Kate McKinnon roars in trailer for Tiger King-based series Joe vs. Carole – CNET

Kate McKinnon roars in trailer for Tiger King-based series Joe vs. Carole – CNET

Video screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET

You didn’t forget about Tiger King, did you? The wildly popular seven-episode Netflix series captured viewers’ attention back in the early pandemic days of 2020, bringing news of spin-offs, remakes, sequels and specials. One of the most notable, Joe vs. Carole, stars Saturday Night Live’s Kate McKinnon as Joe Exotic’s nemesis, Carole Baskin, with John Cameron Mitchell as Joe himself. On Thursday, Peacock dropped the first full trailer from the series, which streams on March 3. 

Carole Baskin, big-cat rescuer, is allergic to cats? Isn’t that a cat-astrophe for her chosen career? Seems evident this series is going to give viewers a lot more Baskin than the original show. And as played by McKinnon, Baskin seems a lot less hippy-dippy flower girl, and a lot more like a rival who’s ready to fight back against Joe Exotic, claws unsheathed.

The Joe Exotic-Carole Baskin feud is pretty well-known at this point. Baskin owns Big Cat Rescue, a Florida nonprofit animal sanctuary, and Joe (real name: Joseph Maldonado-Passage) used to own an exotic-animal park in Oklahoma. He’s now serving a 22-year prison sentence for animal abuse and attempting to hire someone to kill Baskin. Baskin herself has a complicated past, too. Her second husband, Don Lewis, disappeared in 1997, never to be found.

It remains to be seen if everyone is so over the Tiger King phenomenon — last year, follow-up documentary Tiger King 2 came and went with none of the buzz of the first series — but it’s fun seeing McKinnon and Mitchell chewing the scenery, tiger-style. There’s no way anything based on the lurid events of Tiger King is going to be subtle, so prepare to sit back and enjoy these two magnetic actors going at it. 

Leave a Reply