Tiger King is a Netflix original that has sparked worldwide interest. The main character is Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, a big cat collector and self-proclaimed hillbilly better known as Joe Exotic. The documentary series is based on his heated rivalry with big cat rights activist Carole Baskin. Naturally, the two are bitter rivals.
The American true-crime documentary premiered on Netflix on March 20, 2020, and according to Rotten Tomatoes, it was the most popular TV show over its first days of release. The first season received a 97% Critic Ratings and a 96% audience score, propelling it to the top of the site’s most popular TV shows list in 2020.
According to Netflix’s daily rankings, the true-crime documentary was the No. 1 most-watched series in the United States on the platform overall on March 29, 2020, which had also been the top-ranking TV show for the previous week.
Therefore, if you’re interested in, or concerned about, owning exotic animals, Tiger King digs right in. It’s all there, whether it’s breeding large cats or selling them to individuals who want to own them as a status symbol.
The documentary also involves murder which seems like something out of a Hollywood movie, yet it’s all genuine.
The documentary, which has eight episodes, delves into America’s tightly-knit society of big cat activists and collectors, as well as the private zoos and animal sanctuaries they have established for the care, protection, and exhibition of these cats.
The plot features Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, nicknamed “The Tiger King,” the eccentric proprietor of the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park (G.W. Zoo) in Wynnewood, United States; and his bitter years-long conflict with Carole Baskin, an American big cat rights activist who is also the CEO of Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, U.S.
In this true crime-based documentary on the underbelly of the big cat market, the life of a zoo owner spirals out of hand. In Oklahoma, Joe Exotic, an American media personality, businessman, runs a major cat park and is accused of hiring a man to kill Carole Baskin, his main business rival. The workers at the big cat parks describe the most sinister aspects of their contracts, such as working long shifts without compensation and bowing to the whims of their odd bosses. Baskin’s testimony begins to be called into question in light of new information from her history as she strives to prove her innocence. Meanwhile, The Tiger King continues to blame his adversary.
The Tiger King intensifies his efforts to become a viral video celebrity. However, an unexplained fire and a court case upset his plans. An unknown financial benefactor, on the other hand, steps in at just the right time. Joe, The Tiger King, begins to become involved in political activities while dealing with personal issues. Eventually, new park owners disrupt the group’s togetherness. In the midst of James Garretson’s frightening charges against Joe, FBI officers descended on the park.
However, Joe starts railing against James and Jeff, feeling the probe is a set-up. Joe confronts his verdict at the trial but fails to grasp his new reality. Elsewhere, Jeff’s enterprise suffers as former employees look for new possibilities. In the aftermath, Joel McHale meets with Jeff, Erik, Saff, and others about the documentary, their lives, and their apparent celebrity.
Emmy Awards & Nominations
The real crime documentary received six nominations, all in the “Creative Arts” category, which was announced prior to Sunday’s main, broadcast show. Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series was the most important of these. Unfortunately, that honor went to Michael Jordan’s The Last Dance.
The other five awards presented were for documentary/nonfiction directing, nonfiction picture editing, documentary series or special music composition (original dramatic score), nonfiction or reality program sound editing (single or multi-camera), documentary or reality program sound mixing, and documentary or nonfiction series (single or multi-camera).
The Best Episodes of Tiger King
The real crime-based documentary Tiger King was the first huge TV series of last year’s quarantine period, debuting on Netflix shortly after the Covid-19 pandemic – which forced us to stay at our homes. The gruesome documentary series has remained a source of fascination, with each episode providing its iconic moments.
The following are some of the five best episodes that no fan should miss.
Cult of Personality: S01, E02
The episode centers on the park owners’ cult-like following among their employees. “Cult of Personality” begins on the day that a tiger ripped Saff Saffery’s arm. Normally people would never want to go back to the park, but Saff did. He opted to amputate his arm since corrective surgery could have taken two years and amputation was the shortest way for him to come back.
The Secret: S01, E03
“The Secret” follows Carole Baskin from her upbringing to the present day, including the disappearance of her second husband. As fans binge-watched the show, everyone had an opinion on whether or not Carole murdered her spouse. Lewis’ disappearance dominates the third episode.
Playing with Fire: S01, E04
The fourth episode covers all of the show’s major threats and accusations, as well as a deep dive into Carole and Joe’s conflict. It involves charges that Carole killed her husband, Joe Exotic stealing the Big Cat Rescue logo, and him attempting to figure out who completely destroyed his recording studio. Carole, PETA, Joe, and his former producer Rick all accused each other of setting fire to the studio.
Make America Exotic Again: S01, E05
The episode is about Joe’s brief political career, during which he conducts a clean campaign. His Ex’s failed marriage and Travis’ suicide were the most controversial aspects. The seventh episode exposes the nature of Joe Exotic and Travis’ relationship to be affectionate but manipulative and dominating at times.
Dethroned: S01, E07
The episode primarily reflects on all of the incidents of the series and summarizes where everybody is now. The show does two controversial things: it tries to make James Garretson look cool by having him on a jet ski, and it allows Allen Glover to conduct one of his interview segments while having a shower.
Tiger King Season One: Final Verdict
With Tiger King, Netflix has a tiger story that really has punched into the mainstream, complete with a cast of strange real-life people and frightening storylines. Tiger King, in my opinion, is a messy but exciting film. Tiger King will surely satisfy fans who enjoy Netflix’s distinct type of real crime and documentary series, which rely primarily on wild personalities and hypnotic pacing to keep a couch-bound audience enthralled and entertained.