Unpopular opinion alert: I did not enjoy Tiger King. In fact, the only part I found enjoyable about the entire saga is that it deterred my attention away from the news for eight hours. From murder conspiracy theories to sex cults, the bizarre and unimaginable world of Joe Exotic was put in the spotlight (as well as in a cell) for perhaps the most popular docu-series of the 21st century. It’s overwhelming popularity is both perplexing and entirely predictable, where, thanks to a happy accident of timing, the world has an innumerable amount of time dedicated to strange and interesting content.
I won’t undermine the fame of Tiger King. The team behind the Netflix series found a niche subject matter and made it into a cultural phenomenon, its social media memes almost inescapable. Over the long weekend where Governments pleaded with the public to stay at home, a rumoured and hotly-anticipated reunion dubbed Tiger King and I, was delivered to small screens around the globe. Key characters spoke with host Joel McHale, sans Joe Exotic, and lay to rest rumours and misconceptions surrounding the series. But make no mistake, the tale of Tiger King is not over, in fact it is just the beginning.
We unpack the new Tiger King reunion and why this is the only episode to watch for a fast-tracked look into the documentary that had our undivided attention.
Who actually watched the series?
Erik Cowie admitted he didn’t watch the series. Jeff Lowe said, “one painful time”, and woke up early at 5am to do so to understand what he was in for. Saff Saffery, the employee who lost his arm in a tiger attack has watched the series, saying he watched the attack, “I have, over and over.” John Finlay, the ex-husband to Joe Exotic watched the series the night it was released, revealing he “binged watched” the entire docco in seven hours.
Should joe Exotic be a free man?
Bizarre news was released over the long weekend when President Donald Trump reportedly revealed he may pardon Joe Exotic after he was accused of ordering the attempted murder of fellow protagonist, Carole Baskin. So what does his staff and former allies think?
Erik Cowie: “No. Not no, the fuck no… he’s gonna die in there, so good riddance.”
Jeff Lowe, former ally-turned-enemy: “He’s where he belongs. I would probably just tell him ‘gotcha!’”
Saff Saffery: “I think justice was served, but I still don’t want to see that man die in prison.”
Rick Kirkham: “I don’t think he will leave prison alive. I don’t think he will be able to stand it.”
Was the story “sensationalised”?
Jeff Lowe, the current owner of G.W. Zoo admitted he didn’t like the way he was portrayed in the documentary and believed it was “sensationalised, to give it a villain.”
Saff Saffery believed that the show did not reveal enough of Exotic’s “good side”. “He would take the jacket off his back for people.”
Joshua Dial, the ex-campaign manager of Joe has nothing but praise for the documentary, saying, “The way they did this documentary, it’s fair, it’s balanced, and I think it is a wonderful production.”
John Finlay says he was portrayed as a “drugged-out hillbilly.” “At that time, I was four to five years clean, when my daughter was born I decided not to touch another drug ever again.”
Rick Kirkham, the producer, revealed that Joe Exotic was in fact “terrified of big cats. He was scared to death of lions and tigers.”
Did Carol kill her ex-husband?
Jeff Lowe: “Abso-fucking-lutley.”