Arts & Entertainment

“Tiger King:” The Hero We Didn’t Know We Needed

In Tiger King, every time something insane happens, something even more insane happens. By Mia Splendore, Staff Writer/Artist

In Tiger King, every time something insane happens, something even more insane happens.

By Mia Splendore, Staff Writer/Artist

We are living through some crazy times right now, but for a lot of us, these times include an unprecedented amount of free time. Social distancing and staying in our homes is crucial right now for the safety of ourselves and others, but it isn’t easy, especially a few weeks in. That’s why we need something really good to keep us entertained and away from others. 

Here’s where Netflix’s eight-part mini-series Tiger King comes into play. I don’t think you will find a crazier, funnier or more ridiculous docu-series on planet Earth, or at least on Netflix. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what makes this series so unbelievably (but somehow also very believably) insane from start to finish. 

The show follows a few different people and operations in the “big cat” game. This includes private zoos, exotic pet owners and a big cat rescue sanctuary. The star of the show is Joe Exotic, an absolutely insane caricature of a human that owned a private and unregulated zoo in Oklahoma. The show follows his zoo, his political career, his multiple husbands, his multiple conspiracies and his rivalry with Carol Baskin, just to name a few. 

Tigers are the most focused on exotic animals these people have, probably because they make the most money and get the most media attention. Everybody loves tigers. The show moves at breakneck speed, starting at about 75 and ending at 3000+. Every time something insane happens, something even more insane happens. Some footnotes that get glossed over are Doc Antle’s sex cult, Joe’s warehouse and crocodile den getting burned down with plenty of reason to suspect he did it and, oh dear, Carol Baskin potentially feeding her second husband to tigers. It’s incredibly entertaining and engaging, giving you no time to catch your breath. 

Also, at the heart of the show buried underneath a mountain of wild events, there is a good moral and a sad truth to be told. The real victims of all the craziness are these exotic animals who live their whole lives, right from minutes after birth, to make money. They exist in small cages in poor conditions, and there aren’t any laws stopping this from happening. The show gets caught up in all of the absurdity happening with these people, but it does make sure to circle back and remind everybody who is really suffering the most from all this. 

Overall, Tiger King is a good time and a very good reason to stay in your house. 

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