The past few weeks have been a stressful time filled with uncertainty. Obviously, a global pandemic has taken over our country and completely shut everything down. So, with everyone stuck in their homes, sports and other events cancelled it has become necessary to find another source of entertainment that everyone can enjoy.The Netflix documentary, Tiger King, starring zookeeper, Joe Exotic has gone completely viral just a few weeks after being released. The show details the life of Joe and the 200 big cats that he owns, but it also illuminates the murder for hire that he is accused of being a part of. Although the plot is intriguing, it is the humor that the show provides that has helped unite many in these difficult times.
The seven-part documentary was released on March 22 and within a week it rose to be the number one show on Netflix. The popularity of the series spread quickly and it filled a void for many people. Particularly, the younger generation that is prominent on social media. Prior to the coronavirus, timelines were filled with hot takes on sports, popular culture, politics etc. but now those things have taken a backseat to the devastating news of the pandemic. Social media in many ways is a very apoplectic and sad place filled with constant negativity and the coronavirus has only amplified that, but Tiger King has brought a new life to the social media environment. Timelines have become full of memes and debates about the show and it seems that mostly everyone can agree the people in the documentary are absolutely hilarious. It is the humor in the show that has become a uniting force for so many. So many people are watching the documentary and the hilarious nature of characters like Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin and become something that friends and strangers alike can bond over.There is almost a cycle for the show. One person watches and then they talk about it on social media which attracts others to watch it and then they begin sharing their thoughts on social media. It has become something that people have in common and something that people can enjoy, critique, or hate together as a group. People could watch any show on Netflix, but they are choosing tiger king because they are seeing their friends and other random people constantly laughing about it on the internet.
The show has become so popular that it has even reached the White House. On the morning of April, 9th, a reporter asked the President a question about Joe Exotic during a press conference. This seems to be something a journalist should not do, especially in trying times, but it garnered a laugh from those present in the press conference, and from thousands of others that watched the clip on social media. This is the perfect example to show that Tiger King has brought people together. Asking the question to the President may seem immature, but I think it illuminates the fact that everyone is looking for an outlet from the constant devastation that the pandemic has brought upon us. Moreover, it illustrates that everyone can enjoy the hilarity of the show. From a college students stuck in his house all the way to the President, Tiger King, has become a common bond in a time of despair.