Review: The Tiger King and I is disappointing

“The Tiger King and I” may change your perspective of the show, but wasn’t nearly as interesting.


Comedian Joel McHale interviewing Rick Kirkham, who was at the zoo for the majority of filming, in “The Tiger King and I.”

Anna Woodward, Online Managing Editor

On Easter, an aftershow to the extremely popular Tiger King was released. The episode was a 40-minute long series of interviews with those closest to Joe Exotic during the show’s filming, such as his ex-husband John Finlay and ex-business partner Jeff Lowe. The episode was hosted by Joel McHale and I was excited to watch it, but wasn’t satisfied. While I enjoyed watching the episode, it seemed like an excuse to just milk the series more.

I liked that we got to see what happened to the cast after the show ended, especially since some were unhappy with how they were portrayed. It was different and nice to see some of the cast looking much more put-together and frankly happier than they did on the show. I appreciated that about “The Tiger King and I”, but that was the only thing I really liked.

The episode was a series of questions that were basic: things like “who would you want to play you in a movie of Tiger King?”, “do you still trust Joe?” or “what are you doing now?”. I understand that these are things that you ask people that suddenly have been put in the spotlight, but I don’t think a whole episode of it was necessary.

We learned some things about Exotic and what really happened at the zoo—which I won’t include as to not spoil it—and these definitely caught my attention. I did feel like this episode talked more about what truly goes on behind the scenes, some of it shocking and some not. However, it wasn’t anything that stood out to me as fascinating when I recap the episode. While hearing some of the stories made me look at Exotic in a different light, it didn’t “make” the episode for me.

Another thing I want to note is that some of the interviewees described the documentary as “sensationalized”, which I can definitely see. It was interesting to hear this opinion of the show and if I rewatch Tiger King I’ll definitely keep that in consideration.

Frankly, the aftershow was overhyped and I would’ve liked to see extra footage or something besides 40 minutes of interviews. It was definitely interesting, but it wasn’t worth a whole episode. It just felt like Netflix was trying to get as much money and video as they could out of the cast, when it wasn’t nearly as interesting as any of the other episodes. If you’re a fan of Tiger King with nothing else to do, it’s worth watching, but honestly you could go with or without it.