Review of Tiger King (2020)

Moving picture, 5.3 hours

Seen in 2020.

The United States of America.

A manipulative, cliffhanging true-crime documentary that is in part about a failed attempt to make reality TV. Out of all the horrific, self-sabotaging, self-destructive, abusive, degrading, traumatic, literally murderous shit “Joe Exotic” gets up to, the most disgusting is his plan to put discarded Walmart meat for his cats on pizzas to serve his visitors. As in “The Water Museum” (2009), which also features an incompetent budget assassin, the ecocritical points are not subtle: This is animal “rescue” culture at its worst, fully entangled with narcissism. In a brief moment of bipartisanship, the show’s popularity led to the passage of the Big Cat Public Safety Act (a bill referenced in the show), by the lower house of the US Congress, in December 2020: A positive outcome of a dark spectacle.

moving picture non-fiction series