Tiger King–the good, the bad, the messy

The new addictive show is such a train wreck you can’t help but watch.

The Tiger King is one of the wildest shows you will see.

The Tiger King is one of the wildest shows you will see.

Lauren McCloy, Staff Writer

The show’s main man is Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, or legally changed to, “Joe Exotic,” who describes himself as a “gay, gun-carrying redneck with a mullet” and who claimed to have more big cats than anyone else in North America. But is now currently sitting in prison. Tiger King is addictive to watch, with each character getting crazier and crazier. The seven-episode series follows Joe Exotic, the former owner of an Oklahoma zoo, and his long fight and legal battle with Carole Baskin, who runs a Florida wildlife sanctuary. The story involves murder, organized crime, at least one alleged cult ― with the many animals caught in the middle. For the millions of us stuck at home thanks to coronavirus, this show was the escape nobody asked for, but everyone needed.


No story is complete without tension, conflict and a villain, and Tiger King so no exception. Carole Baskin is a middle-aged woman who runs a big cat sanctuary (literally in our arms reach for us Floridians) and who greets her fans with a cheesy line: “Hey all you cool cats and kittens.” Which is rather vomit inducing.  Baskin is Joe Exotic’s nemesis; she who led him to his breaking point in life. She advocates against roadside zoos and keeping big cats as pets, which would be fine, if she wasn’t doing basically the exact same thing. Joe made a lot of aggressive and unnecessary jokes on his online streaming site, but you would have to watch to see.


On September 7th, 2018 Joe was arrested. He was sentenced to 22 years in prison for a murder-for-hire plot targeting Carole Baskin. Viewers walk away the show convinced that Baskin is just as bad as him. And pull up their two demands: #FreeJoeExotic, and jail Carole Baskin. Mostly because everyone, including myself, is convinced Baskin killed her husband, millionaire Don Lewis, and fed him to the tigers. And the documentary even convinced the Hillsborough County police to open up the case again.


If you haven’t seen the show I apologize for the spoilers, but there is so much more to witness. From drug smuggling to cults. If you need entertainment over this long long break, stream Tiger King on Netflix .