How ‘The Goop Lab’ Brought Us Healing And Friendship In Self-Isolation

How ‘The Goop Lab’ Brought Us Healing And Friendship In Self-Isolation

In these lonely, sedentary times, it's important to focus on health and friendship. That's why we spent Thursday night drinking Coors Light and watching The Goop Lab on Netflix.
Emily Jashinsky and Madeline Osburn
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In these lonely, sedentary times, it’s important to focus on health and friendship. That’s why we spent Thursday night drinking Coors Light and watching The Goop Lab on Netflix. Because of social distancing measures (and the 1,300 miles between our houses), this had to be accomplished virtually. We made it work. In a word, the experience was stirring.

We’d heard about Netflix Party, but didn’t realize the Chrome extension only facilitates a chat. That wasn’t good enough. We wanted video. We wanted audio.

After a quick search, we landed on a site called Kosmi, which allowed us to share a screen and watch Netflix together while video conferencing on the same page. Other Kosmi users were watching “Onward” or attending “Timothee Chalamet Party pt 3,” an event we probably should have investigated further.

But we needed to Goop. It was important for our health and wellbeing. (That’s debatable.)

After about 10 minutes of trial-and-error, we were able to eliminate an echo in the audio, sync our screens, and get the video running smoothly. That’s it. Thanks to Kosmi, we breezed through “Goop Lap” like Queen Gwyneth walking through the Whole Foods produce aisle.

‘Pretty Normal For A Day At Goop’

“Reach new depths,” read the tagline on Netflix’s Goop Lab series announcement featuring Gwenyth Paltrow standing inside a vagina-shaped backdrop. The Internet laughed, and continued to write the Goop empire off as out of touch, kooky, privileged, and an affront to conventional medicine.

But not only is Paltrow completely self-aware about the brand, it’s her self-awareness that makes the brand. She leans into it, capitalizes on it, and comes out on top in the growing $4.5 trillion wellness industry. You can’t really dunk on her unless you understand that. 

“The Goop Lab” builds on this self-awareness. “Could she get any goopier?” Paltrow asks after the company’s chief content officer describes her on-camera experience with an “energy practitioner.”

Throughout the series, other “Goopers” (that’s what Paltrow calls them), including everyone from the poor IT guy to the software engineer, are heard remarking about how activities like hearing their dead ancestors speak through mediums “is a pretty normal day” at the Goop office. Whether their work calls for them to jump into below-freezing bodies of water or consume magic mushrooms, it’s both a search for the pinnacle of health and just another day on the job.

Lessons Learned

“The Goop Lab” is nothing if not a learning experience. One of us had already seen about half of the episodes, so on Thursday we watched “Cold Comfort,” “The Energy Experience,” and “Are You Intuit?” which involve “snowga,” energy healing, and universal mediumship, respectively.

It was enlightening. So enlightening that we felt compelled to keeps notes of the show’s most important, most inspiring, most sublime pearls of wisdom. Below you’ll find a list of the quotes that most moved us. It’s incomplete, to be sure, but after switching to tequila, we did the best we could.

  1. “We’re here one time, one life.”
  2. “Energy is real.”
  3. “Psychic ability is reading energy.”
  4. “We’re all born hardwired to each other on the other side.”
  5. “Science is just a tool.”
  6. “Ultimately we have to honor our own truths.”
  7. “Our lives all intertwine and interconnect in ways that are so profound and so beautiful, we can’t even imagine.”
  8. “A cold shower a day keeps the doctor away.”
  9. “The entire universe is made of energy.”
  10. “Emotional pain gets stored in our cells.”
  11. “Culturally we so suppress sounds and the expression of weird sounds.”
  12. “When our bodies are cut into we don’t think about the energetic planes that we’re rupturing.”
  13. “We can use our hands almost like a stethoscope to feel ourselves.”
  14. “The body is multi-dimensional.”

You’re feeling better already, we just know it.

Life After Goop

If you pay attention, it’s actually not surprising that Goop can sell a candle scented like Paltrow’s vagina for $75, sell out, and create an ever-expanding waitlist of eager buyers. Goopers know they’re Goopy. They know being Goopy is being privileged enough to spend stupid money on weird stuff.

Being Goopy is considering the health benefits of energy exorcism and psychic readings, despite the absurdity and the cost. There’s a shamelessness to the company that its critics don’t fully understand.

That’s an obvious through line in “The Goop Lab.” It’s what makes the show watchable. That, and the drinks. And, if we’re being honest, the ability to laugh together while the world burns like a $75 celebrity vagina candle outside our windows.

Emily Jashinsky is Culture Editor at The Federalist. Madeline Osburn is Staff Editor at The Federalist and Producer of the Federalist Radio Hour.

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