The King of Quarantine

Tiger+King

Courtesy of NETFLIX

Tiger King

Joia Traver, Co-Editor

It’s a few weeks into the nationwide quarantine and many are struggling to find things to do at the safeness of their homes. As many activities have been put to a halt, some resort to other hobbies to distract themselves or keep them occupied while time passes, but no one would guess that a certain Netflix show would unite us all in the days of self-isolation. If you’ve been scrolling or just had a brief glance at any social media sites you’ve probably come across the name “Tiger King” at least once. This Netflix documentary premiered March 20th, 2020, and is already the top watched show in the U.S. alone. 

Being only a seven-episode long series, “Tiger King” takes you through the journey of a man named Joe Exotic and the course of his exotic animal park in Wynnewood, Oklahoma. This series of murder, mayhem, and madness is told by eccentric characters and their viewpoints from the story starting in the opening of the park. When watching, you get a sense of “What could possibly happen next?” as the trainwreck of a story compels you to keep watching. From a homosexual male that owns over 100 tigers to a Florida woman that only has big cat prints in her wardrobe, these surprisingly aren’t the craziest things that happen in this documentary. Perhaps one of the other big public faces in this show is the antagonist to Joe’s story, Carole Baskin, who is rumored to have had her husband fed to the tigers. But don’t worry, the speculations get even stranger with this story. It all starts when Joe Exotic decides to open his own exotic animal sanctuary with creatures such as lions, tigers, and even bears (Oh my!). As this zoo grows, so does it’s popularity with larger corporations, and with Joe’s exuberant and sometimes egotistical personality, it was just throwing kerosene on the fire. Our infamous Carole Baskin from earlier was among these animal rights groups, and both of them got, quite literally, into a large scale catfight. This scandal is the main basis of the show, and with two very powerful people that own lions, you can see how this quickly gets out of hand. 

Aside from this show providing lots of entertainment to those home-bound, it also surprisingly shares an important message about social media and how people should react to being called out on the internet. In the midst of the Carole Baskin/Joe Exotic war, Joe decides to take it upon himself to make daily news videos and call out Carole himself with some tactics that may not seem too smart today. He takes over his social media sites, creates his own news channel, and get this, released his own music videos. But if you think that it stopped there, maybe we should take a more political route. In 2016, Exotic ran for president as an independent candidate, and then in 2018, he ran for governor of Oklahoma. Clearly, he didn’t win, but just the expenses for the election put him in a very poor financial situation, and he still had a park to run. Just watching this should put any sane person into contentment with their own earnings, and further convince them to not run for a political figure they aren’t qualified for. Perhaps the producers knew what confined state we are all in and decided this was a good way to cheer people up. It certainly provides an amusing way to pass the time and whether you agree with either side or not, some sort of lesson will be taken away from it.