Netflix is working hard to craft original content that will hold the attention of subscribers now that several of its most popular series will be housed on competing platforms. The original streaming service provider has several new series slated for January 2020 alone. Girl/Haji and Medical Police were both released on Jan. 10, and Ragnarok and Luna Nera are both slated for late January releases. Most subscribers are excited to see new content, but there is one series that is creating significant controversy – The Goop Lab. So, is the advertisement of Gwenyth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand in the form of a six-part series a genuinely questionable decision, and why is everyone so angry about it?
Was The Goop Lab a bad move by Netflix?
Netflix is, technically, in a fight for its life. The streaming giant, who was the only name in the game for years, is quickly gaining competitors. NBC is launching Peacock, with its tiered pricing model, in July 2020. HBO Max will release its much-anticipated platform in May 2020, and Disney and Apple have both shown up to the streaming game with robust libraries. Crafting must-see original content looks to be Netflix’s strategy moving forward, but their decision to produce The Goop Lab may be a troubling misstep, and there are legions of Netflix subscribers who are downright angry about it.
Could the decision to air The Goop Lab bring down Netflix? Absolutely not. The streaming giant won’t be wholly dismantled because of one show, but the decision has angered plenty of subscribers who, in many ways, are already on the fence about the platform. The trouble for Netflix started before they even released a trailer for the controversial series. According to The Verge, Netflix suffered a massive loss of subscribers back in July 2019, and likely will experience further dips now that several new streaming providers have moved into the space. The Goop Lab is just a truly unfortunate addition to the platform’s catalog, cataclysmic it is not.
What is The Goop Lab about?
The premise of The Goop Lab is pretty simple and straight forward. Throughout several episodes, cameras will take a closer look at the natural health company, Goop, run by Gwenyth Paltrow. The show promises to go into everything from energy healing to the use of psychedelic drugs, exorcisms, cold therapy and sexuality, according to the show’s trailer. While Paltrow might be enjoying a second life as a health guru when all is said and done, Paltrow is a businesswoman, and the business of Goop is working for her.
Vox notes that the outrage that Goop and The Goop Lab have created has actually been good for the Shallow Hal actress’s business. In fact, the publication suggests it would be better just to ignore Goop¸ after all, the show appears to be a six-part infomercial for Paltow’s products, albeit a slightly watered-down version. It seems, at least from the trailer, that the vast majority of wacky claims have been omitted or at least brought under control to make the series palatable to the masses.
Why is everyone so angry?
The official release date of The Goop Lab is still several days away. While Netflix will release the series on Jan. 24, those who have seen the trailer, and screened episodes in advance are absolutely livid over the streaming giant’s decision to support the endeavors. The complaints are plentiful, ranging from benign concerns, like the entire series being an extended infomercial for Paltrow’s lifestyle brand, Goop, to more serious concerns about the show’s attempt to legitimatize pseudoscience that may actually be detrimental to the health and well-being of those who buy into it.
Critics aren’t just angry about The Goop Lab, they are mad about Goop, in general. Not only does the luxury brand utilize health as a commodity, but it offers it only to the wealthiest of consumers. The website offers everything from $27 vampire repellent to $400 vibrators, to $100 moisturizer. Not every product is truly out there, but it’s all pretty expensive. The trouble with Goop, as a lifestyle brand, is its reliance on pseudoscience and the danger in selling medical claims to a generation of people desperate for something to latch onto.
The Netflix series, some experts are concerned, could further propagate pseudoscience that, in the long run, maybe detrimental to one’s well being. Goop has already settled one lawsuit stemming from a bogus medical claim. The company alleged their Jade eggs could balance hormones and make it easier to hold one’s urine. There is absolutely no science to back up the claim. Paltrow and her company were also lambasted for recommending vaginal steaming. A 62-year-old woman attempted the practice and ended up with second-degree burns, reports The Independent.