Lions, Tigers, and Carole Baskin… Oh My!/by Riley Deakins

Hey there all you cool cats and kittens…oh no, it’s happening to me. I watched Netflix’s Tiger King and now I can’t stop saying weird things around my family and suppressing the need to talk about a tiger owner, drug dealer, and homosexual who convinced two, maybe three straight men to marry him! Honestly, it was like I woke up one day and all I could see on my Instagram feed was a dude on a jet ski and crazy cat people. I could not understand why people liked it until I watched five out of the seven episodes in one day. 

People who own big cats have a certain stigma, and the new documentary Tiger King on Netflix sheds a light on some extreme example of what every day looks like for some of the well-known big cat owners in America. Since it dropped on the streaming service on March 20th, Tiger Kings has received an 8.1/10 on IMDB and it has become one of Netflix’s most popular documentaries to date. 

The story main focuses on a man named Joseph Maldonado-Passage, commonly referred to as Joe Exotic. In the documentary, it shows how crazy the operations of his big cat zoo are, and the challenges that he faces with his mortal enemy, Carole Baskins. 

I’ve found it fascinating how this show has taken over social media, and how people can’t get enough of it. There for about a week or two, anytime I got on Zoom it got brought up. The new, hot thing to meme was this gay polygamist from Oklahoma. 

MC Senior Andrew Lechner said, “I haven’t seen all of it, just 10 minutes of the first episode…I think the hype is definitely not overplayed.  It’s unbelievable that someone like this actually exists.” 

The further you get into the series the harder it is to know if you actually like some of the subjects of the project or not. Brian Knappenberger, the filmmaker of Tiger King took multiple years to make the series and his style helps viewers understand a longer, more drawn out narrative of the story. 

I will say this, I’m not a documentary kind of person, and this one really got me hooked. It was too insane to be real, and that’s one of the biggest things that I believe keeps people pressing yes when Netflix asks, “Are you still watching?”

Overall, I’d give Tiger King a 8.5/10. It is full of wild stories and you’ll never get over laughing about some of the most unbelievably crazy people you never knew existed!



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