Netflix: a good source of entertainment, not a good source of medical information
The (Un)Well documentary series on Netflix asks “Wellness: does it bring health and healing, or are we falling victim to false promises?” But instead of answers, it offers false balance and confusion.
Harriet Hall on August 25, 2020
Netflix recently produced a reprehensible documentary series on “The Goop Lab”. It amounted to an advertisement for Gwyneth Paltrow’s unscientific approach to wellness and a paean to gullibility. It takes on psychedelic mushrooms, breathing techniques to develop cold tolerance, achieving orgasm, anti-aging claims, energy healing, and intuition (including communicating with the dead). All are presented in a “gee whiz” fashion with no discussion of actual evidence and no input from skeptics. When I heard that another new Netflix documentary, (Un)Well would feature both pros and cons for various alternative medicine modalities, I hoped for something more balanced. As I watched it, my hopes were promptly crushed. I’m sure they meant well, and they made an effort to follow the journalistic mantra of fairly presenting both sides of controversial issues, but they failed miserably. […]