Tiger King 2: Necessary or Nuisance?

Tiger King, Joe Exotic, Carole Baskin: the most talked about subjects of 2020. At the start of lockdown, when everyone was stuck inside, Netflix released a show called Tiger King. Remember that? Well, the much anticipated second season has arrived, but hasn’t made nearly as much of an impact.

Don’t get me wrong, I was part of the hype surrounding the Tiger King phenomena, but when Tiger King 2 was announced, my first thought was “really?”. I didn’t feel like there was any need for more episodes, as so much had already been covered. Not to mention the special The Tiger King and I, where Joel McHale interviewed a lot of the cast via zoom, gave fans that little bit of closure and satisfaction they needed. Not only this, but Louis Theroux aired his documentary Shooting Joe Exotic, which aired in April of this year, a decade after it was originally filmed.

Many of the responses from Tiger King 2 haven’t been the best, with viewers saying it was just a financial opportunity for those involved in the documentary. However, there was more emphasis on Carole Baskin’s ‘late’ husband Don Lewis. It’s important to question whether Tiger King became what it is because of the pandemic, or is the story genuinely that captivating? In my opinion, I feel it’s a combination of quarantine and the narrative being something that’s never really been done before.

It’s no secret that the controversies surrounding this Netflix hit come mostly from PETA and other animal rights activists. Together, they have actually managed to rescue a lot of the animals from Joe Exotic’s old zoo, now owned by Jeff Lowe, and place them in much larger sanctuaries. However, this season actually displayed some feminist backlash. Some people feel as if the only woman involved in the show, Carole Baskin, doesn’t deserve nearly as much criticism that she’s still receiving, since she’s technically not the criminal in this bizarre story.Personally, I feel most of those involved in these types of zoos shown on the show need to be jailed, or at least charged for the mistreatment and endangerment of animals – not to mention the other type of criminal activity. Nevertheless, although I did watch all of Tiger King 2, I did feel it was an unnecessary continuation of the story, and purely a financial tactic.

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Sienna Norris

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January 2022
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