If you’re a little behind on binging the latest Netflix shows, then the newest wave of memes splattered across all social media platforms must have you a bit confused. Who is Joe Exotic? Why do we hate some lady named Carole? Are bleached mullets the new style?
All of your questions will be answered by viewing the new seven-episode Netflix documentary, “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.”
I’m telling you now, you’ve never seen anything like this. After finishing the short series it’s almost unfathomable that these people actually exist.
The limited series follows the life of Oklahoma wildlife park owner Joe Exotic and his hatred for a Florida animal sanctuary owner named Carole Baskin. These two feud over their opinions of proper animal care practices, both managing huge facilities with tigers as their primary residents. The series is about the lawsuit between the two entities — both wanting to shut each other down.
From my description so far, you may not think “Tiger King” sounds all that wild.
Carole is also under scrutiny for the possible murder of her husband Don, who owned the park that she assumed ownership of after his disappearance. This angle is just more fuel to Joe’s fire when tearing down his opponent. He is convinced Baskin killed her husband, and many viewers are too. Even O.J. Simpson has tweeted that he believes Carole fed her husband to the tigers. Bold of him to pipe up with spousal murder accusations, but that is the popular opinion.
Just to set the scene, I should mention that Joe is a homosexual polygamist, avid drug user and gun-toting, self-declared redneck, who fancies himself a music video star, magician, and politician, aside from his everyday career breeding tigers for profit.
Somehow he comes across as the protagonist, despite his poor care for his animals, using methamphetamine to lure much younger men into marrying him and ordering a hit on someone.
Why do viewers back this guy? It’s hard to say who is the lesser of two evils between Joe and Carole, but nonetheless Exotic is who we root for. Hopefully it’s not that viewers relate to Joe’s morals, but rather that he is simply good for a laugh.
The story follows the twists and turns of Joe’s eccentric life, interviewing those closest to him. In each episode, new bizarre characters and happenings unfold. About halfway through the series, viewers become numb to the oddities. Is this guy giving his interview from the bathtub today? OK. Wait, is that Shaq visiting Joe’s zoo? Huh, cool. Oh, is there a skeleton riding shotgun in that car? No explanation needed.
Ridiculous becomes the new normal.
I can’t promise this show will be everyone’s cup of tea. Be warned — it is crude, violent and uses mature language. That being said, it is quite comical and at this point almost a necessary watch just so you’re not out of the loop in your social circle anymore.
Netflix certainly picked the right time to drop the series, as many of us simply have nothing better to do than watch this absurdity explode on screen. We’ll take any entertainment we can get these days.
If you’re going stir crazy, turn on “Tiger King” to help you make it through this pandemic. Much like Joe Exotic’s eyebrow ring, we’ve just got to hold on a little longer.