AS an increasing amount of people find themselves with time on their hands (there are only so many shelves you can put up) they are turning to the TV in record numbers. Of course, these days there are more ways to watch your preferred option than there are choices of channel it seems, but probably the biggest global player is Netflix – and their most watched new series is raising a few eyebrows.
“Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness” is a docu-drama that follows the lives of America’s surprisingly large community of big cat owners, mainly tigers domesticated down several generations. The undoubted star of the series is Joe Exotic, who’s chaotic and controversial life are veritable cat-nip to viewers (excuse the pun). He is a self-proclaimed bigamist, married to two men, has a bizarre eighties dress style complete with peroxide mullet – and is currently in jail accused of attempted murder.
His target was Carole Baskin, herself a colourful character and owner of a big cat rescue sanctuary. It is believed that her campaign to outlaw private ownership of big cats, which are often just kept in small cages at people’s houses, that led to the attempted hit. To give a taste of the kind of real life people we are dealing with here, she herself has been linked to the killing of her husband who disappeared in 1997 and was declared legally dead five years later, although no body has even been found. She inherited his wealth which allowed her to pursue her dream of the big cat sanctuary. Even the minor characters fail to have lives which most people would regard as normal and this pure escapism wrapped up in a hundred and one other strands has become the “must-watch” lockdown TV for many.