Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness
Tiger King is an all-consuming, slow motion car crash that you won’t be able to tear your eyes away from.
Over the last couple of years, Netflix has become somewhat infamous for their original documentaries. Lately, Cheer and the aptly timed Pandemic have become all anyone can talk about on social media. However, the formula that wins them these trending accolades has outdone itself this time with Tiger King. The new documentary series, now on the streaming service, is completely addictive and, unbelievably, manages to be even crazier than what’s going on in the world right now.
That’s a pretty lofty height to reach, but easily achievable in this case, as crazy is just the beginning of the story for the self-described “gay, gun-carrying redneck with a mullet” who takes centre stage in this feature documentary. His name is Joe Exotic and he’s the zookeeper of one of America’s largest collections of wild cats (128 to be specific) on his land in Oklahoma.
The documentary covers his work at the zoo – from feeding to crisis management when the tigers get a little over-friendly – along with his interactions with those who work on the farm with him. But the true crux of the story is the plot to murder an animal rights activist that has since landed Joe Exotic in prison for 22 years, a sentence he is currently three months into.
It’s a chaotic tale packed with wild personalities, like that of Bhagavan “Doc” Antle, who styles himself as a spiritually superior cult leader and staffs his own organisation, T.I.G.E.R.S., with the women he is married to. And that’s not even scratching the surface. To list all the madness that takes place even in just the first two episodes would be a huge endeavour – let alone a spoiler.
This show is compulsive viewing, and you won’t be able to stop yourself rolling through the episodes once you’ve started. That, if nothing else, is guaranteed. Tiger King might be more like a horrifying slow-motion car crash than an exploration of animal rights abuse or a crime documentary, but it ticks all the boxes of trashy television with Netflix’s high-quality brand of storytelling.
Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is released digitally on Netflix on 20th March 2020.
Watch the trailer for Tiger King here: