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Tiger King

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A zoo owner spirals out of control amid a cast of eccentric characters in this true murder-for-hire story from the underworld of big cat breeding.

Original air date: 3/20/20

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17 hours ago, Avaleigh said:

IKR? I came here thinking that there'd be a couple of pages at least.

I knew absolutely nothing about this subculture so a lot of it was shocking for me. The level of animal abuse is truly horrifying.

There aren't really any good guys to be found here. Each of the major players is a different kind of awful. I wonder what the real number is in terms of how many animals Doc Antle and Joe Exotic "euthanized" over the years. With Doc having the crematorium on his property I have to imagine that the number is chilling. 

The whole husband killing thing with Carol Baskin is nuts. I don't know what really happened there but she seems super shady. I also got the impression that she isn't as hands on in terms of working with the animals as she'd like people to think. It kind of bothered me that she doesn't really know who the interns or other people who are working for her are. 

That guy Jeff is such a creep. Ugh, the stuff about him making sure to choose a hot nanny? Just when you think you can't be more disgusted with people. 

Doc Antle and his harem--you wonder what some of these women are thinking. I lol'd when they said that he's a doctor of mystical science. 

Two or three people seemed truly baked in their interviews. 

Joe deserved what he got. It's only a fraction of what he's put the animals through over the years. I only wish that Jeff had been taken down too.

I kind of hope that Netflix will do an adaptation of this at some point. Virginia Madsen would be awesome as Carol. Richard Jenkins could play hubby #2. 

 

I just binged this because it's absolutely insane!  I actually do remember the clip of Joe on John Oliver's show, and I remember thinking how bizarre it was, but the whole story is so much more strange.

I think the only decent person might have been Joe's "Campaign Manager" (I always find my political consultants in the ammo section of Walmart).  I feel bad that he has to live with seeing a guy, high out of his gord, accidentally shoot himself.  I suppose it's lucky Travis didn't shoot him.  Even Rick Kirkland's hand's aren't clean, but at least he admit's it.  Even the other employees at the zoo, aren't completely absolved of the sins of what was done to those animals...but I also can't completely blame them since Joe prayed on them as much as the animals. 

While I think Carol's goals are certainly more laudable than Joe's, I actually think they're two sides of the same coin.  I think Carol enjoys being the center of attention just as much as Joe and that's a huge part of why she does what she does.  I agree with her, that big cats shouldn't be bred in captivity (at least not privately by gun toting rednecks), but I don't think she's actually a good person.  Also as Joe pointed out, I don't think the conditions she keeps her animals seem any better than anyone else featured.  Though they at least don't get exploited to pick up chicks or shot when they get too old.

And as crazy as it sounds...I really do think that she might have had something to do with her first husband's death.  I mean how hard would it be to get a bunch of big cats to make a body completely disappear...

I'm not shedding any tears about Joe being in prison.  Though as far as the charge of conspiracy to kill Carol, I agree that it seems like he was set up and it makes no sense that the man hired to do actually do the murder and the other conspirators (Jeff) aren't in prison.  I hope everyone get's theirs eventually.  Especially Jeff and Antle, since they are more frightening because they're smarter than Joe.

Also did anyone else find Joe's music kind of catchy...I might find myself humming I saw a Tiger later...

 

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I've only gotten through one episode of this, and while I know the story is pretty wild, it's really hard seeing those beautiful creatures living such horrid, wretched lives in captivity. 

Also, does anyone remember the HBO documentary, Cat Dancers? I'll never forget it but it's truly the granddaddy of the captive-animal-collectors-are-psychos docs. If you've enjoyed this series, please watch the other. It's 10x as insane and only around two hours long.

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I am watching now. Currently on episode 2. The triad/Poly relationship is fine, but that boy is 19! A BABY! This side of legal. Wtf. And these poor tigers- how do hey get enough meat for them?? It must cost a fortune to feed them. 
 

Epsiode 3- Carole was a beauty in her younger years. Her face was so doll like. But yeah I could see a tiger or leopard getting rid of a body. Don was very handsome in those photos with his first wife. I figured he and his 1st wife married because she was pregnant. She looked VERY close in age to her daughters and seems I was right.  (Still watching). 

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Just watching the first episode and it reminds me of a short lived series on Animal Planet called "Animal Hoarders." One of the episodes was about a supposed Tiger "rescuer" in New Jersey in a town next to the one where a friend of mine.  It was a tragic situation with a rather deranged (in my opinion) woman and her husband who was breeding tigers "to preserve the species." It all ended in tragedy and all of the animals were euthanized if I recall correctly because the poor tigers were inbred and unhealthy.  

It looks like all of these people have problems.

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On 3/24/2020 at 10:31 PM, Linderhill said:

Just watching the first episode and it reminds me of a short lived series on Animal Planet called "Animal Hoarders." One of the episodes was about a supposed Tiger "rescuer" in New Jersey in a town next to the one where a friend of mine.  It was a tragic situation with a rather deranged (in my opinion) woman and her husband who was breeding tigers "to preserve the species." It all ended in tragedy and all of the animals were euthanized if I recall correctly because the poor tigers were inbred and unhealthy.  

It looks like all of these people have problems.

There's another show that used to air called "Fatal Attractions". Both seasons are on Amazon. It's crazy. There's also a documentary called "My Monkey Baby" or "My Child's a Monkey"? It was something like that. There's one called "The Elephant in the Living Room" and one called "America's Most Dangerous Pets" by Louis Theroux. My heart breaks for the animals, but I find the whole subject matter fascinating.

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18 hours ago, OrigamiNightmare said:

There's another show that used to air called "Fatal Attractions". Both seasons are on Amazon. It's crazy. There's also a documentary called "My Monkey Baby" or "My Child's a Monkey"? It was something like that. There's one called "The Elephant in the Living Room" and one called "America's Most Dangerous Pets" by Louis Theroux. My heart breaks for the animals, but I find the whole subject matter fascinating.

I remember seeing the Monkey Baby one, there were some seriously damaged people on that program too.  I think it originally aired on TLC.  These shows are like a train wreck, you just can't look away.  

This one, "Tiger King" none of them learned anything.  Joe couldn't just ignore what's herface, if he could just walk away, he'd still be shilling the baby tiger schtick.  Some of those videos, yeesh, the man is unstable.  And he can't seem to stay away from jailbait boys.

Antle, I sincerely hope karma catches up with that idiot.  The same for all the others.

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I just watched 5 episodes in a row, need to take a break. Travis and the new husband after Travis were good looking guys, I would have to be high all the time too if I was a straight guy married to Joe. Nobody to root for in this, except for maybe a few of the employees but they aren't so innocent either. Carole's dead husband's daughters looked as old as his ex wife but I assume she had them pretty young since she married at 15. I live in Michigan so this is all pretty exotic and out there for me but I am loving it. 

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4 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Typical Carole.  If she’s not praised as this super loving, nice animal lover then it’s off to the courts She goes to waste Another judges time.  

She must have grown up being one of those kids who’s parents told them constantly,They were amazing at everything. Carole needs to realize she’s not a special snowflake. 

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Just started last night and 3 episodes in.  Are these people for real?!  I'm sorry you are a special kind of person owning an exotic animal.  This is not a compliment.  Best show to cleanse the mind of COVID-19 info material though.  Enjoyed it thoroughly.

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Just binge watched the heck out of this with my beau during our Coronavirus lockdown. AMAZING. I really liked the campaign manager (former Walmart manager) and felt like he is the most redeeming character on the show. Fascinating, though, that he is as smart as he is and he, too, got roped into Joe's world. 

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Who is filming all of this? I mean, like when they are burning all of the financial records or fighting or doing other stuff they don't want seen? I know some was the director who's interviewed but I thought he cleared out with his dog when his studio was torched.

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On 3/24/2020 at 5:09 PM, Giant Misfit said:

Also, does anyone remember the HBO documentary, Cat Dancers? I'll never forget it but it's truly the granddaddy of the captive-animal-collectors-are-psychos docs. If you've enjoyed this series, please watch the other. It's 10x as insane and only around two hours long.

Yes, I watched that doc and gained a new insight to the lives of people who decide to treat wild animals as pets, and how there are not a lot of happy endings there.  This mess is Cat Dancers on steroids - all of the insanity, debauchery, sexual shenanigans, and animal exploitation is turned up to 11.

Edited by patty1h
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I binge watched with my college age son and we got some good Halloween costume ideas ( he thinks I would make a good Carole). Not a likable person on here. I’m not sure Joe should be in prison for murder conspiracy, but maybe don’t film yourself talking about killing someone.

I think it could have been cut down an episode or two and wondered why/how some things were being filmed. Worth it just for the Joe Exotic music videos.

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Well that was a wild ride. 

All of these people are awful, damaged or a combination of both. I knew very little about exotic pet parks other than they existed so this was eye opening to put it politely. Joe, Jeff, Doc and the strip club owner/informant are all creepy sexual exploiters who could not get laid if they had to rely on actual charm, looks and decency. Carol is batshit. If she didn't kill her husband she certainly knows who did. And I'm not sure of what her husband's deal is, but there's something off with him too. 

The hitman and the informant were both unintentially hilarious. Jeff is vile, Doc is delusional and Joe is pathetic. A trainwreck well worth watching. 

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5 hours ago, druzy said:

 

I didn’t believe for one second that he owned a jet, or even that Ferrari. Maybe it’s just me but when I see someone driving a Luxury car such as a Ferrari I instantly assume it’s a rental...especially if that person lives in freakin Oklahoma. If he’a so rich then he wouldn’t need “business partners”. He’s a fake. I wouldn’t be surprised if his lifestyle was funded by credit card fraud/ identity Theft.

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I'm only 3 episodes in, but wow, what can you say about these people?! Every one of them is crazy.  

And don't get me started on the amounts of missing limbs and teeth...  

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4 hours ago, Hellohappylife said:

I didn’t believe for one second that he owned a jet, or even that Ferrari. Maybe it’s just me but when I see someone driving a Luxury car such as a Ferrari I instantly assume it’s a rental...especially if that person lives in freakin Oklahoma. If he’a so rich then he wouldn’t need “business partners”. He’s a fake. I wouldn’t be surprised if his lifestyle was funded by credit card fraud/ identity Theft.

I didn't believe it either.

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12 hours ago, druzy said:

Carole keeps her "rescued" animals in cages and shows them for money. She is not that different when compared to the others except for the fact that she uses "volunteers" to run her "sanctuary". Carole may be a bit smarter but she is no better. I also think she murdered her husband.  

Carole is traaaaash. And also? A sociopath. All Carole wants is money. When she realized she could make a martyr out of herself and rehab her image as a "rescuer" instead of a loathsome breeder, she switched her course of action. Her fake Susan-Smith-style tears in the tabloid interview when the husband first went missing says it all. 

Her animals seem in no better shape than those who'd been in the "care" of Joe or Doc. If there is a god, Carole will face some justice while she's here on Earth.

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How could I have forgot to mention the cringe factor of Joe joking about Travis' balls and then singing at Travis' funeral.

He talked about Travis rubbing his balls in his face! In front of Travis's mother! Jeez, a few years ago I attended a funeral of a guy who had been in jail a few times and the people who eulogized him mentioned his jail time. I through that was awkward!

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Holy Cow! I keep thinking this can't possibly get crazier and then it does!

First episode Carole seemed kind of normal and nice and then BAM! Oh yeah, Carole knows.

The best part? I haven't thought about the Corona Virus in 5 hours!

Just started Episode 5. I'm actually going to save the last couple of episodes for a distraction tomorrow.

Edited by zibnchy
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Just in case anybody was wondering what John (Joe’s straight “husband” with the meth mouth) looks like with teeth, here you go: 

https://www.tmz.com/2020/03/26/tiger-king-star-john-finlay-got-new-teeth-has-some-issues-with-netflix/

 

On 3/23/2020 at 4:57 PM, Avaleigh said:

.

I kind of hope that Netflix will do an adaptation of this at some point. Virginia Madsen would be awesome as Carol. Richard Jenkins could play hubby #2. 

 

I saw some funny exchanges between Dax Shepard and Edward Norton on Twitter “fighting” over who’d be better suited to play Joe in a biopic. I could honestly see either of them! 
 

I think Kate McKinnon could play Carole—or at least a younger version of her. 

17 hours ago, QQQQ said:

Who is filming all of this? I mean, like when they are burning all of the financial records or fighting or doing other stuff they don't want seen? I know some was the director who's interviewed but I thought he cleared out with his dog when his studio was torched.

I assume the people in charge of the documentary? 

16 hours ago, Madding crowd said:

I binge watched with my college age son and we got some good Halloween costume ideas ( he thinks I would make a good Carole). Not a likable person on here. I’m not sure Joe should be in prison for murder conspiracy, but maybe don’t film yourself talking about killing someone.

I think it could have been cut down an episode or two and wondered why/how some things were being filmed. Worth it just for the Joe Exotic music videos.

Oh wow I’m the opposite—I wanted more! Like, so many awful, yet compelling characters here. 

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I was curious about why there was only one copy of Carol's husband's will. Wouldn't his attorney also have had one? It wasn't clear to me how much time had passed from his disappearance and when Carol went to the office and took the papers that where there. If it was only a day or so, that makes sense. But wouldn't law enforcement have looked at the office? That investigation was definitely poorly done.  

I agree with the others who say Carol isn't much better than all the others. 

 

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How much did "Chucky" pay to get himself shown looking macho (ha) on a jet ski? I loved when they showed Jeff bald in jail because you know he is vain, he acts like Bret Michaels having a scarf and hat practically stapled to his head. 😂

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12 hours ago, Slovenly Muse said:

I hope so! I have to say, the treatment of Carole was one of the things that really bothered me about this series. The show seemed to want to draw a comparison between what she is doing and what Joe and Doc (and others) are doing (I guess in the interests of appearing balanced?), but it completely fails to explain the details that would clarify how Big Cat Rescue REALLY compares to Joe's operation. From what we were told, it seems like she really is running a legitimate sanctuary that provides a home for big cats that come from places like Joe's zoo, and protects them from abuse. Those tigers bred and born in captivity CAN'T be released into the wild, so where else are they supposed to go? Yes, tour groups can see the cats, but not nearly as intrusively, and we know how much it costs to feed and care for animals like that. Many animal rescue and rehabilitation centres charge admission and let visitors see the animals (from a non-intrusive distance) for just this reason.

In terms of treatment of the animals, Joe's zoo breeds and sells cubs. It has cub-petting and has humans interacting with the animals. Carole is leading a political campaign to nationally BAN cub-petting, breeding, and other abusive practices, and her sanctuary does not allow any interactions between humans and cats. From the framing in the series, they are made to look comparable, but the show has really failed to explain the conditions in which the cats were kept in the private zoos versus Carole's sanctuary. We didn't see or hear much about the specific acts of abuse taking place, or about cub-petting and why it's abusive, but surely taking wild animals to shopping malls and government buildings (or in suitcases to visit luxury hotels!!) is OBVIOUSLY more abusive and exploitative than the tours happening at Big Cat Rescue. The fact that the series failed to adequately explain these details, but just framed them side-by-side to make them look comparable was unfortunate.

Then there's the treatment of the employees. Doc Antle is running a sex cult, where he ropes in attractive teenage interns and "marries" them, then uses them as practically slave labour. Carole has a staff of volunteers who she doesn't even really know (and is clearly not extorting work or sex out of them through use of manipulation or drugs). How are these things comparable? Yes, big cats are exciting and wonderful, and people are passionate about them and WANT to work with them, and will make personal sacrifices for the chance to do so! But Joe and Doc are using this fact to exploit vulnerable people for cheap labour (and sex), while Carole has volunteers - people with free time who DO NOT depend upon her at all for income and basic needs, and whose treatment by her is never shown (or even suggested) to be unethical. This is not the same thing in the slightest!

Did she murder her husband? I'm inclined to say no! It seems preposterous to me to say that Carole killing him and feeding him to the tigers is the simplest or most likely explanation. The man was involved in the illegal world of international exotic animal breeding/buying/selling, he flew a plane without a licence, and had Alzheimer's. She was the LEAST dangerous thing about his life. Not saying she definitely didn't do it, but I'd need some MUCH more compelling evidence to believe there is an argument to be made that she did it. Besides, it is very difficult for one person to kill a grown man, then move and dispose of a body, even with tigers conveniently nearby, all on her own, without leaving any evidence. I don't think the practicalities of this were considered at all in the series, which just seems intentionally misleading. It was all gossip, based on speculation and VERY thin circumstantial evidence. Did she take advantage of his disappearance to take charge of his estate, enrich herself, and cut off family members who might be entitled to a share? Sure looks like it! But that's a completely different issue from MURDER. I needed more than salacious gossip to make that idea seem legitimate.

Not to mention, her comment in the article linked above that she was misled about the nature of the documentary (that it would be primarily about animal rights and exposing abuses in the animals-for-entertainment industry) COMPLETELY tracks with what the filmmakers have said they wanted this project to be about, before Netflix pushed them to recentre on the outrageous personalities involved. Why do we not consider her other comments credible?

I finished this series feeling like Carole was a wackadoo, a bit self-serving (or at least not as altruistic as she wanted to appear), something of an egomaniac (nearly everyone we see in the big cat world is), and potentially greedy and opportunistic based on what happened with her late husband's estate, but at least it seemed clear that she was a genuine advocate for animal rights and was actively working to ban and criminalize operations like Joe's. I've found it quite shocking, actually, to come online and see that so many people's takeaway from the series is "Carole is the worst person on this show," or "Carole definitely killed her husband," or "Carole is as bad as Joe if not worse." I find all the vitriol surprising and perplexing! And it's definitely a failure of the filmmakers if the audience spends nearly seven hours watching a man hurl misogynistic vitriol at a woman, abusing and SHOOTING a blow-up sex doll stand-in of her, and comes away thinking, "SHE'S the real villain of the story!" especially without any concrete evidence that she is acting wrongly.

If I were her, I would sue Netflix for failing to include clarifying details about her life and work, as much as for framing what they DID include in such a way. I'm really appalled by the viewer reactions to her portrayal, and I really feel for her, and especially for the cats in her care and the legislative work she is doing to protect animals, because they will surely be impacted by the hit her reputation has taken. As much as I enjoyed the series, seeing these comments online has really ended my experience of Tiger King on a sour note.

Carole Baskins Guilty Past

Animal welfare violations

“My ex husband Kenneth Farr was Don's right hand man a lot of stuff was said done like Sunday before Don disappeared I believe was the day he actually disappeared Kenny came into a lot of things gifts etc from Carol, my number is [REDACTED] my name is Trish I believe Carol masterminded Don's demise.”

Edited by druzy
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1 hour ago, druzy said:

 

That interview is painful to watch because Spade just babbles stupidly BUT Saff comes off very well, I think. Hope he lands on his feet and even gets a boost from this.

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