Programming note: At the moment this post goes live Mrs. Animal and yr. obdt. will be aloft in the Friendly Skies, off to a brief yet fun-filled adventure; watch this space next week for details.
Moving along: As documented by ArsTechnica, our old nemesis Gwyneth Paltrow is back with a new Netflix series, and she’s just as batshit crazy as ever – or is she? Excerpt, with a few comments:
In Netflix’s own words, the show intends to guide “deeply inquisitive” (my ass) viewers through “boundary-pushing wellness topics,” such as “energy healing and psychics.” The show—like Goop—appears to be largely aimed at women, and the trailer’s release was accompanied by an image of Paltrow appearing to descend into an artist’s rendition of a vagina.
Goop critics were quick to decry the show, arguing that—like the brand—it actually intends to guide exploitable viewers (read “exploitable” as “stupid”) through unproven and potentially dangerous health practices, such as the same garbage Goop has been promoting for years. And the show—like Goop—claims to “empower” women only by convincing them to try dubious treatments and products.
Critics on Twitter have been particularly merciless at trashing and mocking the show (and Goop) all day. The announcements of the show’s trailer have been bombarded with disapproving memes, viewers noping out, and messages scolding Netflix for getting involved with the notorious business. (The responses were overwhelmingly negative, but there were some solid puns in there, too.)
Despite the swift backlash online, the most cutting and concise critiques of the show seem to appear in the trailer itself. As the teaser notes, the unproven wellness practices and products shown are “unregulated” and simply “dangerous.”
In one clip, Paltrow herself asks one of the show’s guests “what the fuck are you doing to people?”
Yet, the trailer also offers Paltrow’s justification for the show’s—and Goop’s—existence. In an apparent rejoinder to the unspoken-yet-blaring question of “dear lord, why?”, Paltrow explains: “We’re here one time, one life. How can we really milk the shit out of this?”
Note that last quote from Ms. Paltrow. Here it is again:
Paltrow explains: “We’re here one time, one life. How can we really milk the shit out of this?”
Well, let’s give her some points for being unintentionally honest for once.
I’ve long said that there is some point at which fools and their money deserve to be parted, and make no mistake, those are precisely the kind of fools that are Gwyneth’s target audience for this latest outpouring of woo. And as a staunch minarchist, I can only reaffirm that caveat emptor applies here, and stupid people will usually get what’s coming to them.
But, as I’ve mused before, I have to wonder about Ms. Paltrow’s motivations here. Is she really dumb enough to believe in the ridiculous snake oil she hawks? Or is she, as she unwittingly let slip, just milking the shit out of this for big fat sacks of cash? Honestly, is Gwyneth a simpleton, or is she secretly thinking “I can make huge bags of cash off these morons?”
And what the fuck, Netflix? Why on earth would you give a platform to this enormous outpouring of absolute, steaming horseshit? How much is Gwyneth paying you for another opportunity to sell jade vagina eggs and $85 plastic water bottles with healing crystals in them?
ArsTechnica concludes: With the new show, Paltrow remains steadfast. In a statement to Cosmopolitan, Paltrow said that the show takes the same “open-minded approach that we’ve cultivated at Goop and applied a different, visual lens with Netflix.”
This, True Believers, is a textbook case of folks’ minds being so open that their brains have actually fallen out.