The only good things to come out of quarantine are these love stories and Tiger King. The seven-episode true-crime series on Netflix dives deep into the twisty tale of eccentric big cat handler Joe Exotic aka Joseph Schreibvogel aka the man with the bleach-blonde mullet. His magnificent mop and sequin-studded tiger-print jacket have earned him “low key style icon” status on social media, but make no mistake: Joe is a very complicated character. He keeps tigers in small cages, admits to using crystal meth, runs an offensive web series attacking his “enemies,” records bizarro (albeit kind-of catchy?) country music, and allegedly orchestrated a murder-for-hire plot.
In 2018, Joe was arrested and found guilty on 19 counts including recruiting someone to kill his rival Carole Baskin, an “animal rights activist” with a questionable past of her own. He was sentenced to 22 years in prison in January 2020 and, as we see in the show, that magnificent mullet of his is now growing out.
The show hinges around Joe and his feud with Carol, but each episode introduces a new set of crazy real-life characters, including but not limited to: the head of a polygamist cult, Carol’s missing millionaire husband whom many believe she fed to a tiger, Joe’s former employee who gets her arm ripped off by a tiger, a drug dealer who believes he is the inspiration for Tony Montana from Scarface, and an undercover FBI agent.
In conclusion, the series is ~wild~ and it couldn’t have arrived at a better time. As we find ourselves trapped in our own form of captivity—self-isolating to help stop the spread of novel coronavirus (ways to help your community during the outbreak, here)—Tiger King serves as the ultimate distraction. Here are some of the best reactions to the show.
“If you think your life is a mess..do yourself a favor and watch #TigerKing.”
“Joe Exotic would be thrilled to know that he alone brought a nation together as we weathered a pandemic.”
“I keep trying to figure out who’s the good guy in this crazy cast of characters.”
“Carole Baskin definitely fed her husband to those tigers.”
“JOE EXOTIC LOW KEY A FASHION ICON”
“Them Joe Exotic songs don’t sound half bad tho.”
“Me falling into the hype telling people to actually watch.”
Rose is a Staff Writer at ELLE.com covering culture, news, and women’s issues.