Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

32 questions raised by this Goop holiday ad, starting with the vibrator

Illustration for article titled 32 questions raised by this Goop holiday ad, starting with the vibrator
Screenshot: YouTube

This week, Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop released a video that is, ostensibly, intended to sell clothing. In it, Paltrow swans around a mansion which may or may not be her home, wearing pieces from her own G. Label; one such piece is an Italian taffeta romper which features a “couture-like bow” and “enviably chic statement sleeve.” It is, the site assures us “more deconstructed ball gown than anything else,” which is maybe why it costs $595. (It’s also sold out, so joke’s on us.)


But the clothes are not the reason for this piece. This piece exists because that ad is tip-to-tail bonkers.

Here, our questions. As promised, we’ll begin with the vibrator.

  1. Who was that vibrator for, exactly?
  2. Why is it not in some kind of box?
  3. Is Gwyneth going to get that person a replacement gift, since she’s stealing the vibrator she bought for them?
  4. Later in the video, she’s seen holding a stocking that says “Moses.” Moses is one of her kids. Was she going to give this person a vibrator at the same time she was giving Moses, I don’t know, a jar of sourdough starter that costs $5,000?
  5. You can, of course, buy that vibrator through Goop. It costs $89. You can also buy this 24-karat gold dildo, which costs $3,490, through Goop. Gwyneth Paltrow is extremely rich. Our question is this: Who is this recipient that she a) is close enough to that they rate a stocking on the fireplace, b) is intimate enough with that she’s comfortable buying them a sex toy, and c) only rates the peasant’s vibrator when the gold dildo is right there?
  6. How do you think Gywneth feels about the Doctor Manhattan dildo?
  7. Just to be clear, this isn’t us guessing it’s a vibrator. The narrator tells us it’s a vibrator. Exact quote: “Do something for others, but don’t forget about number one. Yes, that is a vibrator.” Question: Why?
  8. Speaking of, who is the person narrating this video and how does he know so much about her personal life?
  9. The premise for the video, the weird voice tells us, is that since the holidays are always disappointing, you have to cherish “the joy of getting ready.” What did December ever do to Gwyneth Paltrow?
  10. Why does she need so much ribbon to wrap that present?
  11. Why does putting on a record rate a Kool-Aid man “Oh, yeah!”
  12. Very important question: Who is that second martini for? Is it really, as smug voice informs us, that Gwyneth is “double-fisting”? Because if so, she should not have poured them both at once; the second one is going to get warm. No way she didn’t have some Venetian glass pitcher nearby. She could have made a pitcher.
  13. But seriously, who is she hanging out with?
  14. Does Gwyneth think we can all ask for help with “lighting”?
  15. Why does she need so much help with her hair? It looks the same in every shot.
  16. Yes, we know celebrities get an astonishing amount of help to look the way they do, but surely they didn’t have to touch up that particular hairstyle all that much.
  17. “Go ahead, have a laugh, even if it is just for the camera,” the guy says. So they’re just acknowledging that Gwyneth is faking it?
  18. Is that moment meant to make us feel a little tingle of existential dread?
  19. Why is Gwyneth doing all her Christmas prep in heels?”
  20. Is it just to justify that smug asshole saying,“And get super high... in your heels, of course”?
  21. He says “Gaze into your soul” as she’s staring in the mirror. Is Gwyneth’s soul in that mirror? Has she been Dorian Gray-ed or something? The mirror ages but she stays the same?
  22. Was it her mirror self who was in the Spider-Man movies, and that’s why she has no memory of doing them?
  23. After the soul thing, he says, “But stare into the abyss, that’s joyful, too.” Is it?
  24. While he says that, she’s staring out of the window. Is... is there an abyss outside her window?
  25. Is he saying that while she’s staring idly out the window, what she’s really seeing is the abyss inside?
  26. Has anyone checked on Gwyneth Paltrow?
  27. Is this guy related to the Peloton dude?
  28. When she leaves, she leaves alone. Where’s the vibrator friend?
  29. That friend doesn’t exist, do they?
  30. Who is this ad for, exactly?
  31. What does it all mean? Not the ad, just existence, more broadly.
  32. Which is the best Doctor Who Christmas special? It’s “Last Christmas,” right? Do we underrate “The Christmas Invasion” because of the weird ending? Is it just that we (okay, me, the writer of this list) likes Tennant so much that it seems better than it is? Sorry, just couldn’t take it anymore.

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves TV, bourbon, and overanalyzing social interactions. Please buy her book, How TV Can Make You Smarter (Chronicle, 2020). It’s short!