Celebrities

Gwyneth Paltrow makes everyone cry in Netflix’s ‘The Goop Lab’




Gwyneth Paltrow is pouring blood, sweat and tears into her latest act.

The patron saint of rich lady things tries everything from “vampire” blood facials to harrowing cleanses — plus, some good old-fashioned pushups — in the upcoming Netflix series “The Goop Lab,” which premieres on Jan. 24. And you better hold onto your jade egg. For GP, there’s truly never enough questionable wellness practices to surprise us with, now on a platform that costs far less than her $4,500 health summits.

Each of the six 30-minute episodes begin with a disclaimer: “The following series is designed to entertain and inform — not provide medical advice. You should always consult your doctor when it comes to your personal health, or before you start any treatment.”

Smartly, Paltrow, whose chronological age is 47 but whose biological age is 42.5, does a lot of listening, leaving the expertise to the doctors, researchers and specialists she invites on the show. But she and her colleagues do their darndest to take these alternative treatments seriously, by trying it out themselves, speaking to experts in the field and highlighting case studies who have been “cured” by the treatments hawked in each infomercial-like episode — oh, and by not talking about any of the downsides of the treatments involved.

Buckle up for lots of bawling, pastel boiler suits and dubious health claims. Spoiler alert: Here are our Goopiest takeaways from the show.

The secret to female pleasure is a ‘genital show and tell’

A scene from "The Goop Lab," episode 3, "The Pleasure is Ours."
A scene from “The Goop Lab,” Episode 3, “The Pleasure Is Ours.” Netflix

By the end of the episode on female orgasms, GP is a regular vulva virtuoso. She brings in 90-year-old sex coach Betty Dodson, whose major piece of advice for women in search of an orgasm is to get naked with a bunch of gal pals and have a look-see. She calls it “genital show and tell.”

Paltrow is intrigued, but most of the episode focuses on the journey of one of her staffers who pays a visit to Dodson’s New York offices.

Dodson convinces Paltrow that it would be “revolutionary” to show normal vulvas (Paltrow is scolded by Dodson early on for calling them vaginas) on the show and to film what a non-porny female orgasm really looks like.

The Goop abides.

We should all trip out on ‘shrooms with our co-workers

The first episode discusses using psychedelics for therapy, a buzzy topic that, sure, deserves some discourse. When the Goop staffers head to Jamaica for a mushroom experience, things pretty much go as you’d expect: uncontrolled laughter, uncontrolled sobbing, someone needing to be held like a baby, etc. When they come to their senses and hit the beach, they decide that all colleagues should really have the opportunity to get spun with each other. That water cooler won’t know what hit it, amiright?

Back at the office, a sprawling Santa Monica, California, compound filled with wholesome snacks and cotton candy hues, Paltrow grills her assistant Kevin on his experience in Jamaica with three other co-workers. Is nothing sacred? Leave the poor man alone, Gwyneth.

You don’t need to starve yourself to age backwards

Gwyneth gets a vampire facial.
Gwyneth gets a vampire facial. Netflix

GP tries Valter Longo’s “fast-mimicking diet,” a meal plan one pays $300 for to feel as though they’re starving. It’s meant to reverse your “biological age,” a term her guest scientist, a Yale pathologist, uses to describe the healthiness of one’s cells, as opposed to their chronological age. The expert, Morgan Levine, says it’s a better indication of your overall wellness and life expectancy.

By the end of the five-day cleanse, Paltrow looks and feels like death. “I feel like I might fall down,” she tells the camera. The good news for her is, blood tests reveal her biological age is 1.25 years younger than before she tried the diet — the “vampire” facial she got in this episode helped her look the part. But the bad news for her is that she probably didn’t need to starve herself to go back in time: Her accomplice Elise tries a simple pescatarian diet and ends up, biologically, one year younger than before she started her diet. So unless an extra three months of youthful life matters to you, there’s really no reason to join Goop in an expensive and torturous cleanse.

Gwyneth is maybe not healthy

In that same episode on diets, Paltrow reveals, “I basically have been running off no sleep, coffee and alcohol for two years. I think my adrenals are going to explode.” Makes one wonder, is Gwyneth OK? Nevertheless, in an episode focused on Wim “The Iceman” Hof’s breathing techniques, it’s revealed that she can do nearly 20 pushups in a row — while fasting, naturally. It’s unclear how she’s been able to function this well for this long.

Somebody call this woman an ambulance

In an episode on energy healing, Paltrow brings into the office her longtime “body healer,” John Amaral, who claims to change the frequency of the body’s vibrations to heal emotional and physical ailments. Nothing too surprising here. But, when the staff gets together for a session with Amaral, one woman comes to him complaining of “chest pain and tightness.” Oh dear. She lays on the table “without much movement,” as the others observe, and “falls into a deep meditative state,” she says. Later that night, she throws up for three hours straight. Listen, I’m no doctor — but neither is Amaral.

Wellness makes you cry

In every episode, with every treatment, Goopies inexplicably cry. Jumping into cold water? Tears. Sustaining a deep, erotic gaze into a co-worker’s eye for a solid five minutes? Tears! Wigging out on psychedelics? Sobs. Having an energy healer wave his hand over your back? Big, ol’ weepy tears. By the end of the series, the staff of Goop has supposedly never been healthier. But they’ve also perhaps never been sadder.




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