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Cakes Takes Tiger King Original Limited Netflix Series TV Show Spoiler Review

Updated on June 26, 2020
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Caila went to Meremac-STL for journalism and has been writing for most of her life.

Netflix's Tiger King

Joe Exotic on the promotional poster for the Netflix original documentary.
Joe Exotic on the promotional poster for the Netflix original documentary. | Source

Netflix Original Tiger King TV Show SPOILER Review

THIS IS AN OFFICIAL SPOILER POST/REVIEW OF MY THOUGHTS. IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN TIGER KING AND WISH TO DO SO, PLEASE DO IT BEFORE READING THIS POST! THANK YOU!!! YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!!!

So I finally decided to watch this show a little bit after the hype had died down, maybe a week or so after the hype had died down on it. I did not want my thoughts on it to be stained by anyone else’s or become a Carole Baskin hater simply because everyone else made it a thing to hate her. I wanted to watch it and form my own opinion on everything on my own. So by the time I watched the first episode, I chose to binge the rest within the first half hour of watching it. I always love an interesting documentary, it doesn’t always even have to be good, so long as it interests me, I’ll watch it. And Baby!!! THIS WAS THAT!!! I did not expect this documentary to hold my attention for as long as it did or to be as funny or as deep as it was. I also did not know roadside zoos were a thing, but this doc put me on to a few new things that I never knew about. Can you honestly say that you had heard of Joe Exotic’s story before or even knew who he was before this doc came out? I MAYBE, POSSIBLY, had seen his face before like once or twice but never actually knew his name or what his gimmick really was.This documentary will never let you forget him!

The documentary details the lives of a few wildlife/exotic animal zoo keepers and their pets, most famously or infamously rather, Joe Exotic. It really becomes a clusterfuck of things happening and a snowball effect, with an array of colorful characters around the third episode especially. The main thing that I took from all of the documentary was that it was all very sad for all involved, especially the animals. People’s success, hatred and jealousy, quest for fame, and he said/she said hypocritical BS will make people do crazy things. The whole thing started out as Joe wanting to entertain folks with live exotic animals and just doing it simply, at malls and whatnot. Honest work for Joe in the humble beginnings, but also the beginning of a bitter rivalry that led Joe to prison. Once a little bit of fame got to his head and his business took off from roadside zoos and showcasing animals to celebrities and regular people who were willing to pay in Las Vegas. He also began to sell and exploit the animals for pettings and shows. Of course, when you’re taking off and gain a little bit of fame, SOMEBODY is bound to come out of nowhere and try in their own way to “cancel” you.

So along comes Carole Baskin, the world’s most hated and most memed woman for the past few months now. She did not appreciate the fact that Joe was exploiting animals and making money off of it, so she decided to try to hunt him down and get him out of business, while in turn, starting a very similar business of her own with a roadside zoo with exotic animals. The thing with Carole Baskin as you may all know, is that she is accused of killing her husband (whacked him lol) and disposing of his body via tiger feeding. However, she has never been charged of murder or anything at all in involvement to the disappearance of her husband, although most evidence in the case seems to point directly to her having some sort of involvement in his disappearance. We’ll get back to her husband’s disappearance though.

My biggest problem with her is her hypocritical nature of hating Joe and how he started to gain his fame and then trying to stop him from doing something that you turn around and do yourself. She probably is worse than him or just as bad. It was said in the documentary that she did not pay her employees or even know any of their names (and she IS around them daily usually at the zoo because it is on her home grounds in FL) until they “reach a certain level”. She laughed at the question, even. The employees were said to have worked countless hours, dedicated their entire lives to the zoo with little free time, and worked up a ranking system just to still not receive that much pay at the top. The ranking system was also shown to be very droll because it takes YEARS UPON YEARS to move up even a little bit. It’s laughable that she has so many employees that would still want to move upward in her zoo and still not be paid for it anyway. She clearly doesn’t respect her workers whatsoever, and that made me mad for them.

Now onto, did she kill her husband? I know the world and Joe Exotic wants her to have killed her husband and to have fed him to tigers, but I don’t think that the evidence is THAT concrete, because they would’ve found DNA somewhere on her zoo grounds by now. I know there was a theory of an acid bath, but I’m still not convinced on that unless she had it removed from the grounds. However, all of the smaller things points directly to her having some sort of involvement in it. They gave her backstory and showed how they met, got married and how she came off as being a gold digger, especially according to her late ex husband’s two sisters. All of the money that he had, millions, went to Carole due to falsified documents in his will. The documentary made sure to show how a will never states “upon someone’s untimely disappearance” on it, so why did his will? Also, they stated that Carole and her goons came to clear out all of her husband’s important legal documents and information regarding his money and will prior to his funeral. One of the saddest parts about her receiving that money and becoming an overnight millionaire was that the money was NOT TO GO TO HER AT ALL, but to his sisters and family. They ended up getting nothing at all and things of sentiment were taken away from them in the process as well. The other sad part about it all was what she chose to do with it afterwards: torment Joe Exotic and start her “Cat Sanctuary”.

I don’t think that if Carole Baskin was on Joe’s ass as much throughout his life that he wouldn’t have gone some form of crazy, because he was already doing ANYTHING he could to be famous or have thousands of fans. His beef with fame was definitely mental and everything became a show to him. EVERYTHING!!! He began to change, act out whenever a camera was around, and make it seem like he was too big for everyone. As his minimal fame rose, his care for the animals declined. He even got as bad as to abuse some of the animals or to just be plain cruel in executing them at will over the slightest things, sadly. With Carole always on his back afterwards, that just made it that much worse. He became obsessed with her, even when she stopped thinking about him. Joe made a lot of things worse for himself. She had more money than he ever could think about making and she used that to her advantage, as well as his stupidity. Just because he was trying so hard to fuck with her as a person and ruin her day everyday, she made it her personal mission to also do the same to him, but smarter. He even got in trouble legally before with her, by using her company’s logo as his own and only changing the words. She filed a lawsuit and won and has been down his throat ever since then. Making sure that she could get every dime she could out of him. Joe had to pay her so much money that he didn’t even have, he had to sell material things, animals and cut down on a lot of his production of his little known show. VENDETTA Carole Baskin style.

This all seemed to drive Joe mad. As the documentary went further and further on, I saw that he really lost himself in all of this in his journey for fame, notoriety of anything, running for president, and quest for love (marrying not one but two men, who didn’t even seem gay, but just junkies at the time who loved having someone who could get them what they needed). One of his husbands, sadly, took his own life because he felt like he was trapped on the premises of Joe’s home/zoo. He felt like he couldn't leave, he was mentally trapped but wanting a way out. This seemed to depress Joe but not enough to not keep pushing forward. He handled the boy’s death poorly: getting married again almost immediately, inviting his late husband’s mother to the wedding and then never speaking to her ever again. It was just all sad to see the downfall of his psyche over the course of all the episodes. And then the ending… boy!

Joe eventually as well all know, ends up in prison because he tried to put out a paid hit on Carole Baskin. He was actually paying someone to execute the woman! Wild, right?! His hatred of and obsession with her and vice versa, not only ruined his career, advanced hers, lost you all your money and friends, lost your home and zoo to a RANDOM, AND got you 22 years behind bars. He will have to start completely over whenever he comes out. Joe involved COUNTLESS people into so much drama and BS over the years. The one good thing about him going to prison and all of this blowing up at the end of the day is that it shined a light on animal abuse in these roadside zoos and it reopened the case of Baskin's ex husband's disappearance for any new tips. It was all just so much to process at once each episode.

In totality, if you like documentaries that are about super random things that you may not have known about, but are formed in ways that are extremely entertaining then this is the documentary for you. I was not planning on liking this documentary as much as I did. Every episode did shove a lot down your throat, but it was still nonetheless entertaining to watch it all. It just felt like I needed to gather my thoughts after a few episodes in. Watching someone ruin themselves is sometimes like a car crash, you can’t look away, even though you want to. Joe outright let his narcissistic behavior completely destroy him. Every episode in this documentary toppled the last one for craziest episode and kept me glued to watching it. Most documentaries I feel like could be told in one good episode within the time frame of an hour or two, but this one NEEDED the seven or eight episodes that it was to tell these people’s stories. Make some time to watch it and learn about these people, if not for our pop culture right now, but for the content of what they’re talking about and its overlying message about animal abuse and an obsession gone wrong. This is a definite MUST WATCH!!!

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5 stars for Netflix's Original Series Tiger King Rating

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