Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is everything you’ve heard it is and more: a jaw-dropping roller coaster stretching from Florida to Oklahoma with enough twists and turns to snatch your wig clean off. Since premiering March 20, the Netflix docu-series has become an unrivaled internet obsession, and it’s queer as hell in every sense. Sure, its title character Joe Exotic is gay, and his polyamorous romantic life is eventful enough to warrant its own spinoff. But the queer pleasures of Tiger King go way beyond any one character’s sexuality.

For one, Tiger King is “queer” in the sense of being so odd that no one could possibly have made it up. However out of hand the real world seems to get every day, Tiger King has it beat (undoubtedly part of its massive current appeal). And in so many other ways, the series defies imagination. Its looks are off the wall, the tea is scaling hot, and its reveals are like an endless succession of Russian dolls and the last one is Katya Zamolodchikova.

Here’s why we have no choice but to stan:

The Looks

Not since Liberace has an adult man looked so much like a guest of the Mad Hatter’s if he were serving ketamine instead of tea and blasting Dua Lipa remixed by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Never mind that Joe Exotic’s style, which Vogue describes as “cowboy drag filtered through a lens of bad taste and shrooms,” is surprisingly on trend. It’s too early to rule out a cerulian-style trickle-down of Joe’s loud prints, cropped goatee, and hetero-core shades. As for hairstyles that scream DIY, it doesn’t get louder than a bleach-blonde mullet.

More vicious than their rivalry over caging wild beasts is Joe and Carol Baskin’s battle for Best Dressed. Both of their closets are filled with as many feline prints as a costume trailer on the set of Cats. Though Joe prefers going commando himself, he designs and sells his own line of tiger-print undies. Carol and her husband don matching headpieces with their faces peeking through the mouths of stuffed cats. They’re either ready for walk-on parts in Broadway’s Lion King or a bout of Jungle Book cosplay (Jared Leto, for one, feels inspired). Either way, it’s tens across the board for Joe and Carol — the winner is too close to call.



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