energy healing, and psychics. To put it bluntly, the show is slow-moving and has a lack of direction and purpose, making it hard to get through an episode.The Goop Lab and Goop promote self-care, and it seems this is a large part of the series. Yet it sells its so-called message of self-care through outrageously priced and unaffordable products, often unbacked by any sort of science or evidence. The image of self-care should not be a $1000 vampire facial — as seen in episode four.
Even if the topics in The Goop Lab could become a part of certain viewers’ self-care practices, the show never provides evidence for any of its claims. The pseudoscience treatments discussed are not affordable or attainable for most, so it fails to leave the watcher with something applicable to their real, everyday lives. It only leaves the watcher with ideas of some things that could be possible with no evidence or way to try these ideas out for themselves. In short, the show is not the worst but definitely is not the best. It falls flat as either educational or entertaining, and other sources could be more informative when it comes to pseudoscience.