‘Tiger King’ sets a new bar for Netflix originals


Exotic-Joe-Netflix / Conor Mchale / Flickr.com / CC BY 2.0

"Tiger King" star, Joe Exotic, poses with one of his many tigers.

The most recent documentary series released on Netflix, “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness,” is known to many binge-watchers around the country, as it quickly rose to Netflix’s top 10.

The Netflix original series hones in on exotic animal owners and their lifestyles. However, this show is about much more than just tigers.

Joe Maldanado-Passage, otherwise known as Joe Exotic, showcases his outlandish life, giving viewers insight like none other. Throughout the seven-episode documentary, the show dives into the messy yet mysterious lives of exotic animal keepers.

At the center of the show stands Exotic, claiming himself the “Tiger King” with over 200 tigers and lions on his land in upper Oklahoma. Despite his entertaining personality, Exotic is currently serving a 22-year sentence for wildlife violations and an attempt to hire a hitman to take out his rival, Carole Baskin.

His ongoing feud with Baskin blew up to be much more than an argument over their properties and animals. Hateful video clips, phone calls, and music videos are shown through the course of the show revealing Exotic’s deep hatred for Baskin.

The show emphasizes their mistrust in one another which brings out the detective side of the viewers, trying to figure out who is guilty of their alleged crimes.

Navigating through obsessive zookeepers, animal abuse, guns, drugs, and crimes, the show’s bizarre twists keeps the viewers on edge. Exotic’s unusual personality draws your attention and keeps you on your toes with his crazy behavior.

The documentary skillfully develops the main plot of the show while uncovering the dark pasts of several exotic animal owners and their rivalries such as Exotic, Baskin, Bhagavan Antle, and more.

As the show took six years to produce, the viewers witness the development of each character and their best attempts to spite one another.

Similar to another Netflix original, “Don’t F*ck with Cats,” this documentary does a good job of uncovering crimes and piecing together footage and evidence to recreate a story.

However, at times, this show can be difficult to watch. When it comes to animal abuse, watchers find it uncomfortable to form any kind of respect for the characters and their lack of morals.

Despite this, the plot provides viewers with a rollercoaster of plot twists and keeps you on the edge of your seat.

This show has not only risen to Netflix’s top 10 list but also has blown up the internet, giving fame to these private zookeepers.

After a continuous seven hours of bingeing this show, this series is definitely one to remember. Although, if you aren’t looking for a dark twist in your day, you might want to look for something more lighthearted.