If you are under quarantine, you need Joe Exotic in your life immediately
In a time when the world could desperately use a distraction, Netflix has come in clutch with a new true-crime docuseries so bizarre, so unbelievable and — dare we say it? — so wild that it will take your mind off of the coronavirus… and any other worries you might have. It’s basically the television equivalent of a lobotomy and, during these dark times, we are leaning TF in. Intrigued? Well, hey there all you cool cats and kittens (if you know, you know), let us introduce you to Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness.
You may have missed this gem until now since the streaming service quietly dropped the new title. Which is ironic, considering there is nothing quiet about the cast of characters: mulleted zookeeper-slash-country-music-singer Joe Exotic, the self-proclaimed “Mother Theresa of big cats” (and possible black widow?) Carole Baskin, slippery Vegas entrepreneur Jeff Lowe, ponytailed polygamist “Doc” Antle, and the list goes on. Yes, these are real people. Amazingly entertaining, flashy, eccentric, and shocking people.
Is it ethically questionable? Oh, for sure. Is it also a train-wreck from which we cannot tear our thirsty eyes? You betcha. Rightly so, the internet has proceeded to lose all chill upon discovering Tiger King.
Holy Shit. 2 minutes into Tiger King. Hold all my calls. I already know this is my binge destiny for the next (however long it takes)
— Shep Rose (@ShepRose) March 22, 2020
— Taylor R (@iamtay_tay) March 24, 2020
Netflix's hottest show is #TigerKing It has everything: big cats, mullets, hitmen, leather fringe, amputees, polygamy, labor disputes, mysterious disappearances, and what's that in the corner? Why, it's a cocaine kingpin. #TigerKingNetflix pic.twitter.com/Yzscv2DCut
— Kyle Kamerbeek (@kkamerbeek) March 25, 2020
— Kristen (@kristen_gilma) March 24, 2020
Me: I can’t stop thinking about, talking about, or reading about the coronavirus
— Mary (@maryyyyrosee) March 23, 2020
Just watched #TigerKing. If I told you there’s a guy named Joe Exotic who’s a gay Zoo Manager with 2 husbands and he isn’t even the craziest person in the show. Do I have your attention? pic.twitter.com/2fXAI58Gpk
— Austin Embrey (@ace9021O) March 23, 2020
Long story short, the show explores the wacky world of big cat collectors. Surprise! It’s filled with sex, drugs, murder-for-hire schemes, tragic “accidents,” reality TV aspirations, and so much mind-blowingly more. Who knew? We can’t tell you more because, TBH, you probably wouldn’t believe us. It’s the sort of thing you actually have to watch to wrap your head around. Even then, the prevailing sentiment in your brain will be, “Are you shitting me right now?”
Because here’s the thing. When you’re scrolling through titles looking for something to watch on Netflix during your coronavirus downtime, you might click on Tiger King for more info (how could you not based on that photo of shirtless Joe Exotic posing on a tiger skin rug?). And what it will tell you is the series follows Joe — the “gun-toting operator of an Oklahoma big cat park” who has been “accused of hiring someone to murder his chief rival, Carole Baskin.”
But trust me when I tell you this, friends. That in no way prepares you for the seven episodes of pure insanity you are about to see. In fact, you’ll probably ultimately agree that the whole murder-for-hire-plot is quite possibly the least shocking thing about the entire series. The kooky rivalry between Joe Exotic and Baskin is literally just the tip of the Tiger King iceberg.
Also, we’d be remiss not to mention that since barely blinking through all seven episodes, we’ve discovered that journalist Robert Moor runs a Joe Exotic: Tiger King podcast with even more juicy morsels about the man, the myth, the legend. So, excuse us while we go binge-listen to that while we wait for word that Netflix is somehow going to deliver a second season of the best thing to ever come out of social distancing.