Who would have thought that amid a pandemic, the binding agent of America would be a documentary starring a self-proclaimed “gay, gun-toting, cowboy” from Oklahoma?
The Netflix series may have officially debunked the phrase ‘stranger things have happened’ while confirming ‘truth is stranger than fiction.’ It does not get any stranger than the eight-episode mini-series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness.
Arguably no cast of characters is more offbeat than those who inhabit the subculture of big cat ownership. The most eccentric and misguided of them all is Joseph Schreibvogel Maldonado-Passage or as he’s more widely known, Joe Exotic.
Surrounding characters include conmen, cult leaders, ex-convicts, drug addicts, and hitmen. Please note that the term ‘documentary’ is used loosely for this series. These are real people (believe it or not) and we do witness real events. However, the portrayal is clearly bent towards sensationalism, something that not even the zoo/animal sanctuary owners were not aware of until filming concluded.
What’s it about?
The show primarily follows the shenanigans of roadside zoo owner Joe Exotic from his property in Wynnewood, Oklahoma to his prison cell (not much of a spoiler considering Exotic narrates from behind bars in the first episode). The land he purchased was formerly a horse farm. Exotic acquired the property in the 90s with money received related to his brother’s death, caused by complications after he had been in a car accident.
The G.W. Zoo was named in his honor. Joe used the land to house lions, tigers, and other animals. It’s been said that the horses that remained on the farm when it was purchased were fed to the big cats. Their choice of food eventually devolved to meat products rejected by Walmart.
The story gradually becomes less about what happens at the G.W. Zoo; horrific accidents, music videos, a reality show, and even a political campaign, to a murder scheme. Not to mention Joe’s husbands, yes plural, two were featured in the show but he is rumored to have been wed five times, legally or otherwise. More on that later. What we see most is the murder-for-hire plot Joe incited against his rival Carole Baskin.
Who is Carole Baskin?
The current meme queen. Hers is the face that is saturating the Internet. The blonde hair and animal print clothing. Baskin, 58, married to Howard Baskin, her second husband after her first husband “Don” Lewis disappeared, more on that and how they met later. She is an animal rights activist and owner of Big Cat Rescue, a non-profit animal sanctuary near Tampa, Florida.
Her thoughts on Tiger King:
“When the directors…came to us five years ago they said they wanted to make the big cat version of ‘Blackfish‘ (the documentary that revealed abuse at SeaWorld) that would expose the misery caused by the rampant breeding of big cat cubs for cub petting exploitation and the awful life the cats lead in roadside zoos and back yards if they survive.” (Bigcatresue.org)
Big Cat Blackfish is not what happened. What Netflix gave us during our #stayhomesavelives sentencing was drama to an absurd degree. Baskin went after Exotic for animal abuse and Exotic went after Baskin because he was convinced she killed her first husband Don Lewis and fed him to the tigers. Lewis was declared legally dead after his 5-year-disappearance which left Carole with his fortune. She met Lewis in her late teens while walking alone at night. Lewis circled the block in his car until she got in. The truth is stranger than fiction. She made it her mission to put Joe Exotic out of business and so, Joe thought it best if she were dead.
“I’m involved in a federal murder-for-hire plot. Who’ da thought? Just because I stopped by to feed a bear one day.”-Reinke, former zoo Manager
Bankruptcy due to legal battles with Baskin led Exotic to seek the help of Jeff Lowe. His last name sums up his standard of integrity. The conman fooled Exotic while exploiting tiger cubs himself. Meanwhile, one of Joe’s husbands, Travis Maldonado, suffered a horrific accident witnessed by the manager of his running for Governor of Oklahoma campaign. John Finlay, 59, now ex-husband of Exotic, left the three-way marriage for a woman. Low-life Lowe found Allen Glover, handyman and hitman, willing to eliminate Baskin. Glover lied, took the money and ran.
How exactly did Joe end up in a cage serving twenty-two years? Was it his second or third husband-it’s hard to keep track-who was convicted of murder? Finlay and Maldonado were both young when they married Exotic and both admitted they were heterosexual on camera. What about “Doc” Antle, owner of Myrtle Beach Safari, home of the largest liger and apparent feline-themed sex-cult? That’s a series in and of itself.
Tiger King now streaming on Netflix.
What Happened to Levi on ‘La Brea’?
La Brea Season 2 returned from its midseason hiatus on Jan. 31, but fans were quick to point out that one major character was missing from the double-dose of episodes: Levi Delgado (played by Nicholas Gonzalez).
Immediately after the episode aired, questions began to pour in with fans asking what happened to Levi and if we’ll see him again.
The answer—maybe….possibly. After all, anything is possible on La Brea, right?
As for what happened to Levi, well, if you’ll recall during the La Brea fall finale, Levi and Eve (Natalie Rea) parted ways in 1988. Eve’s heart has been torn between Levi and her estranged husband, Gavin (Eoin Macken) for quite some time, especially after it was revealed that Gavin’s visions—the one that led to their split and pushed her into Levi’s arms—were real all along. This caused a lot of guilt for Eve, and that guilt eventually played into her decision to leave Levi behind and follow her family back to 10K B.C.
In the final moments spent in 1988, Gavin’s mother informed him that they had to go back to 10K B.C. to upload a virus that would shut down the portal that was causing catastrophes like the sinkholes, including the one set to open in Los Angeles in just a few days.
Of course, if they damaged the time machine, they would never be able to leave 10K B.C. again, which meant everyone had a pretty tough choice to make. Except for Eve, who didn’t really have a choice. Choosing to stay behind with Levi meant that she would be turning her back on her family and potentially never seeing them again. All her kids have ever wanted was the family back together, so her decision was made with them in mind. While I’m sure on some level, she also considered her relationship with Gavin, she ultimately made the jump back to keep her family intact.
And that meant leaving behind Levi, who decided he was going to stay in the ’80s and make a life for himself. If you think about it, it was the only decision that made sense for him considering there was a slim chance of living a decent life in 10K B.C. And it wouldn’t be wise to go back down there and risk your life with a woman who was one foot into the relationship and one foot out. It would be a huge sacrifice to make for Eve without any guarantee that they’d end up together.
Both Levi and Eve seemed in agreement that their romance was over and they parted ways graciously.
At the time of the finale, fans were under the impression that Gavin, Eve, and co. were going to destroy the time machine, which meant destroying any chance of ever seeing Levi again. This was a permanent goodbye in their eyes.
However, once they got back down to 10K B.C., Gavin couldn’t go through with uploading the virus after seeing a vision of Eve dying. His father, James, convinced Gavin that he had a way to fix the portal so that they could use it without causing any more harm to the environment, which also meant that he had a chance at saving Eve from death in the prehistoric ages. Gavin’s love for her has always been very evident, so it’s not surprising that he chose this route.
But his decision also keeps the door open for Levi to return down the line in future episodes.
If there is still a portal to travel between time periods, Levi may not be out of the game just yet.
It’s unclear how or why he would come back to 10K B.C—maybe he’ll come back with more information about the sinkholes and portal, maybe he’ll return after feeling guilty for leaving his friends (Gavin included) behind, or maybe he’ll miss Eve so much that he takes the leap at the first chance he gets.
It’s even possible that Eve finds a way to communicate with him while he’s in 1988, which would keep him around but not in the same time period. Talk about a long-distance relationship.
The point is, I wouldn’t count Levi out just yet. The actor was a huge draw for the show, and while not everyone loved his romance with Eve or the love triangle, I don’t think they’d write him off so quickly, especially without giving Eve and Levi proper closure. If it really is over, Eve needs to be sure of her decision, and again, she only chose to return to 10K B.C. for her family.
There seems to be a hint about Levi’s return with the upcoming episode, set to air on Tuesday, Feb. 14, called “The Return.” The title seemingly alludes to Levi’s return, but the synopsis makes me think that it’s a surefire guarantee.
6 Sexy Shows to Watch for Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day can be celebrated in all sorts of different ways.
Some people bake cookies, others go out for a romantic date, while some do a fun activity with their significant other.
However, this is the first Valentine’s Day under COVID-19 restrictions, which means that you likely don’t have as many fun and romance-filled options as in years prior.
That’s where TV comes in! Regardless if you’re spending February 14 with a significant other or your besties, these are some of the sexiest and steamiest shows to watch on the day that’s all about celebrating L-O-V-E (for friends, family, significant others, and, most importantly, yourself!)
Romance, scandal, drama… Bridgerton has it all! Dubbed the Regency-era Gossip Girl, Netflix’s smash hit and most-watched series is a brilliant and entertaining period piece with enough sex scenes to make you blush. And Regé-Jean Page isn’t bad on the eyes.
Emily in Paris
Emily in Paris, which was just surprisingly nominated for a Golden Globe, hails from Sex and the City creator Darren Star. It’s an airy flick about a millennial named Emily who travels to Paris for a dream job and becomes enamored with the City of Love and the men that want to show her all that it has to offer.
Falling in love requires you to be open, honest, and vulnerable. The American rom-com anthology web series, based on a weekly column published by the New York Times, explores themes of love (romantic, platonic, friendly) with a star-studded cast. The 30-minute episodes are standalone and easily digestible, which makes them the perfect viewing on a night like Valentine’s Day.
What happens when Liza, a 40-year-old single mom, decides to be 26-years old in order to re-enter the working world and falls in love with not one but two very different men? An exciting journey through the world of publishing and heartbreak. As Liza tries to find herself, she does everything in her power to hide her true self from those she’s become most intimate with. It’s another whip-smart Darren Star creation!
Two sisters, Beth and Annie, along with best friend Ruby find themselves embroiled in a dangerous life of crime after robbing a grocery store. Beth, specifically, falls victim to a crime of passion with one sexy “gang friend” that pulls her further and further into his world.
If Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars had a baby, it would be this Spanish-language drama. A private school becomes the scene of a murder after a clash between the rich and poor students. There’s plenty of sexual tension and unexpected turns as detectives try to narrow down the list of suspects.
** Article originally published in February 2021**
Is Bruce Greenwood Leaving ‘The Resident’?
After The Resident Season 6 Episode 9, many fans have been wondering if Bruce Greenwood, who plays Dr. Randolph Bell, is exiting the FOX medical drama.
While there has been no official word about a potential exit, it’s a fair question to ask considering the nature of his most recent storyline.
In the latest episode—which aired on November 29—Bell, who found himself as the target of Governor Betz’s smear campaign, finally admitted to himself, and to his wife, Dr. Kitt Voss, that his MS is progressing.
After Bell exposed Betz’s corruption while trying to secure funding for Chastain, Betz decided that the only way to teach him a lesson and make an example out of him was through revenge. Betz ordered a hit piece on Bell that painted him as a dangerous doctor to Chastain, which, in turn, tainted the hospital’s image.
Of course, while some parts of it were true at one point in Bell’s career, it was largely exaggerated and sensationalized to paint him in a bad light, and it didn’t take into account all the work Bell has done to become a better man and doctor.
The stress of all the negative press caused Bell’s MS to flare up, triggering a variety of symptoms like a high-pitched ringing in his ears, seeing double, and dizziness, which made him realize that he was pushing off the inevitable.
This time around, instead of operating when he shouldn’t, he acknowledged that he no longer felt confident in his abilities, nor did he trust himself to perform any future surgeries. When he told Kit that he needed to go back to the clinical trial, it was a shock, but ultimately, she was supportive because she knew that’s what he needed.
But what now? How will The Resident keep incorporating Bell’s character into the storyline? Will we just see him communicating with Kit from the trial in the same way we did earlier this season? Or will he slowly get phased out and written off?
The trial could prove to be successful again, and all of Bell’s worries could have been for nothing. After he prioritizes his health and the whole thing with Betz blows over, it’s possible we could see Bell return to surgery for many more years—back to his previous glory.
Losing Greenwood would be a huge blow to the series, especially since he’s been part of the series since its inception, however, it remains unclear which direction The Resident will go with this storyline.
Hopefully, we’ll find out in the upcoming season 6 finale, which is set to air on December 6, but as of right now, there’s no indication that Greenwood is exiting the drama.
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