Hulu want to throw you into the deep end. I mean this quite literally. For all you freaks (myself included) that live to be entangled in the outlandish, confounding and sometimes straight-up scary world of cults, then we've found your next feeding frenzy. It's called The Deep End (we weren't kidding), and it's a four-part documentary series that follows the mechanisms of contentious figure Teal Swan.
Who is Teal Swan?
Teal Swan is a 37-year-old wellness guru that's amassed a cult following across social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook with her largest found on YouTube. Her influence online has translated to a large real-life following, who refer to themselves as the 'Teal Tribe' or 'Teal Tribers'. She regularly posts self-help-styled videos, giving advice on careers, love, self-respect and ways of thinking. She's published six books and her website describes her mission as "the transformation of human suffering to an empowered and authentic life".
As a result, people often come across Swan during a vulnerable time in their lives, and her teachings on depression and suicide have been widely criticised as dangerous. This paired with ex-'Teal Tribers' or 'Teal-Truthers' speaking up about their experiences under Swan's infamous 'healing therapy' and the deaths of some of her followers, has amounted to a healthy level of scepticism from the general public, with podcasts like Gizmodo's The Gateway and now, this docuseries from Hulu working to shed light on her potentially cultic community and practices.
What is The Deep End about?
Directed by Jon Kasbe, the production team was granted unprecedented access inside the world of Teal Swan and the series was filmed over the course of three years, according to Deadline. In the trailer, we are immediately confronted with Swan's unorthodox healing methods, something she calls "channeling", believing it to be "an incredibly dangerous process" and also "one of the most powerful tools that has ever existed".
There are hypnotic clips of Swan interlaced with scenes of her at conventions and interacting with her followers. There's even one where she compares her influence to the Pope. These are tempered by testimonies of ex-followers recounting their experiences and the hold she had on them: "I was so washed I'd be willing to kill someone and bury them in the backyard," alongside videos from a private investigator claiming that "most of it is illegal".
Where can I watch the series?
If this sounds like your bag, the good news is that The Deep End is already streaming. You can find it on Hulu or Disney+, depending on where you're located.
Preview the trailer for The Deep End below.
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