Need a Show to Binge? Tiger King is the Show for you!


(Photo/Tom Copus/Unsplash)

Arthur Zhu, Staff Writer

Tiger King is, without a doubt, the show to binge right now. I promise that by the time you finish reading this article, you will find yourself on Netflix, searching for this bizarre joyride. 

It seems that boredom is the enemy we are all currently facing, and Tiger King is the antithesis to our ennui. The seven episode series lives up to its title: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness. To give a quick summary of the show, it follows a zoo-owner who goes by the name of Joe Exotic, who breeds tigers, hence the title of the show. Surely, you have seen his blonde mullet and brightly colored fashion on your social media’s ’Recommended’ page. His name and face are ubiquitous on Instagram, as hundreds of thousands of people are impersonating him for laughs and likes. His current whereabouts are telling, as he is serving a 22 year prison sentence for reasons I will not specify to ensure that I don’t reveal spoilers. Without a doubt, you will find yourself questioning the validity and realness of this character. 

It seems Joe Exotic’s flamboyant and surreal personality has allowed him to enter social media’s meme culture and take it by storm. Instagram and Twitter have been completely flooded with witty references to the Netflix original. There are endless TikToks and tweets poking fun at Joe, imitating him and his onscreen foe Carole Baskin. Doesn’t it feel bad being left out of this pop-cultural phenomenon? If you don’t believe me, Jamie Granato said this show was “positively bonkers, a fun ride and a must-watch during our quarantine lifestyle.” 

The show offers a narrow window into a way of living that seems alien, especially when compared to our current lives. By doing so, it gives a brief but satisfying break from our indoor situation. I truly think the best part about this wild and eccentric show is the way in which it distracts me from the monotony of everyday life. To quote The Atlantic, “Tiger King is an ethical train wreck”, and I have to agree—it is a complete train wreck, and not just ethically. In truth, the show is the type to swallow your attention completely and leave you wanting for more. The stories told and the histories behind each character are so rich that it is odd to think of them as real. Tiger King answers boredom with a variety of personalities and tales that feel unreal, even in these crazy times. I mean, if you’re bored enough to read this, then you’re bored enough to watch it.