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‘Tiger King’: Netflix’s Tawdry Docuseries Has People Talking — TV Podcast

The humans treat each other almost as badly as they treat the animals.

"Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness"

“Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness”


It doesn’t matter who you are or how distant your socialization has become, chances are you’ve heard of Netflix’s latest zeitgeist-capturing documentary series, “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.”

The limited series debuted March 20 on the streaming giant and in less than two weeks has become the internet’s latest collective obsession, spawning speculation, investigation, discreditation, and, well, memes.

The appeal of “Tiger King” is largely its outlandish characters. The fact that said characters are actually real life people only intensifies their idiosyncrasies, making that much more irresistible to the literal captive audience the series has found thanks to the global pandemic.

At the center of the show is Joe Exotic, the eponymous “Tiger King,” a collector of large cats and his nemesis, animal rights activist Carole Baskin. As it stands, Exotic is currently imprisoned in Texas for 22 years, in part on murder-for-hire charges, for plotting to kill — you guessed it — Baskin. If that wasn’t enough titillation for you, the series also attempts to make the case that Baskin murdered her last husband and… fed him to a tiger?

This is just the tip of a tawdry iceberg that includes mullets and conspiracies and rivalries and polygamy and, if we’re speaking honestly, repeated and horrifying animal abuse and exploitation, much of which gets amongst the soap opera hijinks of its perpetrators.

And yet, people are watching. And what’s more, people are talking to other people about watching, the greatest compliment an audience can give to a piece of entertainment in this cloistered new world we’re all navigating.

But is the Television Academy going to be ready to welcome the wilds of “Tiger King” to its docuseries nominees with open arms, or will Emmy voters keep those spots for more highbrow offerings?

Either way, it’ll be awhile before we know, thanks to the newly announced Emmy calendar, which will now see nominations announced on July 28, instead of July 14.

For more on the Emmy chances for “Tiger King” and whether or not that Emmy schedule is going to hold in the long run, check out this week’s episode of “Millions of Screens” with TV Awards Editor Libby Hill, TV Deputy Editor Ben Travers, and Creative Producer Leo Garcia — still recorded from the comfort of their three respective apartments.

Plus, stick around for chatter about the latest season of Netflix’s “Ozark” which Travers sees as a return to form, as well as news on the latest limited series rendered ineligible for this year’s Emmy race.

Millions of Screens” is available on AnchorApple PodcastsBreakerGoogle PodcastsSpotify, and Stitcher. You can subscribe here or via RSS. Share your feedback with the crew on Twitter or sound off in the comments. Review the show on iTunes and be sure to let us know if you’d like to hear the gang address specific issues in upcoming editions of “Millions of Screens.” Check out the rest of IndieWire’s podcasts on iTunes right here.

This episode of “Millions of Screens” was produced by Leonardo Adrian Garcia

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