Dear Tiger King,
I think we should see other people. It’s not you, it’s me. Well, it’s partially you. Things started out so easy, so fun, so simple. My first experience with you was lighthearted, crazy, bizarre. We first met Joe Exotic, Doc Antle, Carole “Freakin” Baskin. It was mysterious, fun. There were big amputees, rednecks, drugs, gay marriage, country music and most importantly, tigers. The first episodes truly razzled and dazzled like no other show I had ever seen before.
But the honeymoon period didn’t last. It couldn’t last. It’s not your fault, you’re a Netflix show, you’re bound to be good in the first half then get bogged down in needless drama and senseless convolution. There was no reason for all the drama between Jeff and Joe. Joe losing both his husbands was nothing short of depressing. It pains me to admit it, but it was here I realized I was falling out of love.
Polygamy never loses its shock value, and seeing Joe with his two husbands and Doc Antle with his five (or more) wives was jawdropping, but watching the legal battle between Joe and Carole tore away at my love for you. Seeing the alleged proof that Carole killed her husband sizzled and flared, but the accusations that Joe embezzled money elicited yawns and eye rolls. The infatuation you drew in the first few episodes was impossible to maintain throughout the show. That isn’t fair to you.
Tiger King, you were perfect except for one detail: you introduced too many characters more than halfway through the show, each of whom was essential to putting Joe in jail. The relationship between Joe and the man he is accused of paying to murder Carole Baskin was never really fleshed out, leaving doubt in whether or not it ever happened. The majority of the conflict in the second half feels forced, without reason, and overall just depressing.
By the end I realized that our continued relationship was more work than it was love. I wanted to finish the show so bad even though you had become stagnant and stale. The thrill was gone, it was like a worn out recording of a favorite song.
Tiger King, I know you will make someone very happy one day. That person might not be me, however. Maybe one day Netflix will make a show that has a good first and second half. But I just don’t think you’re ready for a serious relationship where you actually deliver in the second half. Maybe you’ll find someone who is so in love with tigers, guns, gays and lawsuits that they won’t care about your (somewhat major) issues.
So, farewell, Joe Exotic, farewell same-sex polygamy, farewell Carole Baskin and farewell to her obviously murdered husband. Farewell to this libertarian paradise where old men ride elephants, casino owners buy wildlife zoos and the police don’t come knocking. Farewell to the show that briefly captured America’s heart but couldn’t keep it for more than the first three episodes. Farewell, Tiger King, we look forward to the next distraction as loud and sexy as you.