The narrative of America’s most renowned cat owners continues to be fascinating. With the fame of Tiger King, the people involved had to deal with sudden notoriety and unwelcome scrutiny. Despite all controversies, the first documentary covered everything essential. Is Tiger King 2 really required or will it ruin fans’ perception of its predecessor?
Joe Exotic, the legend made of truth and a good number of lawsuits
Tiger King mostly owes its popularity to the timing of its release. The lockdown had just begun and people were looking for a distraction. A true-crime documentary was the perfect escape. The one in question was about a notorious animal breeder, his feud with a renowned animal rights activist, and all the drama involving the two.
Tiger King had 34 million views on Netflix and certainly is one of the platform’s biggest releases. But, its success was largely a matter of chance than anything else. The audience was hungry for something, anything, really, to distract them, and the documentary provided just that. Not only was it about something exciting, but it was also followed by a bunch of hilarious memes that reigned over social media for all of 2020. The Carole Baskin and Joe Exotic costumes were all the rage in Halloween 2020 and that says enough about the popularity.
Tiger King was about the zoo owner, Joe Exotic. The man was involved in a true murder-for-hire story surrounding the controversial world of animals rights. The series revolved around Joe’s exploits and personal life. It also shed light on the mysterious disappearance of Carole Baskin’s husband.
Tiger King 2- set to be a disappointment?
The critical reception of the documentary was a nightmare, to say the least. Filmography is a difficult and tedious task. Add to that the burden of historical and factual accuracy that documentaries must possess, any small mistake could potentially be a large mishap. And the Netflix Original was rife with these. While critics praised the messy nature of the documentary, there were many that had reservations against it.
Activists criticized the representation of animal welfare groups, conservation organizations, and wildlife biologists. The thing the creators got terribly wrong was framing big cat breeding as a legitimate form of conservation. This was something activists didn’t dare overlook. They also weren’t happy with many other things like the depiction of Big Cats Rescue to be as legitimate as accredited zoos and the empathy shown towards Joe Exotic.
Peter Frick-Wright said that “Goode brings to Tiger King the intellectual rigor and social responsibility of a nightclub and hotel developer.”
All things said and done, Tiger King ended with enough justice done to all the people. It showed a bit too much on Baskin’s personal life, but that’s a debate for another day. The documentary could have used some shortening in its first part itself, a second one seems completely unnecessary, so far.
Will Tiger King 2 prove to be an improvement over its predecessor? Only time will tell.