If you’re one of the tens of millions of viewers who recently got sucked into the bizarre world of Tiger King, you might think you know the whole story of Joe Exotic and his menagerie of rivals and co-conspirators.
But you can’t sum up such a strange saga in just seven hours, a fact that the stars of Tiger King made clear when they began sharing their own versions of events in the days after the docuseries became an overnight sensation.
Not surprisingly, Carole Baskin says she didn’t feed her husband to tigers!
And then there’s John Finlay, who claims he’s not a meth-addled redneck!
And who could forge Jeff Lowe, the man who insists that he’s not the creepiest middle-aged weirdo alive, and claims there’s a good reason that he dresses like the bass player from a nu-metal band circa 1998 (more on that later)?
With all these conflicting stories, it was only a matter of time before Netflix squeezed some additional profit from its most unexpected cash cow with a Tiger King reunion special.
It was a good idea, but much like the this week’s Zoom-centric quarantined episode of SNL, the execution left much to be desired.
For starters, Joe Exotic is serving 22 years in prison on murder for hire and animal abuse charges — a set of circumstances that sort of limits your ability to participate in reality TV reunion shows.
Carole Baskin has long been vocal about her distaste for the original series, so it came as no surprise that she opted not to participate in the reunion.
Many fans had hoped that Doc Antle would participate, but the polygamous big cat enthusiast also decided to sit this one out.
So mostly we were left with Joel McHale Skyping with a bunch of second- and third-tier characters, most of whom really, really wanted you to know that they’re not on drugs.
But hey, it wasn’t all bad!
Fan favorite Saff is doing well, and John Finlay is four years meth-free and sporting a new set of pearly whites.
Good for him!
If after all that, you’re still starved for more Tiger King content, fear not.
The cottage industry that’s sprung up around Joe Exotic has proven to be recession-proof, and the knock-off docs are rolling out faster than you can say "cool cats and kittens."
There’s an ID Discovery special that claims to tell the story from Exotic’s point of view, and on Monday night, a TMZ-produced doc that promises new info on Exotic will debut on Fox.
Joe Exotic is a lot like the coronavirus folks — we’re not totally sure where he came from, and there’s no telling when he might go away.
Oh, and as for Jeff Lowe’s douchebag uniform, he says he wears leather jackets in all weather so that tigers don’t claw his arms and torso.
Still no explanation for why he wears a bandana under a baseball cap like a BMX racer at the 1994 X-Games.