Tiger King 2 review: Joe Exotic story continues, not much new information to report

What were Netflix feeling of the year 2020 Tiger King really about? Is it a wild ride through the eccentric subculture of entrepreneurs and conservationists who exhibit big cats in private zoos? Or is it a tough true-crime story about bitter rivals Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin, who may have been involved in separate, strange murder plots? When the documentary series premiered, just as people began to gather at home to avoid the outbreak of the pandemic, what exactly made it so addictive?

These are not idle questions. What are they? Tiger King Directors Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin certainly asked themselves this question before starting work on the series’ five-episode second season, which is available now on Netflix. However, judging by what they created, they never found the answer. NS Tiger King the sequel is a nasty mess, there’s no compelling narrative that makes the original run so sinfully.

It’s hard to figure out the intent of this second season. The first episode is the most promising of the bunch. It has a larger view of the whole Tiger King phenomenon, recalling how the program swept the United States in a year turned out to be very strange for the United States and the world. The episode captures the many ways in which the documentary’s subjects become almost like fictional characters to the public, some of whom dress up as Joe and Carole for Halloween, or argue bitterly about the guilt or innocence of the series’ participants.

Wildlife owner Tim Stark, topless and with a monkey perched on his shoulder, stands in front of a trailer in Tiger King 2

Photo: Netflix

Then episodes two and three changed course, disappearing again into the rabbit hole following accusations against Carole Baskin, who – as was covered quite thoroughly in season 1 – was suspected of having wicked behavior in the 1997 disappearance of her wealthy ex-husband Don Lewis. . The new material adds little, except for new interviews with people who share much of the same information, with tedious detail.

Episodes four and five rotated again and functioned like a proper sequel to the first Tiger King. The first season showed a lack of government oversight at “wildlife encounter” tourist attractions, while also drawing requests from animal rights activists and ordinary people with disabilities. related that the government must shut down these sketchy operations. The final two episodes of season 2 chronicle the pressure placed on Jeff Lowe and Tim Stark, two of the zoo owners who resembled Joe Exotic in the previous season. Regardless, even as federal agents stormed their property to take their animals away, Lowe and Stark became increasingly frantic, making desperate moves. Their scene is easily the most entertaining of these five episodes, though like the rest of this season, their story isn’t particularly intertwined overall.

Throughout all the episodes, Goode and Chaiklin frequently return to Joe Exotic, still sitting in prison, where he watches what has happened since then. Tiger King out, and hopefully someone from his old life will step up and help clear him up on the allegation that he hired an assassin to kill Baskin. The new season includes failed attempts to get Joe pardoned by the president, including some incredible footage of the team behind the banner campaign at the January 6 “Stop the Steal” rally. DC and caused some angry reactions. Attorney John Phillips eventually moved on from representing the Don Lewis family (and lost their trust after convincing them to appear in an ad during Carole Baskin’s appearance on TV). Dancing with the stars) to represent Exotic, and try to call all those who have supported him to rally to protect him.

But just as Exotic’s case seems to be about to turn in his favor, the season comes to an abrupt end, suggesting that somewhere down the road, like it or not, we can expect a Tiger King season 3. Goode and Chaiklin then tag in an epilogue that’s almost like an afterthought, revealing a possibly happier future for all of the captured big cats from Stark, Lowe, and Exotic.

That epilogue at least speaks to the sense of purpose that the rest of the season lacks. Tiger King is trash, but season 1 sheds some light on some disturbing animal abuse and season 2 shows some good has been done because of it. But the ending is also filled with self-congratulations – as is the opening of the season, honoring the huge audience the series drew when everyone was suddenly stuck at home last year, worried for any What kind of interesting experiences are shared.

In addition, the filmmakers ended up reducing some of the most frustrating elements from their first. Once again, they allowed their subjects to serve unsubstantiated accusations of criminal conduct as slurs. They turn the lives and deaths of real people into the content of television plays, leaving viewers laughing, gaping, and scrutinizing.

In episode 1, at least, it seems Tiger King will self-criticize, learn how the series’ subjects have handled their emerging popularity – this in some cases means there are creepy hate comments aimed at them, online and in public. (Carole Baskin, the most criticized, notably did not sit down for a new interview this season, and currently suing Netflix for including her.) Some of the most provocative moments of the new episodes go back to the idea that sudden celebrity can blur the line between fact and fiction, like when Don’s family Lewis offers advice on his disappearance, and it’s sure to be inundated with calls from people wanting to share the theory they’ve developed just from watching Tiger King.

Joe Exotic and family in a file photo seen in Tiger King 2

Joe Exotic and his family in the Tiger King 2 photo file
Photo: Netflix

And sure enough, the team behind this show still have a feeling their fans want to see some weirdness, whether it’s a psychic hired by Don Lewis’ family as he walks around the place. which he swears is the place where Lewis was killed, or is it Jeff Lowe building a little strip club in the middle of his zoo, complete with a hot tub set when “Shaq and Flav” visit. The people in this microcosm are still extremely attractive – and perhaps none other than Tim Stark, who has been likened to the poster child for American life in the 2020s “live free and die”, because he insists that no one can tell him what he can and can’t do with any animal he owns.

Season 1, however, stacked all of these quirky ducks in a well-ordered row, telling a story with carefully timed passages at the end of nearly every episode. Season 2, on the other hand, continues some parts of that story and just repeats others, randomly staging all of these loosely connected parts over the course of 200 minutes or so. Maybe we need the federal government to step in again. Can someone please come along and unleash the more interesting parts of Tiger King?

Part 2 of Tiger King currently streaming on Netflix.

https://www.polygon.com/22788079/tiger-king-2-review-netflix-joe-exotic | Tiger King 2 review: Joe Exotic story continues, not much new information to report

Aila Slisco

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