Seriously, this might be the best documentary I’ve ever seen.
Joe Exotic gained notoriety in 2016 when he was covered by John Oliver as a 3rd party candidate for President. His video introduction is below. I recommend it for everyone not at work.
Yes, there is Joe Exotic. The polygamous, polyamorous, broke, gay, kinky-sex loving, drug using, gun-toting, big-cat-raising redneck who wants to run the USA. If you skipped the video and just read that description, I bet you’re intrigued. Well, so was everyone else. Then, everyone was surprised… or not… by Joe Exotic being arrested for hiring a person to murder one of his rival big cat rescue owners. This story is ostensibly about Joe Exotic’s downfall, but it’s so much more than that.
I can only imagine that Rebecca Chaiklin and Eric Goode, the filmmakers behind this must be the luckiest people in the industry. After the first series of conversations and interviews with the people involved in this story, the documentarians must have gone home, popped every bottle of wine, and toasted to finding the most absolutely insane group of people that were not just willing, but yearning, to confess their sins on camera.
When I started the series, I had imagined it would be a slow build up towards the presidential campaign and the eventual murder-for-hire trial that brought Joe Exotic to national news. I could not possibly have known that those are nowhere near the most insane stories contained in this documentary. While Joe is the focus of the show, it’s really the fact that everyone involved in his industry is, for lack of a better term, bat-sh*t crazy. Every episode just reveals another, more insane layer of the story. There is no slow build, it starts off with a heavy dose of eccentricity, quickly dives to madness, and swims around in the demented pool of the Big Cat culture until you’re almost questioning your own reality because you share it with these people.
This show is, hands down, the best documentary I’ve seen, because it features not only a cast of colorful characters, but an amount of archive footage and evidence that make you feel like you were living through all of the bombshells which have been detonated around Joe Exotic. I cannot stress how much you need to see this show if you have any interest in trashy television. I lost track of time watching it, because it just keeps drawing you deeper down this rabbit hole of Tigers, drugs, cults, murder, and depravity.
If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All Time, Collection of TV Episodes, Collection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.
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