TIGER KING PARENT REVIEW
Tiger King is the current “it” show on Netflix. You’re probably wondering if this is something you can watch with your family. Is Tiger King safe for kids? Is this show about Joe Exotic kid-friendly? This parent TV review will help you decide what ages are good to go to watch Tiger King. Look, it’s not just about funny Tiger King memes… so read this before you let the kids view this one. Maybe try the Tiger King coloring sheets and activity pages instead.
What Is Tiger King About?
The short answer is just like the title says: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.
Long answer: meet Joe Exotic, gay polygamist big cat zoo owner who also ran for president in 2016. Oh, he’s also a country music singer (because of course).
A rivalry between big cat eccentrics takes a dark turn when Joe Exotic, a controversial animal park boss, is caught in a murder-for-hire plot.
Is Tiger King Kid Friendly? Parent Review
As a basic review of the story behind Tiger King: it’s WILD, man.
When the most normal/sane character in the entire docuseries is the guy who was the inspiration for Tony Montana in “Scarface,” you can bet this show is going to be a roller coaster and filled with all kinds of borderline insane moments.
The entire series was shot over 5 years and covers a lot of ground. As a docuseries, the visuals, the production and the packaging of this story were incredibly well done.
It is a compelling watch and something that just might take your mind off why 6 hours of your life are being devoted to a morally corrupt cast of characters.
We swing through the years hitting on such highlights as Joe’s gay-but-not-gay husbands to their drug use to trolling a rival in Florida to finally landing in prison for attempting a murder for hire.
Would I say it’s good? Would I say it’s a favorite show? I can’t quite go there since it’s just so incredibly wild and unbelievable. But that is why you’ll watch it: a sense of escapism is needed in this time and in 2020, knowing you are 180 degrees away from being Joe Exotic is it.
But is Tiger King safe for kids to watch? What ages should you consider it? Here is my Tiger King parent review.
Is Tiger King Safe For Kids?
First thing to note: Tiger King is rated TV-MA. So the short answer to the safe for kids question is going to be no, especially if they are younger than middle school age.
But would older teens and tweens be ok to watch Tiger King? Read on to decide if this one is kid-friendly for your household.
Language in Tiger King
Just about everything about Joe Exotic is colorful- including his language.
And since this is a docuseries, these aren’t actors saying lines. They are using all the four-letter words imaginable throughout the 7-episode series in real-time usage.
Even if you are pretty permissive about language, the context matters and I’d advise keeping that in mind before letting the kiddos sit down with you.
Sex In Tiger King
While we don’t have any overt nudity, we do have shirtless men and bikini-clad women throughout the show.
Showing some skin doesn’t make this a deal-breaker, but again with the context: extremely adult situations are discussed throughout.
And sometimes in fairly graphic details: I don’t think the language will “go over their heads” in this show.
If you don’t want to explain the details of multiple partners or what a Prince Albert piercing is (go ahead, Google if you need to), then you probably don’t want to let your children watch Tiger King.
Violence In Tiger King- Animal Cruelty and Suicide Trigger Warning
Animals that should never be caged are caged throughout this show.
And at times, in order to ensure their own safety, the humans do strike or even shoot at the animals. There’s one instance where a worker loses an arm and it is covered (not the actual attack, but the aftermath) on screen.
When you are dealing with the whole world of animal cruelty and big game cats, this is a controversial subject that is not shied away from in this docuseries. There is discussion of euthanizing animals and even finding buried bones as well.
Guns are also all over the place in this Oklahoma based docuseries. Guns and explosions and the use of them are rampant.
There is also a shocking suicide sequence in the show. While we do not see the actual death take place on camera, we do see the witness’s reaction in real time as the moment happens.
And that was just about as haunting as if we’d seen the act itself.
Can Teens and Tweens Watch Tiger King?
Overall, I’d say this one is pretty dang adult. While I don’t put a blanket NO for teens out there, the fact that you are reading this post signals that you probably do actually care what they consume.
And for most families, tweens are going to be way too young for the content covered in this Netflix show.
When it comes to teens, your mileage may vary. My oldest are 13, 15 and 17 and they all drifted in and out as I watched the series.
No one sat and watched, but I also didn’t feel I had to shoo them out of the room because they showed no interest.
Can they understand it? Sure.
But do they need to? Nah, man… this show really isn’t for kids.
But I do recognize that we’re dealing with a lot of crazy right now in real life and so there’s no judgment coming from me if your family does watch Tiger King together.
I would absolutely insist that you don’t let them watch this alone as there will be moments they have questions about and even sections you might deem best to fast forward through.
If you aren’t watching with them, you won’t know about all that.
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Patty Holliday is a movie critic, writer, and podcaster living in the Washington, DC area. Her goal is to bridge the gap between casual fandom and picky critic with parent movie and television reviews.