fb-pixel Skip to main content

I did not watch season 2 of Netflix’s “Tiger King,” which arrived on Wednesday. And I am not going to review it, even knowing that, if it takes after season 1, it will be a ratings hit spewing out memes and People magazine stories for months to come.

I just don’t need to ingest any more of this toxic mess of a reality show, which encourages us to rubberneck people who are troubled, deluded, harmful, and/or willing to do anything for attention. It continues to gross me out that viewers are willing to transform these ethically challenged and exploitative members of the Big Cat world into famous people.

Advertisement



Haven’t we yet learned why circus sideshows can be dangerous in our culture, why rewarding the most badly behaved with airtime is a big mistake?

This time, the show looks at how the popularity of the first season affected the cast. Joe Exotic is in jail, and Carole Baskin has refused to participate — but then conveniently left readings of her diaries on YouTube for use by the producers. Don’t think anyone is going to start digging deep and honestly reporting out the story, including the 1997 disappearance of Baskin’s second husband, Don Lewis. The show is not true crime so much as truly a crime.


Matthew Gilbert can be reached at matthew.gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.