Start Netflix’s Number One Show, Tiger King, And You Won’t Be Able to Stop
Here is the question du jour: Will the new Netflix docu-series Tiger King make you want to give to PETA? Never go to a zoo? Become an animal rights advocate? One fact that has stuck in my mind: There are more tigers in captivity in the US -- estimated at 5,000 to 10,000 -- than in the wild in the rest of the world, which counts fewer than 5,000 cats roaming free.
The world appears to be talking about Tiger King, Netflix's new 7-part docu-series about the life of Joe Exotic and also Carole Baskins, who each keep wild animals on their properties and have controversial pasts. (She calls herself the Mother Teresa of Cats.) The Washington Post tells us this series, which launched last Friday, Finally has "managed to get people talking about something other than the global pandemic." Watch the trailer here.
Everyone Can't Stop Talking About Tiger King
The line of Houseparty convo goes something like this: Did he deserve to go to jail for animal abuse practices? (We think yes, absolutely.) Did Carol Baskin have something to do with her husband's sudden disappearance back in the 1990s? Did she feed his body to the cats? (We think no, but of course, we give points to this extremely creative idea as worthy of a scene out of a Coen Brothers movie—not unlike the end of Fargo, where the bad guy kills his partner and feeds the body to the wood chipper.) Meanwhile, in a life imitates art imitates life moment, we will definitely watch Kate McKinnon play Baskins in the upcoming movie.
Baskins for her part claims these allegations are malicious lies and slanderous innuendo. Meanwhile, Joe Exotic (whose real name is Maldonado-Passage) has filed a $94 million defamation suit, asked for a presidential pardon for his conviction for orchestrating a murder-for-hire plot on a rival and violating the Endangered Species Act.
We're thinking Joe might be the one who deserves to be cat food, and we give kudos to PETA for having rescued 39 tigers, three bears, two baboons and two chimpanzees from the "hellhole" zoo that he ran, according to the organization. All of the animals rescued now live in "reputable sanctuaries," PETA adds.
We are watching with a combination of horrified and rapt attention, like everyone else. The question is will the series, produced by Eric Goode, turn you off of eating meat altogether? It's certainly a lightning rod for animal rights at a time when the world is paying attention to how humans treat animals and the way the animal kingdom bites us in the metaphorical ass.