'Tiger King' follows the highly eccentric and sometimes downright bonkers big cat owners living and working in America. The stand-out among them all is Joe Exotic, the owner of 1200 lions, tigers and bears among other animals in a wildlife park in Oklahoma. Joe was eventually imprisoned for murder for hire.
There's a good reason for the full title of this series to be 'Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness'. The producers of 'Fyre' are behind the series, and the story behind their latest is even crazier than that of the disaster music festival. Joe's personality is volatile - full of bravado and often naive, he's also strangely charismatic. He's had a number of husbands, is a country western singer and even runs for President of the United States at one point. This guy has to be seen to be believed. As a nutcase, he's a fascinating documentary subject.
Joe is not the only big personality in the series either. At one point, we meet Doc Antle who has scantily clad women working as part of his big cat "shows." He has multiple wives and there are indications that he grooms teenage girls. Then there's the case of Carole Baskin, who makes herself out to be the saviour of cats and, initially, that seems the case.
Joe has it in for Baskin and his attacks on her are vicious. He makes videos in which he makes all kinds of accusations and spews foul language at her. He gets a blow up doll and labels it after her, doing some pretty vile things to it. All of this, just to add, on camera and streamed online. But Carole isn't totally innocent either. Initially led to believe she's campaigning for big cats to be freed, you soon learn she too charges people to visit her own. Not only that but she has a volunteer system of employees in her park that exploits hundreds. Moreover there's the matter of what happened to her husband...
Thus seeing the big cats frolic around, acting cuddly and cute but suddenly turning fierce, as happens, is just scratching the surface when it comes to what's of interest in the doc. Guns are waved around and threats are made, which is scary stuff. One of the subjects is topless whenever interviewed, for some unexplained reason. And at the start of the second episode, a woman gets her arm ripped off by a tiger. In the interview that follows, she speaks totally nonchalantly about the incident.
A lot of crazy stuff goes down and the doc is impressively put together to keep you on edge throughout. The lives these people lead are just extraordinary and genuinely insane. 'Tiger King' depicts a captivating power hungry game the likes of which you haven't seen since Scorsese's gangster movies.