A lot has been said about Gwyneth Paltrow and her lifestyle website, Goop, in the 12 years since she started it. But now that the site has branched out into the new Netflix show The Goop Lab... well, people are losing their minds. I thought it would be a good idea to take a look at the six episodes of Season 1 and see if the nuttiness went any further than Paltrow smiling prettily in front of a bright pink mock up of a certain piece of female anatomy, and, what do you know, it does! Surprise!
Each episode deals with what Netflix calls "boundary-pushing wellness topics," and I'm sure Paltrow and her Goop team would agree. While it's clear that Paltrow and her fellow Goopers want us all to watch each segment and fully believe in every new fangled tactic to get / be / live healthier, more whole lives, it's really hard to embrace many of these things as easily as they (mostly) seem to. And, that is, indeed, because of the wild things that go on as Paltrow and Goop's chief content officer, Elise Loehnen, explore the subjects.
So, without further ado, let's get into the most WTF moments from Gwyneth Paltrow's The Goop Lab!
Getting High On Mushrooms Seems Boring AF (Episode 1)
Whoa, boy! The Goop Lab starts off real slow when we watch a group of what I shall henceforth call Goop Guinea Pigs head to Jamaica to do a bunch of mushrooms. Now, when I say "a bunch," I really mean "an appropriate amount as decided by people who lead folks on guided psychedelic drug trips as a means of therapy," and it's just as boring as you'd expect.
We get to watch a lot of laughing, crying and deep "thoughts" about stupid shit like clouds. Each episode of TGL is about 35 minutes long, but this one felt like watching a whole boring ass movie with poorly translated subtitles in a theater without stadium seating or wait staff to bring me booze. No one even tried to jump off a tall building in this episode. Ugh.
Keeping Goop Nipples Under Control In The Cold (Episode 2)
So, the whole point of Episode 2 of The Goop Lab is to see if special breathing techniques and gradual cold exposure can lead us to control our moods and even diseases we might be suffering from, but I actually found my own takeaway from this episode. All of the Goop Guinea Pigs seemed very happy with the experience and reported feeling energized and so forth afterward. But, all I really took away from it was that we've, apparently, finally found the answer to not nipping out when the temps drop: breathing juuuussst right.
How have I confirmed this very important side effect? Well, after watching this group do a joint breathing exercise covered by blankets, they all stripped down to swimsuits to head out into the elements, do some "snowga" (yeah, yoga in the snow) and then jump into a cold body of water. These people had no coats, ear muffs, scarves, gloves or even shoes... and there were literally no chesty pleasure buds on display. One woman talked about how the water was so cold she felt like she was drowning, even though she clearly never was, and even she wasn't nipped out! I love an unintentional discovery!
So. Many. Vulvas! (Episode 3)
Let me make myself clear, for a regular ol' entertainment writer, I actually write a lot about porn and sex (It's CinemaBlend's fault, Mom! I swear!), so I am no prude. Also, I'm all for loving your body, being sex positive and doing whatever you need to enjoy the more... horizontal parts of life. While I'm on board with the messages from sex educator Betty Dodson's appearance on The Goop Lab about women needing to own their sexuality and understand their bodies, I know that many folks will be simply shocked by all the close up photos of vulvas in this episode.
What's that, you say? You don't know what a vulva is? Well, this is exactly why Dodson is sure to educate everyone on the fact that it's what most of us have probably been calling a vagina our whole lives. And, it's also why she wants to remove the idea that vulvas need to look a certain way (thanks to the aforementioned porn), and we actually see uninterrupted, close up, full screen shots of several of those mamas, one after another, during the show. Even with all my potty mouth sex talk (For work!), I was stunned by it. But, not horrified. Plus, I didn't look away. So, not to brag, but I might be better than some of you.
Gwyneth Paltrow And Her Friends Get The Worst Facials (Episode 4)
There are few women who don't enjoy a little spa time now and again, right? You get to lay back, relax and let someone else massage your weary parts and worry about how to stop your wrinkles, fade dark spots or whatever. Well, leave it to damned Gwyneth Paltrow and her experimental friends to completely ruin the idea of paying someone with good hands to apply a bunch of fancy potions to your face to make you look younger. One of these ladies got an acupuncture facial, which looked scary enough, but it got way worse.
See the woman above with the weird white lines on her face who's getting an injection? She didn't just go in for some sissy facial massage, oh no. This Goop Guinea Pig was so committed that she allowed slow dissolving threads to be surgically inserted in her fucking face! Why? Oh, you know, just to (possibly) stimulate collagen production and make her look younger while also literally pulling back her face parts to appear as fresh as a new born babe. The weirdest process, though, was probably Paltrow's "Vampire Facial." They drew her blood, got all the platelet-rich plasma out, and then... wait for it... injected it into her face with several tiny needles. Science for the win!
All The Energy Work Exorcisms We Could Ever Want (Episode 5)
There is really no good way to explain what happens in this episode except to lay the weirdness on the line. According to chiropractor and body worker (his literal job title) John Amaral, the body is actually multidimensional, layered and doesn't end at our physical selves. So, his job is to put folks on massage-like tables and... I still sort of don't know. Pull the bad juju out? Force good vibes in? Manipulate all the non-physical body space to eke out negative emotions and such? Something tells me that if I asked him he would give an enthusiastic "Yes!" to all of that as a job description.
Oddly enough, as I mentioned a bit, Amaral rarely touches his clients; mostly just waving his hands above or out to the sides of their bodies to ply his trade and get those bad things gone. The result, though, is a room full of folks writhing about or shaking like they're in the throes of orgasm, demon possession, seizure, stroke, what-have-you. And, it's freaky to watch, especially when someone who isn't looking at him moves in a way that exactly mimics his pushing into / pulling out of the body movements. Whatever gets you through the night.
Finally Proving That None Of This Madness Will Work For Everyone (Episode 6)
Well, we've come to the final episode of The Goop Lab, and it's been quite a ride, hasn't it? For the grand finale of this go-round, Gwyneth Paltrow and her buddies have decided to take it easy on us and give all us skeptics something we can fully understand: A Goop Guinea Pig Who Is A Total Non-Believer! Ana, who you can see in the above photo smiling in the back with the long wavy hair, is along for the ride to see if psychic medium Laura Lynne Jackson can help her fellow Goopers open up their own psychic abilities. And, Ana. Is. Having. Nooooooone of this shit!
Ana went in with the best intentions, hoping to see if she could be convinced that any of this stuff might be real in even a subtle way. She tried her best with every exercise, even while giggling, making what were simply the most entertaining faces while listening to the others describe impossible stuff, or asking Jackson and the group questions such as "Everyone can't have this superpower... Right?" Jackson decided to do a reading just for Ana, likely to truly convince her, and what happened? Not only was nothing Jackson said true for Ana, but it was revealed to be true for a random producer also in the room! You guys? Ana just won The Goop Lab experience!