Try The Lion in Your Living Room, Blackfish and Grizzly Man for the animals and Wild, Wild Country, Tickled and The Imposter to scratch that true-crime itch

By Michele Corriston
March 27, 2020 01:07 PM
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Oklahoma zookeeper Joseph Maldonado-Passage, who is also known as “Joe Exotic”
| Credit: JoeExoticTV/Youtube

The two most prevalent topics for (virtual) water-cooler conversations these days? Coronavirus, of course, and Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, Netflix’s roaringly popular docuseries about the battle between rival exotic cat businesses, culminating in a mind-boggling alleged murder-for-hire plot.

If you’re isolated at home and have already made your way through Tiger King‘s seven episodes, here are equally captivating offerings.

The Lion in Your Living Room

We should have all learned by now that keeping a tiger as a pet is … a bad idea. But this one-hour documentary, available with Amazon Prime Video, shares the science of how your regular house cat is connected to wild felines.

Blackfish

A watershed project for animal activists, the 2013 film exposed the abuse of killer whales — and prompted SeaWorld to end its orca breeding program and phase out live shows. It’s streaming now on Hulu.

Grizzly Man

The 2005 film chronicles the unorthodox life and horrifying death of grizzly bear environmentalist Timothy Treadwell, who was 46 when one of the beasts ate him and his girlfriend at Katmai National Park in Alaska. Watch for free on Tubi.

Wild, Wild Country

Transfixed by the allegations that these big cat kingpins run their zoos like cults? Learn about Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, an Indian “sex guru” who established a controversial commune with thousands of people in Oregon in the 1980s. His followers later unleashed a campaign of terror that included a mass salmonella poisoning which sickened more than 700 people, murder plots against public officials, a massive wiretapping campaign, voter fraud and arson. Stream the docuseries on Netflix.

Tickled

If the cast of eccentric characters drew you into Tiger King, give this documentary about the dark underbelly of “competitive endurance tickling” a go. Trust us — Tickled won’t leave you laughing as you follow New Zealand journalist David Farrier chase down the shadowy organization responsible for the unsettling “sport.” Watch on Hulu.

The Imposter

A true-crime tour de force, Imposter tracks the 1994 disappearance of blond, blue-eyed 14-year-old Nicholas Barclay from his Texas neighborhood. In 1997, he stunned the world by re-emerging in Spain with a French accent and darker features, having escaped from a child sex ring. Or … did he? Nicholas’ family guilelessly welcomed him back home in America, but viewers shouldn’t so trusting. We won’t spoil this spine-chilling caper, but the title should say it all. Stream it on Amazon Prime Video.