TV Show Review: Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness

Details: More information can be found at https://www.netflix.com/title/81115994

Score: 7.2/10

So I’m quarantined along with a lot of the world and all I see on the internet are references to Tiger King. So I finally decided to give it a watch and it was about as stupid and as crazy as I expected.

Tiger King is a documentary series about the dominant exotic animal owners in the American tigers and lions market. These run zoos where you can see tigers and lions and also sell (I think illegally) tigers and lions to whoever wants to buy them.

The primary focus is on a man named Joe Exotic and his relationship with the other players in this strange subculture. Primarily, the focus is on his arch nemesis, Carole Baskin, who also runs a exotic animal zoo, but labels it as a reserve.

One of the main themes in this series is the hypocrisy of all the characters involved. They all advocate a higher purpose such as protecting lion and tigers, except that it becomes clear throughout the show that they are really in it for their self interest. They all make tons of money on these tiger and lion zoos and advocate whichever political goal will make them the most money.

The other interesting part of this series is just how insane everyone is. The characters of this documentary are some of the most narcissistic, ego maniacal, selfish people I’ve ever seen. But the most amazing thing about them is their eccentricity. Joe Exotic is essentially a gay redneck who is a slave to fame and attention. Carole Baskin married a millionaire who then mysteriously disappeared a day before witnesses say he was about to divorce her. Then there’s Doc Antle who has five wives and basically runs a tiger/lion themed sex cult. The other characters who were mostly former felons and con men.

Which leads to the most interesting part of this series which is how all of these people are kind of evil. Almost every person in this documentary is a bad person. Some of their wrongdoings are small, innocuous lies. Some are bigger such as embezzlement, fraud, and even murder. These are all just really bad people and by the end of the documentary, you don’t really sympathize with any of the primary characters in this series because they all suck in their own way.

Overall, this was a fascinating look into a subculture that mainstream media has only touched upon periodically. The only take away’s I got from this series are that animal rights people are often crazy and if you really want to help wild animals, do not give a cent to anyone involved in with exotic animals. It’s your money that motivates these lunatics.

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