sorry for the mistakes!
It needs the wildest John Waters and the presence of Divine, to make
this series "perfect". Perfect, of course, between inverted commas.
After the first five minutes the desire to change is great, you are
watching a series that is a crime documentary, about one who has
tigers, opposed by an ecologist who is fighting against a United States
law. Easy isn't it?
However after ten minutes raise an unhealthy sense of sticking your
nose in the filthy and seeing how low the protagonists can go, with the
result that you watch shocked this story.
Even removing a percentage of fiction, the result does not change. This is a Filthy series. Waters, Divine, miss you!
"Tiger King" is a long parade of characters more dangerous than their
animals. For all of them, from the least to the one of the title, one
could say, as my grandmother would do, that are “crooked as a
barrel of fish hooks”. Persons who see in exotic animals and in
big cats above all, a status symbol, like a Ferrari or a yacht, or at
least a way of revenge against an unfair life.
Here are the "heroes": Mario Tabraue, said to have inspired the
character of "Scarface", a Cuban refugee in the USA (perhaps one of the
famous oppressed...), owner of a very private zoo with exotic animals,
condemned in the past to one hundred years of imprisonment, for drug
dealing and involved in murder. With a good lawyer he passed in prison
only twelve years.
Bhagavan Kevin Antle, is the grand master of private zoos, who is
inspired by Eastern philosophies. He is the man who has shown the way
to everyone else. Adventurer-like dress, he lives surrounded not only
by exotic animals but by handsome assistants to whom he pays breast
plastic surgery and with whom, at least three, he is married. However,
he is the one who tries to have less enemies and his private life, he
says, is not for TV series. As a perfect sect guru.
At one point comes a certain Jeff Lowe, another tiger lover, who he
uses for commercial purposes and to hook up girls with whom he
interacts with his second wife or girlfriend. The first wife is not
clear if he killed her or if he only tried to kill her, but they are
Finally then we come to the core of the series. Carol Baskin, the woman
with a tigerskin wardrobe, ecologist, the one you love in the
first five minutes.
She has a "Sanctuary", the "Big Cat Rescue" in which you have to pay
the ticket at the entrance (if I am not mistaken, the Sanctuary are
free and live on donations) and takes advantage of the work of the
volunteers. By the way, she was investigated for the disappearance of
her first husband, a millionaire who disappeared into thin air, who for
some would be buried in the Sanctuary's biological pit and for others
it would have been the meal of the tigers. Then we have, the man of the
title, the "Tiger King", Joe Maldonado Passage, born Joe Schreibvogel
and better known as Joe Exotic. His zoo is a kingdom with of tigers,
bears, alligators and so on and a court with assistants who came out of
jail or found on the street, which are also the most serious ones.
Fiercely polygamous (three husbands, two of whom simultaneously, one
later suicide) and a wardrobe hardly describable, as much as his
mullet. Sometimes he sings awful country songs. Sometimes he pretends to sing.
He is the protagonist of the story, directed by philanthropist,
documentary maker, filmmaker Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin and
produced by Netflix which here touches the most trash point of his
A story with a compelling narration that, although we are talking about a documentary, manages to play well with the twists.
Joe Exotic tries to make money by exploiting his animals. Tour in his
zoo, videos on social media, a kind of streaming broadcast and then
also an attempt to make a reality show with the director Rick Kirkham.
There is a food court in his zoo, where they say he uses Wal-Mart waste
Not only that, he runs for the US presidential elections, those won by
Trump (and at the end he was better than Donald Trump) and then as
governor of Oklahoma. Joe Exotic has a mission: destroy Carol Baskin,
who is fighting for a law against the possession of exotic animals for
commercial purposes and to close private zoos. A fixation so important
that several times it leads him to threaten the woman, to make her
videos a manifesto against her. A hatred that drains his account makes
him end up on trial, also for plagiarism of the brand of Carol Baskin
and above all for murder on commission.
A crime story that threatens to overshadow the true horror, that is,
the exploitation of wild animals. A real suck. Puppies used as stuffed
animals to entertain the paying public (people arrive to pay $ 600!)
for these facilities. Tigers used for mating and sales of puppies
separated from their mother shortly. And sometimes mistreated or piled
up in cages or disappear into thin air. Chimpanzees rented for birthday
parties and much more. A real shit, which although there is a minimum
of scenic fiction, makes "Tiger King" a really annoying product. You
don't know whether to feel disgusting, hate, but surely you feel
compassion for those poor animals. I mean the four-legged ones. Not
those with two.
Cause pandemic and obligation to stay at home "Tiger King" has become a
worldwide and unexpected success, which on the one hand can induce the
population to avoid the zoos but on the other hand, it can hide, as
mentioned, the reality, focusing the public on the absurdity of the
For the record, Carol Baskin rejects few things seen in the series. Antle and Lowe have done much the same thing. However, the creators answer to them.