Tiger King: Docuseries Madness

Tiger King: Docuseries Madness

Patricia Mendoza, Staff Writer

In the midst of a global pandemic, people are venturing off into new endeavors that they didn’t before the orders of a quarantine. Millions of Americans are baking bread, learning new languages, and shockingly learning about the vicious feud between two rival tiger owners in the South. One of these is not like the others. The widely watch docuseries “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness” premiered on Netflix on March 20 for people at home all over the world to invest in the ferocious battle regarding feline ownership in private zoos.

Americans seem to have a sick fascination with danger. With documentaries about serial killers and murder trials gaining millions of viewers, Tiger King is no exception to this guilty pleasure of violence and hostility. With the main focus being on a private zoo owner going by the name of ‘Joe Exotic’ and his constant war against animal rights activist (and also private zoo owner) Carole Baskin, audiences can expect an intense and often hilarious feud amongst the two cat lovers, which eventually leads to Exotic’s arrest.

Something about the exuberant and flashy Joe Exotic makes people want to sympathize with him, despite his questionable tiger breeding methods and unhealthy polygamous marriages. The mullet, face piercings, and him generally just being narcissism personified in leather pants provides endless entertainment for people who are not used to the untamed lives of zoo owners.

With every strange character audiences meet, people are only met with more shock. One Zoo owner Bhagavan Antle or ‘Doc’ Antle runs one of the more refined zoos, yet seemingly runs a cult of groomed young women on the side. Joe Exotic’s number one enemy Carole Baskin allegedly fed her wealthy husband to one of her many tigers. The many twists and turns this series takes along the endless knowledge one can gain about zoo life is sure to amuse everyone bored at home willing to get sucked into binge-watching a series of chaos.

However entertaining these big cat-owning honchos may be, there has been a question of whether the series accurately portrayed all of the necessary backstories. “I get the sense that information was left out for the sake of creating a fun story and that Joe is obviously a bad person but they present him like he’s the protagonist because it’s fun. It was crazy. The Joe vs. Carole beef reminded me of the Trump vs. Hilary beef,” said 20-year-old engineering major William Flood of Neptune City.

Others were completely winded by the randomness of the story and were too enthralled to care about logistics. “I thought Tiger King never had a predictable moment. It was probably one of the craziest docuseries I’ve ever watched simply because it shows that there are some pretty questionable people in this world,” said 19-year-old psychology major Taylor Buenaga of Neptune.

Even if you don’t have an interest in these big cat beauties, the enormous lengths these lively characters will go to keep their zoos will have you scratching your head in confusion, laughing, and have your jaw on the floor all in seven episodes. Then you can join the discussion about whether Carole Baskin truly fed her husband to the tigers or not. Like Joe Exotic said, “I saw a tiger, now I understand,” and you won’t unless you watch Tiger King.