Tiger King

Madie McPherson, Opinion Writer

Netflix’s Tiger King. When I first heard about it, I genuinely found the premise so stupid until I watched the first episode, and from there it was history. I got caught up in watching the rest of the episodes and trying to figure the possible reason why this show is such a success. Why during this time of uncertainty and quarantine, Netflix decided to release it knowing it would either flop or be a huge trend, but why now? I won’t include any spoilers, as this isn’t a review, but the overall goal of the show seems to prey on humans seeing these otherworldly ‘celebrities’ and their lifestyle and what is considered a normal livelihood for them, with supposed true-crime elements being involved. Keeping in mind that while watching this show, the lifestyle I have grown up with in North Dakota is different from that of those in Tiger King because it’s just a different mindset, which is chill, but I had to remind myself of this while watching because at some points, I found it interesting but yet also so… mind-boggling. Comparing this show to other true-crime series on Netflix, it’s also a show that explores a different realm of true-crime that, personally, I would have never even considered being classified as true-crime.


To elaborate, usually when true-crime series or documentaries are released, the people and the subject matter of the story being told are relatively well-known, and/or have been somewhat publicly popular for a period of time, enough that the story was made for television. At least, with past series that has seemed to be the case (with what I personally watch). However, “Tiger King” utilizes entertainment with a mocking twist to the story. I don’t remember (as of recently), laughing at certain parts of a true-crime series because of what I am watching or what the people in the show are doing. I also do not remember a series of this kind as a trending topic around the world while the show is being released and watched around the world. It’s always people saying no spoilers, watching and then releasing the torrent of comments and ideas they have while sharing with everyone around the world their thoughts and conspiracies. With “Tiger King,” there has seemed to be a consensus as to the things discussed, and so many people don’t even seem to question the subject matter of the show (basing this from what I have seen on social media and of my own watching with friends). Because of this, people have moved on to making memes and jokes about the series, while still sharing conspiracies, but they have reached a consensus as to what possibly happened and why it did.


Overall, “Tiger King” as entertainment during troubling times and in general is probably positive because it makes light of the super heavy, underlying topics being discussed in the show. On top of this, the world could use some distraction during generally hard times. But when it comes to the legitimate heavy topics that are indirectly addressed with the guise of comedy over it, it’s a problem. It is shows like this that bring humor above serious topics that make some stories unbelievable to watch or take seriously, even if the topic of the show is widely known.