‘Tiger King’ is the weird series we need right now

By Camden Mondeaux on March 30, 2020
Back view of a couple watching TV on sofa in the living room. Man is changing channels.

Last weekend, the Internet went crazy over the new Netflix ‘Tiger King’ documentary. And for good reason. 

By: Cami Mondeaux

It’s absolutely chaotic. Every minute I watched, I didn’t think it could get any crazier. And boy, did Joe Exotic prove me wrong.

And the docu-series comes at a perfect time, as most people are working from home and turning to streaming services to pass the time. IT features a rather outlandish tiger keeper, Joe Exotic, who filmed himself over several years (prompting a documentary crew to begin doing so as well) and uncovering one of the strangest stories this country has yet to see.

In a nutshell: this eccentric keeper of tigers, lions and other big cats lives in Oklahoma. And, he’s accused of allegedly orchestrating a murder-for-hire plot against a woman named Carole Baskin, who is another big cat lover. She runs Big Cat Rescue, a facility who rescues big cats and lobbies to shut down operations like Joe Exotic’s.

And as if that’s not enough, there’s more.

It becomes apparent that caring for big cats can become… well, cult-ish. There’s a strange devotion these two different sides grow toward big cats.

It also follows Joe’s love life and marriage to two different men. But, that doesn’t turn out quite the way you’d expect. (No spoilers here, but you’re going to want to see it to believe it.)

And just when you thought it couldn’t get stranger, you’re wrong! You also get to meet all of the “interesting” characters that agree to work for Joe, including one who actually loses a limb after a tiger attack.

Joe Exotic is basically obsessed with creating his own media kingdom as the Tiger King. Which, eventually overcomes his initial devotion to the big cats.

And as if that wasn’t enough, Joe Exotic even turns to politics for a short while — running as president in 2016 and then turning to a libertarian bid for the governor of Oklahoma. Which, spoiler alert: he doesn’t actually know what being a libertarian means.

Now, back to Carole Baskin — who is against people housing and trading in big cats, which is exactly what Joe does. Through her Big Cat Rescue, which is financed through the fortune she inherited from her late husband.

Which brings us into the next wild turn of events: Her late husband disappeared mysteriously, and Carole is assumed by the town to have murdered him and fed him to the tigers. Which Joe Exotic just can’t let go of for the entire seven-episode docu-series.

Because Joe Exotic was desperate to become famous, almost every moment was filmed from his own “media crew.” And it’s all extremely over the top.

With all the twists and turns, this is something you definitely want to check out.

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