The third volume in the Docalogue series, this book explores the significance of the documentary series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness (2020), which became 'must-see-TV' for a newly captive audience during the global Covid-19 pandemic.
The series – a true-crime, tabloid spectacle about a murder-for-hire plot within the big cat trade – prompts interesting questions about which documentaries become popular in particular moments and why. However, it also raises important questions related to the medium specificity of documentary in the streaming era, as well as the ethics of both human and animal representation. By combining five distinct perspectives on the Netflix documentary series, this book offers a complex and cumulative discourse about Tiger King’s significance in multiple areas including, but not limited to, animal studies, queer theory, genre studies, labor relations, and digital culture.
Students and scholars of film, media, television, and cultural studies will find this book extremely valuable in understanding the significance of this larger-than-life true-crime documentary series.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The spectacle of Tiger King
Chapter 1: Captive audiences: quarantining with Tiger King
Hannah Boast and Nicole Seymour
Chapter 2: Netflix’s docuseries style: generic chaos and affect in Tiger King
Jorie Lagerwey and Taylor Nygaard
Chapter 3: #carolebaskinkilledherhusband: the gender politics of Tiger King meme culture
Chapter 4: Labor, celebrity, and the carnivalesque world of Tiger King
Chapter 5: "I’m in a cage": a historical perspective on Tiger King’s animals
Jaimie Baron is Associate Professor of Film Studies at the University of Alberta. She is author of two books, The Archive Effect: Found Footage and the Audiovisual Experience of History (2014) and Reuse, Misuse, Abuse: The Ethics of Audiovisual Appropriation in the Digital Era (2020), as well as numerous journal articles and book chapters. She is also the director of the Festival of (In)appropriation, a yearly international festival of short experimental found footage films and videos.
Kristen Fuhs is Associate Professor of Media Studies at Woodbury University. She writes about documentary film, the American criminal justice system, and contemporary celebrity, and her work has appeared in journals such as Cultural Studies; the Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television; and the Journal of Sport & Social Issues.