Review: Tiger King is strange and addicting

Tiger King is unlike any show I have ever watched.


The promotional poster for Tiger King.

Anna Woodward, Online Managing Editor

With so much free time thanks to school being online, I was desperately looking for a new show to watch. I saw lots of memes and good feedback from the documentary Tiger King, so I decided to give it a try. Less than a day and seven episodes later, I finished the show speechless and struggling with words to describe it besides bizarre. I could not look away.

Tiger King dives into the world of big cats and private zoos and is centered around Joe Exotic, the main man behind the G.W. Zoo in Wynnewood, OK. The docuseries follows Exotic as he runs for office, aspires to become a country singer and most importantly, feuds with Carole Baskin, the CEO of Big Cat Rescue in Tampa and animal rights activist.

At first, the show seems like a reality show, and frankly it was so outlandish that it seemed like that the whole time, but it quickly turned from pure entertainment to a riveting and more serious show, talking about the criminal side of the big cat world and feuds such as Exotic’s. Still, it was hard to convince myself that these are real events and real people, because some of it was so unbelievable.

I loved watching this. So many times I kept asking myself, “how can this be real?” which just made it more riveting to watch. I had no idea how deepily involved and passionate the big cat community is. It was interesting to see and hear from people who run these types of zoos, and to see where their motivation and passion comes from.

What made this show so addicting was definitely the people featured. Exotic is a man that whatever you name, he has an opinion, or he’s done it. I have never seen or heard of anyone like him. He is even described in the series by Doc Antle, a fellow big cat enthusiast, as a “completely insane, gay, gun-toting, drug-addict fanatic.” The number of people that get roped into his life grow throughout the series and with each and every one of them comes a new can of worms.

Every time that I felt “wow, how could this get any crazier”, the cast proved that it could. There are things that happened in Tiger King that I would have never expected from reading the summary on Netflix. There is no way to guess what could come next, and when it does happen, you are shocked.

There are so many great quotes and references from this show that I could list, but it’s worth watching to understand yourself. Every person in the documentary will require your undivided attention just because you need as much brainpower as possible to comprehend half of the things that happen in this show. It is unbelievable and it is so entertaining. Funny enough, even people accused or even convicted of very suspicious and life-threatening things had you laughing along, intrigued and wanting to have a real life conversation with them, just to see for yourself how unusual they are.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a new show to watch, regardless of what genre you prefer. My only suggestion—and a tip that I actually got from others who watched the show—is to make time to watch it, because once you start, it’s hard to stop.