The (Tiger) King of Netflix



Erica Amyx, Contributing Reporter

During this worldwide quarantine, people have been trying to find ways to escape reality. One of the most popular ways people have been doing this is a show about a tiger keeper named Joe Exotic. 

The new Netflix docuseries entitled “Tiger King” follows the life of Joe Exotic, an eccentric man from Oklahoma who loves tigers and hates animal rights activists. This thrilling documentary follows his journey from coming out as gay to his family, to being convicted for hiring a worker to murder Carole Baskin, a lifelong competitor. 

I have always been a fan of the docuseries that Netflix produces; they always catch my attention and expose how people can truly think at times. With this show, however, I was fascinated by how you could never tell what was going through Exotic’s head, such as when he decided to tour across America doing magic to spread drug awareness or when he decided to run for governor of Oklahoma. You can’t help but love his positivity and his personality, even though everyone seems to be against him.

By the end of the series, you feel sympathy for Exotic even though he has done so many awful things. He has dealt with heartbreak, financial trouble, and harassment from animal rights activists. The staff members at the zoo become the standouts of the show as they share their stories of hard work and pain. You can’t help but love Saff, a worker who had their arm torn off by a tiger and went back to work just five days later. You start to grow a hatred for Baskin, as she describes how to perfectly cover up a murder using her tigers. You become completely tied up in the drama of everything, you forget that these are real people. 

Since the show has aired, Exotic has been tested positive for COVID-19. To hear that such a humble man who has been locked in prison since last year can still contract a virus that has shut down schools and jobs broke my heart. It makes you realize that people need to take precautions no matter their environment.  

The irony of the situation fits perfectly with the craziness of the show and of the world right now.

With all the social media buzz that this show has created, I thought that this show would just be an overrated crime docuseries. However, as you watch the show, you grow an attachment to Joe Exotic and you can’t help but watch the whole series in one sitting. If you have still not watched this docuseries, be sure to make it your next binge watch.