Writer: Jordan Davis
Editor: Shopia Alexander
The newly released Netflix Documentary, “Tiger King”, has recently gone viral all over the United States for its exotic, thrilling content; no pun intended. This docu-series was released March 20 of 2020, and according to Netflix, “Tiger King is the number one most-watched show in all of the United States and has been number 1 worldwide for 7 days now. Although it has blown up, this documentary series is really not for everyone, it’s more of an acquired taste. This is a true story about the bizarre habits of the exotic animal underworld. It takes place in various states in the southeastern part of the United States including Florida, Oklahoma and Illinois. The reason this series has become so successful is that as every episode comes to an end, the cliffhanger leaves you no other option but to binge-watch the next episode.
“With roughly three out of four Americans at home due to the Coronavirus, people are struggling to entertain themselves,” said Sophie Grier, a writer for the NY Times. With not much else to do at home, Americans around the US have taken advantage of this thrilling and unconventional television series.
The series is about a man named Joe Exotic who runs an exotic wild animal park, featuring tigers, lions and ligers. The filmmakers explore the relationship of Joe Exotic, and animals right activist Carol Baskin, and their distaste for one another. This docu-series is focused on exposing the fraught industry of possession and manipulation of wild animals. They do this through direct interviews with the “characters” themselves. They follow around and document the opinions of Joe Exotic, Carol Baskin, and Bhagavan Antle, three very eccentric characters who live very intriguing lifestyles. The main highlight of the show is the feud between Carol Baskin and Joe Exotic, this all began when Carol Baskin accused Joe Exotic of animal exploitation and abuse. Over the years their relationship got very tense and dangerous. Carol and her team worked to end animal exploitation and abuse, they go lengths to put an end to Joe Exotic and others like him. Exotic would make very threatening remarks to the camera about what he would do to Carol Baskin if he had hold of her, and this drama has sparked the interest of the nation. Although Exotic may sound like the evil one, they are both equally grim and dangerous people.
“This show is so popular because it is nothing like we are used to, it breaks the typical boundaries of a television show yet still produces suspense and entertainment,” said junior Jake Ewart.
Ewart brings up a good point here, this show has become so popular because it is so different and intriguing. The filmmakers use a very different style of entertainment, with a documentary mixed with the opinions of everyday citizens, this really set the show up to perform to its potential, its distinction.
Overall, this new top-grossing docu-series has sparked the interest of many Americans and has brought about a very controversial topic as well, to what point is animal exploitation unacceptable?