I expected to have a strong reaction to “The Goop Lab,” the Netflix companion show to actress-turned-wellness-enthusiast Gwyneth Paltrow’s e-commerce brand Goop. After all, Goop is what made “yoni eggs” famous. Instead, I was mostly bored.
I watched the show’s first season in quick succession: six half-hour episodes full of muted neutrals, beautiful women with perfectly clear skin, Paltrow’s melodic-bordering-on-monotone speech patterns, and, of course, “wellness.” Each episode follows a group of Goop staffers as they try out a wellness trend or train with a practitioner, intercut with Paltrow and Goop Chief Content Officer Elise Loehnen sitting on a pale pink couch in a mostly white room chatting with the practitioner and another expert, often someone with a medical degree.
In some ways, “The Goop Lab” fits perfectly within the Netflix world of reality-TV offerings. Netflix has perfected the subgenre of hypnotic but slightly muted reality television ― “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo,” “Terrace House” and “Dating Around” all come to mind. But this is Goop.
Gwyneth Paltrow welcomes you to The Goop Lab on January 24 pic.twitter.com/ZzeEEbAy9L— See What's Next (@seewhatsnext) January 6, 2020
Goop is best known for its dubious pseudoscientific claims and the now-infamous Jade Egg, which led to a 2018 lawsuit against the company for making “unsubstantiated marketing claims.” (The site claimed that the jade egg and rose quartz egg, once inserted into the vagina, could “balance hormones, regulate menstrual cycles, prevent uterine prolapse, and increase bladder control.” The civil penalties against the company also targeted the claim that an “Inner Judge Flower Essence Blend” could prevent depression.) But “The Goop Lab” is fairly benign, likely a product of both Netflix’s legal department and Goop’s desire to rehabilitate its quacky image.
Each episode begins with a disclaimer: “The following series is designed...