If you were to ask me a week ago, what’s my favorite docu-series? The answer is Wild Wild Country. The reason for this was just how insane the story was. By the end of each episode, I would always say “this can’t get worse” and then it does. In doing so, it created a must-see series that I thought couldn’t be replicated. Then Netflix says “hold my beer” and drops Tiger King.
I’m not sure if I can break this series down because it’s not just one story. Because this is more of an anthology of unbelievability based around people that own big cats and run private zoos. The series follows stories of animal abuse, bouts with PETA, conspiracies, attempted murder, murder, and even cults. It had me constantly saying “wait, WHAT!?” at the turns in this story. It would be like being blindfolded and placed on a roller coaster you had no knowledge of.
The series is focused around three major characters.The first is Carole Baskin, who is an animal rights activist that runs Big Cat Rescue in Florida. Then there’s Bhagavan “Doc” Antle who operates The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species in South Carolina. And lastly, Joe Exotic, who operated the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma. Each one of these individuals is a true character that could not be made up. Each of these characters has its own set of drama and history, but if you made a Venn diagram owning exotic animals would be the overlapping point.
The series establishes each of these characters and who they are in the exotic animal world. Then the series progresses through the drama that seems unfathomable. But yet it all insanely happened and shows even more characters along the way. The filmmaker, Eric Goode, has been following this story for over five years.
It’s like a mix of Wild Wild Country and Fyre. This train wreck that you have to watch that continues to get worse as it climaxes to Joe Exotic seeking out to hire a hitman. It’s understandable that it’s become the most talked-about news in entertainment circles. To the point where Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister has stated that he is looking for evidence around Carole Baskins’s missing ex-husband. Meanwhile, Netflix has announced they are making a new episode that features another character in the series featuring Jeff Lowe. ID Network has announced the creation of a new series that looks more into the criminal activity and various accusations in the series. So it’s safe to say that this series has more stories to tell.
I give this story a 5 out of 5. It covers a topic that has never been covered before. It doesn’t cast judgement to anyone that’s suspected of any crime, leaving it to the viewer to make a decision. It also does hint at the larger picture of owning exotic animals instead of caring for these animals in their natural habitat. So get on board now and check out the series everyone won’t shut up about.