Claws Out for Tiger King

writer: Addie Orr, Editor in Chief

Starring a self-claimed “gay, polygamyous, broke” man, a big cat advocate who may or may not have fed her husband to a tiger, and a zany cast of characters, Netflix’s Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness has swept the nation, and for good reason. The documentary is unexpected and thrilling, and the perfect way to pass the time while social distancing. 

Tiger King is largely about the private ownership of big cats, and the people who own them. Namely, Joe Exotic, the mullet-sportin’, gun-totin’ owner of G.W. Zoo in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, and his path to being convicted of attempted murder for hire against Big Cat Rescue owner and long time enemy Carole Baskin. And, wow, is it a crazy journey. With a few stops in Florida, a presidential campaign and a look at a zoo that seems like a cult, each episode is a new adventure. 

The show is seven episodes, with each one clocking in at around an hour, so it is incredibly easy to binge. The formatting is perfect, keeping you on edge, as one episode covers a central topic before dropping a cliffhanger on the topic of the next episode.

With a few stops in Florida, a presidential campaign and a look at a zoo that seems like a cult, each episode is a new adventure. ”

— Addie Orr, senior

The other thing that Tiger King does brilliantly is characterization. The show depicts everyone as what they are: human. The central people involved are shown in their best moments, and their worst, and each episode makes the viewer root for someone new. It demonstrates the immense complexity of the big cat industry beautifully.

And now is the perfect moment to watch the show; it’s a great way to pass the time in self-isolation, and better yet, Netflix just announced that Tiger King will be getting one more bonus episode called Tiger King and I, this Sunday, April 12. Stay tuned for the episode, which will be a comedic aftershow, featuring familiar faces from throughout the series.