What Is It About Netflix’s “Tiger King” That Has Us All Obsessed?

Joe Exotic in "Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness"

Netflix’s latest true-crime series has been trending all over the internet since it landed on the streaming platform. It is currently one of the most popular shows on Netflix and people can’t stop talking about it. So what is it about the Tiger King that has us all obsessed?

The docuseries takes place across a number of zoos in Florida, South Carolina, and Oklahoma. It follows a feud between wild animal obsessives, breeders, and animal rights activists. The cast of characters is all ridiculous in their own right but together, they form an eccentric supergroup with an absurd dynamic.

To begin with, the show appears to be about Joe Exotic and his 200 pet tigers. Carole Baskin seeks to close Exotic’s zoo along with others that are similar. It’s a simple story with a predictable disequilibrium. At least, that’s what you would be forgiven for thinking based on the first episode.

After this, Tiger King unfolds into something far more extreme and far more absurd. We see cults, drug barons, and the mysterious disappearance of a very wealthy man. The twists get increasingly bombastic as the show continues and during a time where binge-watching is practically advisable, the show promises to enthrall you from start to finish.

As a docuseries, Tiger King does not take itself at all seriously. It is more concerned with entertaining its audience than relaying the truth. The cast of characters becomes increasingly eccentric and at the heart of it, the mulleted Joe Exotic is the wild card that keeps us hooked.

One of the great things about the series is that it is the type of series that generates more content. It results in an influx of Joe Exotic memes flooding social media and in turn, more people become intrigued by the show and more content is generated. It is a bombastic cycle of consumption and conversation that results in the show being the most talked-about TV event of the year.

For that reason, the show’s trashy feel and ridiculous nature is not to be overlooked. It is to be embraced. It’s the absurd and insane show that we need right now in these insane and absurd times.