Joe vs. Carole Explores the Wild Tiger King Saga

The new series is based on the second season of Wondery's "Over My Dead Body" podcast

The new series is based on the second season of Wondery’s “Over My Dead Body” podcast

Back in March 2020, in the earliest days of the pandemic, people trapped in their homes became obsessed with Zoom cocktail parties, sourdough starter and Tiger King, a downright bonkers Netflix docuseries that introduced the world to flamboyant zoo owner Joe Exotic (real name: Joseph Schreibvogel) and his nemesis Carole Baskin.

So hugely popular was the show that two separate projects were launched to dramatize the story of big cats, attempted murder and the ugliest mullet since the 1980s. While one of those was eventually abandoned (a Prime Video series that would have featured Nicolas Cage as Joe Exotic), the other finally arrives this week.

Joe vs. Carole is based on the podcast Joe Exotic: Tiger King, and boasts Saturday Night Live‘s Kate McKinnon portraying Baskin and John Cameron Mitchell as Mr. Exotic. The rest of the cast is rounded out by Kyle MacLachlan as Howard Baskin, Brian Van Holt as John Reinke, Marlo Kelly as Jamie Murdoch, William Fichtner as Rick Kirkham, Dean Winters as Jeff Lowe and David Wenham as Don Lewis.

The series is seen from the perspective of Baskin, a big cat enthusiast who learns that Exotic has been breeding big cats for profit. When she makes it her mission to shut down his shoddy and exploitative zoo, she triggers an escalating rivalry. However, Baskin is hiding some skeletons in her own closet, and when the claws come out, Exotic will stop at nothing to expose what he sees as her hypocrisy.

Showrunner Etan Frankel describes the series as “a wild ride” that takes viewers inside “the story of people who live very extreme lives.” Praising his stars for portraying “these larger-than-life individuals as the complex, three-dimensional individuals they are,” he shared his hope that Tiger King fans will “see these people that they thought they knew in a brand-new way.”

Joe vs. Carole airs Wednesdays at 6 p.m. & 12:05 a.m. on Showcase