Critics’ Corner

TV Review – Tiger King

Maria Comerford, Senior, News Editor

“What should I watch next?” This is a question many people have asked as they binge watch TV series to pass time during quarantine. Luckily, those searching for a new show found Netflix original Tiger King to be no let down. This documentary mini series, with eight episodes under an hour’s length, is a short and intriguing watch, easily becoming a contender for one of the most watched shows of the year. 

This series follows a man by the name of Joe Exotic, the owner of a successful private zoo with over 200 tigers and other big cats. Joe Exotic really lives up to his name: the man with a mullet and knee brace, wearing fringe vests, chaps, and bedazzled shirts at all times is like nothing that has ever been seen on television before. The first few episodes portray him as a man building an empire of big cats, but as we learn, sketchy business tacts leads to his arrest and imprisonment. 

Tiger King is full of twists and turns and unexpected surprises. What makes it such an interesting watch is the fact that the situation and people within it are true characters. For example, it is discovered that Joe Exotic went into business with a man who snuck tiger cubs into Vegas casinos and almost got mauled by one of his lions. On a darker scale, viewers also are told about toxic abusive relationships, suicide, and Joe Exotic’s disdain for Carole Baskin, an activist committed to ending big cat ownership in America. Joe Exotic believes she killed her rich husband for money, and this unproven accusation has gone viral on social media, adding an additional layer of drama to the program. 

The popularity of Tiger King comes from its unimaginable story line. Unfortunately, many viewers saw an ironic theme arise as the series developed: the more drama that occurred between the humans, the less attention and love that cats received. And after all, wasn’t that the basis of the documentary in the first place? Tiger King surely made life in quarantine a little more interesting for the time being, and will go down as one of the most intriguing documentaries of the year.