I couldn’t take it anymore – on Wednesday night, after a week of seeing (but not having the context to understand) a never-ending stream of memes and expressions of fascination posted on social media; I had to see what all the fuss was about with Netflix’s new true-crime docuseries, Tiger King.
I implore you to do the same! We’re all stuck inside of our homes anyway; there’s nothing more cathartic than watching the hilarious messiness of these people’s existence. It’s just what the doctor ordered during these tough times – a show overflowing with reminders that “things could always be worse.”
Plus, after seeing the kinds of nutty scoundrels that are running around out there, I’m not sure I have a desire to leave my apartment anymore!
That Joe is imprisoned is — in and of itself — technically a spoiler, but Bovada’s betting line – which this article is about – already gave that away. Don’t worry, that information won’t affect your viewing pleasure one iota, nor will it make the story any more predictable.
Thoughts on Tiger King
What on Earth is going on in the big cat/exotic animal industry?
Apparently, the average tiger never encounters an even-moderately-normal human being throughout their entire life. Never has a more bizarre collection of psychopaths, narcissists, and megalomaniacs come together to control an industry and tell a story.
For starters, I’m not sure anyone involved with Tiger King qualifies as a “protagonist,” per se; but, if you had to choose, I suppose Joe Exotic would be the closest one to fit that description.
Joe founded the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma back in 1999 – a low-budget, hillbilly, kind of petting zoo that specialized in big cats. The main attraction for all of the breeders/zoo owners in the series is their tiger cubs, which visitors pay a premium to pet and hold.
I don’t want to give away all the twists and turns that take place, but the main story arc of the series centers around a conflict between Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin, who runs Big Cat Rescue. Baskin is a prominent member of PETA and wants to shut down the parks that are breeding and selling animals – particularly tigers.
Allow these two personalities to occupy the same little “tiger universe,” and there was only ever going to be one of two outcomes:
- Joe Exotic ending up in prison for attempting to hire a hitman to kill Carole;
- Or, one of them actually dying at the hands of the other.
That said, the specifics of the story leave room for doubt regarding Exotic’s guilt.
- Joe Exotic’s three-man wedding was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen in my life.
- Carole Baskin clearly murdered her ex-husband. Based on the docuseries, I’m guessing she shot him when he tried to leave (as promised), panicked, and called her dad and police officer brother. They dismembered the body and used the rescue’s meat grinder to ensure the tigers digested all of the remains, and her brother brought the deceased’s van to leave in the airport parking lot.
- Jeff Lowe and his “handyman” framed Joe for the murder-for-hire scheme. Lowe is the most villainous character in Tiger King. He’s also way smarter than Mr. Exotic. Joe was a talker and liked making crazy threats to Carole when he was freaking out, but he didn’t have it in him to take those next steps towards making it happen. Jeff Lowe and his convicted felon sidekick were killers – and legitimate sociopaths.
- Doc “Mahamayavi Bhagavan” Antle was the second-biggest villain. Antle is effectively running a cult at his park in Myrtle Beach. He has three wives – though the number fluctuates – all of which he met in their teens. Antle lures young women in with the tigers, takes advantage of their youthful inexperience to seduce and manipulate them, then uses them as unpaid labor to run his business.
- The two amputees Joe had working at Greater Wynnwood were the most well-adjusted, decent people in the show.
- Joe Exotic’s ability to find and seduce much younger – and previously straight – teens and convince them to marry him — seemingly overnight — is baffling. Drugs apparently played a role, but you honestly wouldn’t think that’d be enough. The man looks like a washed-up country bar regular mixed with a washed-up 80s-era professional wrestler.
Will Joe Exotic Receive a Pres. Pardon?
- Matchup Odds
As for Bovada’s Tiger King wager, there’s not a chance in hell that Donald Trump is going to pardon Joe Exotic. Sure, the details surrounding his murder-for-hire conviction are shady at best, but that’s only one charge out of the 18 counts the prosecution brought against him. The others were concerning things like illegally selling exotic animals and killing several more.
— The Hill (@thehill) April 2, 2020
Even if Joe wasn’t so obviously guilty of his other convictions, can you imagine the response to President Trump pardoning this man? With everything troubling this nation at the moment, if Trump so much as indicated that he was aware Tiger King exists he’d face a tsunami of negative backlash.
Plus, I can’t see a single way in which issuing such a pardon would benefit Trump politically. The President needs his Southern supporters, but I’m not sure helping a gay polygamous meth-head, infamous for irresponsibly breeding and keeping tigers (and other exotic animals) — and now for starring in one of the most dysfunctional tales ever told as well – is going to score too many points with that voting bloc.
Assuming we are allowed to have Halloween this year (hopefully by late October it will be safe to interact with real-life human beings in groups again!); Joe Exotic will be the most popular costume in the country. You will not attend a single Halloween party without at least one Joe – probably more.
— Kevin Brackett (@KevinRBrackett) April 2, 2020