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Old 03-21-2020, 11:57 AM
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Tiger King - new series on Netflix


CNN review: 'Tiger King' is the weird docu-series distraction we can use right now

Wow, this is a pretty wild story involving a bunch of, shall we say, very passionate exotic cat aficionados. The thread running though the story that hit me hardest is the fact that there are more privately-owned tigers in the USA than survive in the wild...and many of them are the result of what are essentially "cub mills" that trade on their value as cute tourist attractions.

Last edited by blondebear; 03-21-2020 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 03-21-2020, 02:04 PM
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We are two episodes in - it is wild , especially the guy whose name means "Lord" in (Indian?) and who makes his tiger interns into his wives. Definitely a great watch for a Friday night quarantine & booze binge !
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Old 03-21-2020, 03:00 PM
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Fans of the series may appreciate Roar:
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Due to the large number of untrained animals on set, there were a reported 48 injuries within two years of the start of filming.[64] It has been estimated that, of Roar's 140-person crew,[43] at least 70 were injured during production.[37] In a 2015 interview, John Marshall said that he believed the number of people injured was over 100.[44]
Nice recap here : ‘Roar’ a movie with 150 untrained lions, what could go wrong?
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Old 03-21-2020, 04:51 PM
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we have a local tiger rescue place. Most interesting fact, you have to stay back at least 8 feet from the fence or you can get pissed on. I saw myself how far they can spray.

https://carolinatigerrescue.org/
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Old 03-22-2020, 10:22 AM
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Saw first 3 episodes last night and it's very good.
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Old 03-22-2020, 11:33 AM
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I've been wanting to watch this but I'm pretty squeamish about animal cruelty.

Should I stay away?


mmm
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Old 03-22-2020, 12:16 PM
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I saw this thread title yesterday and saw the show pop up when I was browsing Netflix last night; is it about Joe Exotic?
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Old 03-22-2020, 12:43 PM
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It is essential that you dig out Louis Theroux's documentary "America's Most Dangerous Pets" before seeing this show.

Louis met the guy years ago when he was profiling people with odd pets. He seemed full-blown nuts back then, no shock he is....well, terrible. I don't see the whole doc online, but you have to dig it out if you can.

This clip does not convey how nuts he came off as.
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Old 03-22-2020, 01:12 PM
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I saw this thread title yesterday and saw the show pop up when I was browsing Netflix last night; is it about Joe Exotic?
Yep, Joe is the main...um, antagonist.

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Originally Posted by Mean Mr. Mustard View Post
I've been wanting to watch this but I'm pretty squeamish about animal cruelty.

Should I stay away?


mmm
Depends on your definition of cruelty, I guess. Most of the animals are pretty well taken care of, but keep in mind, these big cats are born to live and die in captivity. There are a couple of scenes that will probably bother you (like the Zanesville incident), but overall the story focuses on the infighting amongst the human characters.
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Old 03-22-2020, 01:56 PM
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Ah, okay. I remember when that whole thing unfolded a few years back; it was pretty fucked up.
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Old 03-22-2020, 03:21 PM
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the story had another part in January , not sure if that is included as well.
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Old 03-22-2020, 03:38 PM
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Aye; I saw it reported. I'm still gonna watch the doc tho; it sounds like a ripping good one.
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Old 03-25-2020, 04:53 AM
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I've been wanting to watch this but I'm pretty squeamish about animal cruelty.

Should I stay away?


mmm
OK, I watched the first two episodes. It is indeed gripping and I've not yet been traumatized.

Looking forward to the rest.


mmm
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Old 03-25-2020, 11:40 PM
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I've been wanting to watch this but I'm pretty squeamish about animal cruelty.

Should I stay away?


mmm
A core theme [which i don't think is a spoiler] is the argument between factions [?] in the big cat community about whether breeding tigers in captivity and then keeping them in close confines is inherently cruel or an acceptable counter to their being endangered in the wild.* I suspect that where you sit on this question will determine whether what you see on the screen [tigers in close confines] presses your cruelty-alert buttons. Also scenes of carnivorous animals being fed partial carcasses. I know that upsets some as well.

I agree with previous posters who've said this is a mesmerising train-wreck of a human drama. Its what Netflix can do really well done extremely well.


* I think that is a real sideline issue in animal cruelty, but it usefully places the different bods you'll meet in relation to each other. There is not an actual lot of deeper discussion about what constitutes animal cruelty in the show.
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Old 03-26-2020, 11:14 AM
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article about the show has a few spoilers

https://slate.com/culture/2020/03/ne...cumentary.html
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Old 03-26-2020, 10:02 PM
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I've only seen the first episode last night, so take my comments in that context if anything changes, but...

I was stunningly disappointedly with the woman who is the "Big Cat Rescue" owner. She started off as a seeming to be a bit of an eccentric, doing this noble project to protect big cats. Then you find out she's a basically a competitor to him!?!

My opinion of her changed completely when they showed her doing he exact same thing as he does with the exception of taking the animals on the road to malls. All I could think of was what an f-ing hypocritical douchebag!! If it's wrong to charge admission to see the cats, it's wrong. F-you.

That said though, she's is a very clever douchebag. Her ability to cloak herself in virtue and to undermine her competitors by creating fake websites that look independent was brilliant.

Of course, this doesn't alter the fact that Joe is a complete whack job with obvious mental issues, but I was so disappointed in her. If he had his crap together he would have hired a PR agency that way she did to counter-attack.
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Old 03-27-2020, 10:31 AM
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they also show another nutty guy with many big cats who is in Myrtle Beach.
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Old 03-27-2020, 01:22 PM
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I've only seen the first episode last night, so take my comments in that context if anything changes, but...

I was stunningly disappointedly with the woman who is the "Big Cat Rescue" owner. She started off as a seeming to be a bit of an eccentric, doing this noble project to protect big cats. Then you find out she's a basically a competitor to him!?!

My opinion of her changed completely when they showed her doing he exact same thing as he does with the exception of taking the animals on the road to malls. All I could think of was what an f-ing hypocritical douchebag!! If it's wrong to charge admission to see the cats, it's wrong. F-you.

That said though, she's is a very clever douchebag. Her ability to cloak herself in virtue and to undermine her competitors by creating fake websites that look independent was brilliant.

Of course, this doesn't alter the fact that Joe is a complete whack job with obvious mental issues, but I was so disappointed in her. If he had his crap together he would have hired a PR agency that way she did to counter-attack.
I agree with your assessment of her. Another difference is that she doesn't breed the animals (at least not to the point in the series that I've gotten).
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Old 03-27-2020, 06:28 PM
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Not surprising: Slate article reveals songs that are presented as Joe Exotic’s … aren’t.

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They were written and performed by Washington state musicians Vince Johnson and Danny Clinton...they connected with Exotic via an ad looking for someone to write a theme song for his private zoo as well as the in-the-works reality TV show about it...It wasn’t until months later, watching Joe’s videos on YouTube, that Johnson realized Joe was going to “Milli Vanilli” the songs and take full credit for them.
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Old 03-28-2020, 10:34 AM
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I've only seen the first episode last night, so take my comments in that context if anything changes, but...

I was stunningly disappointedly with the woman who is the "Big Cat Rescue" owner. She started off as a seeming to be a bit of an eccentric, doing this noble project to protect big cats. Then you find out she's a basically a competitor to him!?!
It's interesting that the hypocrisy there is never really explored. I suppose there's only room in the show for one eventual villain, but the fact she is doing exactly what she's criticizing other people for is... quite something. The only real difference is she doesn't let people pet the tigers, which of course is a reliable way to significantly reduce the likelihood someone will have their head bitten off, but she's just putting tigers in cages and making money from it so how is she really any different? Her tigers didn't look any happier, and the conditions didn't appear any better.

Tigers in the wild essentially never live together; they range over exclusive territories that are literally miles wide. But maybe they're happy in a reasonably large enclosure, I don't know; the Siberian tigers at the Toronto zoo are a pair that have a place about fifty metres across, and like most cats they seem delighted to lie in the sun all the time so maybe they're content as hell, and the fact that captive breeding is a way to keep these species alive is a compelling case. What I do know, though, is that keeping a lot of them together in one place is probably bad for them, and Big Cat lady didn't seem to have any nicer a place than Joe Exotic.

And she damn well killed her first husband. I don't need to see the last episode to know that (if they ever resolve that.)
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Old 03-28-2020, 11:26 AM
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But where else can they go? Not the wild, too much inbreeding and human interaction. A lot of zoos won't take them.

At least the big cat lady doesn't breed them. To me, that's a enough a difference for me not to feel guilty about watching big cat rescue.
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Old 03-28-2020, 11:39 AM
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People have been convicted of murder even when no body is found. I suppose the cops don't have enough evidence to arrest her or anyone else for the murder.
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Old 03-28-2020, 11:43 AM
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But where else can they go? Not the wild, too much inbreeding and human interaction. A lot of zoos won't take them.

At least the big cat lady doesn't breed them. To me, that's a enough a difference for me not to feel guilty about watching big cat rescue.
I thought in the series it showed that she used to breed them, mostly when with her late (and possibly now tiger meat) husband. So she used to do almost all the things she now fights against. I thought she was a bit hypocritical but I agree with her mostly. I met a tiger handler about 20 years ago and got to spend time with a 4 month cub & some tinier cubs plus saw the adults at the distance. He did not breed, he said he got all of his from rescue because he had a reputation for raising cubs and there was always someone in over their head. Spent about an hour at the place, especially around the 4 month old- who was the size of a pitbull with bigger teeth and about 10 times the energy, and really saw first hand the difference between domestic and wild animals. Tigers are obviously wild but its hard to realize what that means until you see it up close.

I understand you have to do some things to make them easier to handle for vetting and other stuff but really, you just got this feeling that keeping them caged was an obscenity. I generally side on the animal welfare side , not an "animal rights" supporter at all but it just felt wrong and this was a fairly ethical tiger owner that was no where near the level of exploiting his animals like Joe or Carol.
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Old 03-28-2020, 06:21 PM
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A good documentary about exotic pet owners (one in particular): The Elephant in the Living Room.

Netfilx sure seems to think it has a hit on its hands. You can't watch a movie without a Tiger King promo popping up during the credits. I watched the first episode. Unpleasant viewing - I think what got to me most was several scenes of tiger cubs being passed around for park visitors to pose with. Plus the disingenuous self-justification of these people that they are raising public awareness by what they do. They may have mixed motives, but public service ain't one of them.
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Old 03-28-2020, 07:04 PM
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I thought in the series it showed that she used to breed them, mostly when with her late (and possibly now tiger meat) husband. So she used to do almost all the things she now fights against. I thought she was a bit hypocritical but I agree with her mostly. I met a tiger handler about 20 years ago and got to spend time with a 4 month cub & some tinier cubs plus saw the adults ...

I understand you have to do some things to make them easier to handle for vetting and other stuff but really, you just got this feeling that keeping them caged was an obscenity. I generally side on the animal welfare side , not an "animal rights" supporter at all but it just felt wrong and this was a fairly ethical tiger owner that was no where near the level of exploiting his animals like Joe or Carol.
At least, she has stopped breeding, whether it's because she learned better or because she went to a different business model...

I'm not an animal rights supporter at all. But as a cat lover, there's no other choices here. Once these big cats are born, they have to be kept in cages or killed. If you want to keep them alive, then into cages they go. Killing might be kinder, but it'll be a bigger PR problem.
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Old 03-28-2020, 07:38 PM
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I cancelled Netflix a couple years ago, after more than 10 years, because I just wasn't using it any more. Last night, I reactivated it just so I could watch this.

I just finished watching the first episode, and THAT was a doozy.
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Old 03-28-2020, 07:58 PM
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Mrs. Cups and I binged the whole series and I thought it was....ok.

Yeah it was funny to see how weird he is, but there honestly wasn't enough information there to fill a full seven episodes. The first three were great, but after that the story seemed to meander about and belabor the point. It was a seven-part series that could have easily been done in five.

Glad to see other people on this board are noticing Carole Baskin's hypocrisy. Joe was weird AF, but his cages looked WAY bigger and better maintained than hers, at least in the beginning, once he started losing money you could see it go downhill.

It was a fun waste of an evening, and the memes have been spectacular, but overall I'd rate it a 6 or 7 out of 10
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Old 03-28-2020, 08:01 PM
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Mrs. Cups and I binged the whole series and I thought it was....ok.

Yeah it was funny to see how weird he is, but there honestly wasn't enough information there to fill a full seven episodes.
I'd have to agree; while I really enjoyed it, they could easily have made it five episodes and really not lost any content that mattered.
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Old 03-29-2020, 12:11 PM
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There are no scenes of animal cruelty that I recall, except one tiger getting hit with a cane while attacking a man. The animals are really secondary to the plot. Maybe even lower down the list than that.
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Old 03-29-2020, 12:18 PM
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And she damn well killed her first husband. I don't need to see the last episode to know that (if they ever resolve that.)
He was her second husband. And I'm not so sure.
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Old 03-29-2020, 12:27 PM
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I'd have to agree; while I really enjoyed it, they could easily have made it five episodes and really not lost any content that mattered.
I’ve stated it before. That’s the problem with the Netflix documentary model. It promotes bloat. I haven’t seen one documentary series yet that couldn’t have tightened up the editing and dropped an episode or two.
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Old 03-29-2020, 12:34 PM
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One interesting note about Carole. Yes she totally killed her husband and fed him to the tigers. Not that.

They made a point to say her dead husband picked her up on Nebraska Ave. They even mentioned it again later. Nebraska Ave is notorious for being a market for prostitution.
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Old 03-29-2020, 06:25 PM
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One interesting note about Carole. Yes she totally killed her husband and fed him to the tigers. Not that.

They made a point to say her dead husband picked her up on Nebraska Ave. They even mentioned it again later. Nebraska Ave is notorious for being a market for prostitution.
That would explain why he kept rolling around and trying to pick her up again and again. It was a perfectly normal activity from the perspective of a John picking up a streetwalker. It would also explain her apparent willingness to approach his truck and talk to him.

In the short term, it would seem to have paid off for him. He did, after all, get the girl.
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Old 03-29-2020, 07:52 PM
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We've just finished episode 5, and it's pretty captivating. So many wild characters. It reminds us of Don't F*ck with Cats but with a much more compelling story arc.
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Old 03-29-2020, 09:39 PM
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He was her second husband. And I'm not so sure.
Sorry, you're right. Howard is Husband 3.

I'll tell you what; if I were a juror I don't yet have enough to convict her, but I'd feel pretty gross acquitting her. Her blog post refuting "Tigert King" is, with regards to Don Lewis, really unconvincing.
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Old 03-29-2020, 09:57 PM
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We finished the series tonight, it could have been done two episodes ago. But still, a compelling series and a fascinating story.
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Old 03-29-2020, 10:25 PM
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Just today, I was thinking about how similar Joe Exotic is to Donald Trump. I was on a bike ride, just thinking, and I thought how all the Christians that rallied around Trump would also probably rally around someone like Joe Exotic if he ran for President and threw together a few right-wing beliefs.

Tonight, we watched the fifth episode, called Make America Exotic Again and I could not stop laughing at the whole thing. My wife told me she had also already thought about how similar Trump and Exotic were and the whole thing was hilarious.

I can not tell you how enjoyable this whole thing is. We've known about Joe for years ever since Louis Theroux met him years ago.
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Old 03-30-2020, 01:07 AM
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'Tiger King' Joe Exotic files $94 million civil rights lawsuit from prison

https://www.10tv.com/article/tiger-k...rison-2020-mar

from article:
According to court documents, Maldonado-Passage, who is representing himself, wants $78.8 million for 18 years of research, loss of personal property and the care for 200 generic tigers.

The former zookeeper also wants $15 million for false arrest, false imprisonment, discrimination, malicious prosecution, selective enforcement and death of his mother, Shirley Schreibvogel.
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Old 03-30-2020, 04:07 AM
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I haven't seen the show (yet), but I read an in-depth article somewhere a while ago about this whole saga.

The primary overarching lesson was that the people who are attracted to the big cat business are seemingly all just psychologically fucked up.

And con artists.
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Old 03-30-2020, 08:24 AM
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I haven't seen the show (yet), but I read an in-depth article somewhere a while ago about this whole saga.

The primary overarching lesson was that the people who are attracted to the big cat business are seemingly all just psychologically fucked up.

And con artists.
That's probably the primary overarching lesson of the show as well.
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Old 03-30-2020, 08:56 AM
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Joe ran for president in 2016 and also for OK governor in 2018. Both seemed like publicity stunts but he did hire a guy to help run his run for governor.
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Old 03-30-2020, 09:17 AM
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That's probably the primary overarching lesson of the show as well.
Big cats will rip your arm off, and their owners will too.
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Old 03-30-2020, 01:36 PM
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I'd have to agree; while I really enjoyed it, they could easily have made it five episodes and really not lost any content that mattered.
They could have shaved an hour off the total runtime by eliminating all the repeated recorded warnings that an inmate from the Grady County Jail was calling.

My thoughts:
  • Joe is both extremely canny and a blithering idiot. If he hadn't poked the bear (Carole) so many times via social media, I don't think he would have gotten convicted.
  • Lowe (along with his pet henchman Grady) definitely set Joe up. Grady took the money for the "hit" then just wandered over to South Carolina for a paid vacation. You could tell how disgusted he was having to say he "chickened out" on camera.
  • Carole killed her second husband. Really, is there any doubt about that?
  • Carole is also a massive hypocrite; her "zoo" looked much worse than Joe's (or Doc Antle's, or any other "zoo" we saw). The fact she has millions of dollars and still maintains her "zoo" in such squalor is particularly frustrating, given how much she "looooves" the big cats.
  • I've read reports that many of the folks in the documentary (including Doc Antle and Joe's ex-husband John) aren't pleased with how they were depicted on camera. Here's an idea, genius: Don't be filmed in the first place. Or, if you are, don't say crazy things, or don't appear shirtless for the majority of your interviews, or don't open your mouth if you're going to later complain about how your teeth (or lack thereof) look.
  • Seriously, Carole killed her second husband. There were many times she had a look on her face that would make Cersei Lannister cringe.
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Old 03-30-2020, 02:32 PM
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They could have shaved an hour off the total runtime by eliminating all the repeated recorded warnings that an inmate from the Grady County Jail was calling.

My thoughts:
  • Joe is both extremely canny and a blithering idiot. If he hadn't poked the bear (Carole) so many times via social media, I don't think he would have gotten convicted.
  • Lowe (along with his pet henchman Grady) definitely set Joe up. Grady took the money for the "hit" then just wandered over to South Carolina for a paid vacation. You could tell how disgusted he was having to say he "chickened out" on camera.
  • Carole killed her second husband. Really, is there any doubt about that?
  • Carole is also a massive hypocrite; her "zoo" looked much worse than Joe's (or Doc Antle's, or any other "zoo" we saw). The fact she has millions of dollars and still maintains her "zoo" in such squalor is particularly frustrating, given how much she "looooves" the big cats.
  • I've read reports that many of the folks in the documentary (including Doc Antle and Joe's ex-husband John) aren't pleased with how they were depicted on camera. Here's an idea, genius: Don't be filmed in the first place. Or, if you are, don't say crazy things, or don't appear shirtless for the majority of your interviews, or don't open your mouth if you're going to later complain about how your teeth (or lack thereof) look.
  • Seriously, Carole killed her second husband. There were many times she had a look on her face that would make Cersei Lannister cringe.

Pretty much all of that.

Joe is a reprehensible creature but I think he’s better than Doc Antle, Jeff Lowe or Carole Baskin. Joe said “Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest” enough that he should have at least been convicted of terroristic threats but he was totally set up on the more serious charge. I can’t feel too bad about him because his actions led to it but still.

I feel bad for Joe’s employees. Lost souls on starvation wages with no where else to go but they genuinely seemed to care about the animals above everything else. I also feel bad for Carole’s indentured servants working for no money and the hope to get a different colored shirt.

In the big cat world it seems like the most sane one is the convicted drug kingpin who could nonchalantly talk about the murder of a government informant on his property.
  #45  
Old 03-30-2020, 02:49 PM
RickJay is online now
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Originally Posted by Sauron View Post
Joe is both extremely canny and a blithering idiot. If he hadn't poked the bear (Carole) so many times via social media, I don't think he would have gotten convicted.
Most of Joe's eventual large scale problems all come back to his obsession with Carole Baskin. Had he not committed the most slam-dunk case of trademark violation in legal history, he would never have owed her a million dollars. Had he not owed her a million dollars, the legal wrangling and him roping his parents into "owning" his zoo would not have happened, and he would not have had to bring in Jeff Lowe or the fat guy with the weird haircut, and he might have been able to run his zoo and make money until he, too, died in a gun-related accident, which based on his much he respected firearms was gonna happen sooner or later.

Joe is not so much an idiot as he is a man with severe emotional stunting. I'm no psychiatrist but literally nothing about him suggests he is stupid, and yet there are so many things about him that say "something is wrong," if you get my drift. One thing the documentary didn't mention was that he liked to go on daily rants at his employees that could last two or three hours, just huge stream-of-consciousness tirades. That is indicative not of stupidity, but of serious psychological challenges. I'd also point out that his zoo becoming larger than he could manage, to the point the animals were not bieng cared for, is pretty much identical to the story of any animal hoarder with the more conventional affliction of gathering up cats or birds in a house.

I will grant Carole Baskin is a piece of work too, and was after him, but it's rather clear she had no effect on the popularity of GW Zoo. People were still going to pet the tigers. He could have kept making money from it and just ignored her, but he was an immature idiot. There are few things more firmly indicative of a person's emotional maturity than their ability to avoid pointless feuds.

Quote:
Lowe (along with his pet henchman Grady) definitely set Joe up. Grady took the money for the "hit" then just wandered over to South Carolina for a paid vacation.
The show kind of glossed over it but Joe didn't just try to hire Grady, he also tried to hire an FBI agent to kill Carole. I honestly get the sense the show deliberately avoided talking about that to add drama. If the story is "Jeff and Grady say Joe tried to have Carole murdered" the audience is left with some reasonable doubt, because who the hell would trust those assholes? If they had made it clear "oh, and also, Joe offered money to an agent of the FBI and asked HIM to murder Carole," well there isn't much else to say at that point.

This was another area where the documentary could have saved a lot of time. Explaining Joe's attempt to get Grady to kill Carole, and what subsequently happened, should have taken five minutes, and I'm being quite generous. It took thirty or forty, because they kept stating the same facts over and over.

Quote:
Seriously, Carole killed her second husband. There were many times she had a look on her face that would make Cersei Lannister cringe.
Carole Baskin is many things, but a good actress isn't one of them.
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Last edited by RickJay; 03-30-2020 at 02:51 PM.
  #46  
Old 03-30-2020, 06:40 PM
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I have feeling that Carole's (late?) second husband, Don, is worthy of a Netflix series in his own right.

He married his first wife when he was 17 and she was 14, and she wonders why it eventually collapsed? I do know that child marriage was not uncommon at that time (mid-century).

Last edited by nearwildheaven; 03-30-2020 at 06:41 PM.
  #47  
Old 03-31-2020, 02:24 PM
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Did anyone else get pedophile vibes from Doc Antle? Some of his wives/employees said they had been there for years, but didn’t look old enough to have been legal adults when they started “working” for him.
  #48  
Old 03-31-2020, 02:43 PM
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There are no scenes of animal cruelty that I recall, except one tiger getting hit with a cane while attacking a man. The animals are really secondary to the plot. Maybe even lower down the list than that.
I thought that scene at the end of episode 5 where he reached into a birthing den with a pole and removed a newly born cub was incredibly cruel. Those cubs belonged with their mother, not in a playpen being bottle-fed.
  #49  
Old 03-31-2020, 03:04 PM
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Read somewhere the guy making the reality show for Joe is now in Norway "hiding out" but they did not say why he is hiding.
  #50  
Old 03-31-2020, 03:31 PM
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Quick question- why the obsession with tigers (and to a lesser extent lions)? Or put another way, why not leopards? A bit smaller and a far cooler animal (in the wild at least). The show highlights or mentions black panthers and snow leopards a little bit, but the coolest cats (Leopards) are barely mentioned. I know that Cheetahs are notoriously difficult animals.

Are Leopards harder to raise? Smaller litters so not so much $$$ when selling? Able to climb and thus escape more easily? Or do they attack keepers or otherwise more difficult?

Guides in Africa are definitely more in awe of leopards compared to the larger and dirtier lions. And they are spectacular animals in coloring and have a menacing face... so why not the animal park love?
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