Tiger King is the distraction we all need


Photo via Netflix

Joe Exotic posing with one of the tigers within his park. Joe is currently facing 22 years in prison for attempting to solicit murder.

If you like plot twists, documentaries and exotic animals, then the Netflix original series “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness” is perfect for you. The series was released on  March 20, and follows private zookeeper Joe Exotic. This series has been a grrr-reat way to get through this quarantine.

Directors Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin chose to begin the series from the near end of the story and work backward. The seven episode series covers Joe Exotic, a zookeeper turned prison inmate who attempted to kill rival Carol Baskin, an animal rights activist who has lobbied to shut down operations like his.

The series also covers other people, such as Baskin whose millionaire husband mysteriously disappeared on Aug. 18, 1997 while on his way to the airport. However, the series also covers the story of Mahamayavi Bhagavan “Doc” Antle who is a notorious exotic animal breeder and founder of The Institute for Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (T.I.G.E.R.S) at the Myrtle Beach Safari in South Carolina.. 

“Tiger King” makes it hard for the audience to dislike Joe Exotic; on the other hand, it makes it easy to find Baskin as an unpleasant person who only cares about money and cats. I feel like this was caused by constant videos of everyone attacking her and all of the nasty rumors that surround her. Still, everyone who had a role in this series is crazy, and needs to find a way to forgive each other and calm down.

I liked how the series focused on other people beside Joe Exotic, while I also really enjoyed how it was so random and unscripted. The reason I wanted to write about this series is because I have actually been to the animal sanctuary Joe Exotic created (although by that time, he was already in jail) and I had a lot of fun getting to pet baby cubs and seeing all these amazing animals up close. I never once thought that there would be such dark things going on at that zoo.

Overall, I would give the Netflix miniseries a rating of 8/10 due to the fact that there are things that could have been addressed further and because of the extensive use of offensive language that could have been censored down just a bit (although I understand it was a unscripted series.) This was an amazing crime documentary about a zookeeper who tried to kill his rival.