If you have been on the internet since March 20th Tiger King needs no Introduction. Essentially the story of how self-proclaimed ” Tiger King Joe Exotic was eventually convicted of orchestrating a murder-for-hire on tiger rescue Park owner Carole Baskin as she continues to have allegations against her relating to the death of her husband under mysterious circumstances. Sounds wild right? Honestly not really.
Well I am not in the camp of people that say those that have made memes and merchandise off the series popularity the series itself is generally nowhere near as insane as it thinks it is. The story does have some sharp left turns but none of them come across as all that surprising given we are dealing with a central figure whose very existence is somewhat insane in itself. Exotics narcissism is very entertaining and the material focusing on the relationship and alleged murder the took place between Carole Baskin and Don Lewis is compelling. Elsewhere the documentary is something of a dull slog. Do not get me wrong there a lot plenty of other contributors and talking heads but none of them offer anything particularly interesting beyond their specific role in this story or any kind of analysis beyond the very bare basics. The filmmakers should be grateful the Exotic is so engaging because by the time you get the final episode and they are stretching out what should be final 10 minutes of a movie into a 40-minute TV episode you realise this story would be much better served as a 2 to 3 hours movie as opposed to a 7 part miniseries. This would have made the lack of deeper analysis more forgivable. By the end, the documentary is blunt enough to paint a very obvious hero/ villain dynamic between Joe Exotic and Jeff Lowe This was the clear intention from the very start regardless of all the people depicted realistically being just as bad as each other.
Do you want to see an exclusively story focused documentary about an insane central figure and his equally demented rival? Then Tiger King might be for you. That said for those that say this is one of the most insane things they have ever seen I’ve got a copy of Collateral Beauty or The Book of Henry I’d like to share with you (look it up.)