Tiger King 2 review: Latest adventures of Joe Exotic and co drop on Netflix today

Joe Exotic is in prison, and whining about a miscarriage of justice in the new five-part series
Tiger King 2 review: Latest adventures of Joe Exotic and co drop on Netflix today

Joe Exotic contributes to Tiger King 2 from prison. 

I'd say Joe Exotic is happy to have something in common with ABBA. Yes he was sentenced to 22 years in prison last year for, among other things, conspiring to murder his arch-enemy and animal rights activist, Carole Baskin. But judging by the second season of Tiger King (Netflix), he’ll still cling to anything that will get him into the limelight. Even if it’s negative.

Because Joe and ABBA should have gone out on a high. But instead they came back for one more lick of the celebrity lollipop and it doesn’t look like it will end well.

ABBA are behind a comeback concert in London where people are paying more than £100 a ticket to watch four quasi- holograms of them blasting out the tunes. But that still feels like better craic than the new season of Tiger King ( referred to on Netflix as Tiger King 2) . Because if the opening episode is anything to go by, this is thin gruel.


                            
                                Carole Baskin is Joe's arch nemesis. 
Carole Baskin is Joe's arch nemesis. 

In fairness, it’s a decent summary of season one. A former police chief opens a private wildlife park, changes his name to Joe Exotic and marries his two boyfriends in one ceremony . Carole Baskin highlights unethical mistreatment of big cats at his place, so Joe spreads a rumour that she did in her second husband and fed him to the tigers. Some equally batshit things happen and it’s no surprise when Carole appears on Dancing with the Stars. The whole thing felt like a warning sign at the entrance to America. But it struck a nerve at the start of lockdown in March 2020, and 64 million households watched in the first month.

T he big problem with Tiger King 2 is that Joe is in prison. The new footage of him is a grainy image of his face from the nose-up, whining about a miscarriage of justice. It’s not that I want to know if he actually did conspire to kill Carole Baskin —  it’s that I don’t care.

I wouldn’t mind if they all went to prison. It doesn’t help that a chunk of the opening episode is about Joe and his team’s effort to get Donald Trump to give him a presidential pardon. Just as I was starting to forget about Trump, they bring him back up again.


                            Tiger King 2: a chunk of the opening episode is about Joe and his team's effort to get Donald Trump to give him a presidential pardon
Tiger King 2: a chunk of the opening episode is about Joe and his team's effort to get Donald Trump to give him a presidential pardon

The press notes for Season Two are headlined with ‘We’ve only scratched the surface'.  That smacks of desperation.

The point of season two is, apparently, to find out what really happened to Carole Baskin’s second husband, Don Lewis. That’s grand for one episode of a true crime podcast, but I can’t see it keeping us awake over the five episodes on offer here.

Tiger King worked the first time out because we wanted something addictive and grotesque to distract us from lockdown. But now we’re sick of the pandemic and Donald Trump. We want something lighter, that lights up the positive side of the human condition. You won’t find much of that in Tiger King 2. Give me a hologram of ABBA any day.

 

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