The true story about a man and his tigers – oh and a very complex murder plot.
With so much self isolation happening right now (thanks COVID-19) and the amount of streaming services filled to the brim with content available, it’s very easy to miss an absolute bonkers of a gem just waiting for that binge session.
Such is the case with Netflix’s latest docu-series outing “Tiger King” which, upon first glimpse, could be mistaken for a show about an outlandish, mullet sporting tiger owner, but look closer and the tag line reveals the show is about so much more than tigers.
“MURDER, MAYHEM AND MADNESS”
True crime canon has never seen a character like Joe Exotic (real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage) before. A 50 year old (give or take a few years) gun toting, country music singing, bleached mullet sporting gay polygamist who owns and operates an exotic animal private zoo.
And who also happens to find himself locked up in jail for being the mastermind behind a murder-for-hire plot that targeted Big Cats Rescue founder Carole Baskin.
And it is Joe Exotic’s feud with Carole that features heavily within the first two episodes of this seven episode series. Joe thinks he’s doing right with his zoo and his menagerie of wild animals – Carole thinks she’s doing right by her animal rescue park by trying to get Joe shut down. It’s menial stuff that introduces us to a wider cast of younger husbands, zoo workers and other exotic animal park owners that all end up intertwined with each other and eventually blows up into one big giant fireball of a mess that sees this story evolve into something that no one could ever imagine.
While the first few episodes set the story and it’s mass of crazy characters, the back half takes a sharp look at the criminal investigation of the murder-for-hire plot that begins when an informant rolls on Joe thanks to being caught out on an illegal purchase of a lemur.
This is also not taking into account other moments or highlights that include a presumed murdered-and-fed-to-the-tigers-husband, a park owner who one could only assume will end up being caught up in the “me too” movement, drugs, failed bids for US president, an accidental suicide, condoms with Joe Exotic’s face plastered on them, arson, con-men, a failed tiger filled party bus for hire in Vegas business and one of the most insultingly vulgar eulogies ever witnessed.
It’s so bizarre, one could be forgiven for thinking this was a scripted spin-off of a show like the Mitchell Hurwitz created Arrested Development.
But in the end, it is no surprise that Tiger King is being gulped down by the masses. True crime is always enjoyable, good true crime with a cast of wacky and unbelievable characters that goes in every which way but up – rare.
Tiger King; Murder, Mayhem and Madness is streaming now on Netflix.