Joe Vs. Carole again tells the story of the bitter rivalry between zookeeper Joe Exotic and Big Cat Rescue CEO Carole Baskin.
However, instead of being based on Netflix’s Tiger King, Joe Vs. Carole draws inspiration from season two of the Wondery podcast Over My Dead Body. While both tell the story of Joe Exotic, audiences first became enthralled with his bizarre tale after Tiger King. The show focuses on the seedy criminal underworld of big cat breeding, touching upon how Exotic and Baskin landed themselves in an intense feud. It also chronicles how Exotic became a convicted felon.
Another figure in the chaotic world of Tiger King was Bhagavan “Doc” Antle. A guru-like collector of big cats, he acted as something of a mentor to Exotic. Since the series premiered in 2020, Antle was brought up on charges of his own. In Joe Vs. Carole, Australian actor Damien Garvey will fill the role of Antle. Garvey previously appeared on series such as The Leftovers and Ash Vs. Evil Dead.
Carole Baskin Weighs In On Joe Vs. Carole
When the first trailer for Joe vs. Carole dropped, Baskin expressed her thoughts right away.
“My husband and I look forward to seeing Kate McKinnon and Kyle McLaughlin’s portrayal of us, even though we expect it will be a parody based on the trailer,” Baskin said. “Both are talented actors and I expect Joe Vs. Carole will be a lot more entertaining than the situation was in real life.”
Baskin suggested that the series doesn’t understand her goals and undermines her work.
“As with Netflix’s Tiger King, Murder, Mayhem and Madness and Wondery’s Joe Exotic, Over My Dead Body and all of the other spinoffs,” said Baskin. “None of these programs created for entertainment value really get at the main issues of big cat and cub abuse and the imminent extinction of big cats due to cub petting, like we do in Discovery+ Carole Baskin’s Cage Fight.”
The latter shows Baskin and Howard from a different perspective, following the couple as they investigate the shady side of zoo-keeping, including animal abuse and trafficking. Baskin continued explaining how audiences missed the point: “My fear is that in the next five years, while people are morbidly obsessed the plight of my former husband, Don Lewis, we will have reached the point of no return for the planet by failing to safeguard the world’s most iconic species.”
Alternatively, Joe Vs. Carole star Kate McKinnon is sympathetic to Baskin, and she hopes to convey her plight in the series.
“I listened to this podcast on Wondery,” McKinnon explained. “I thought, ‘That’s a kooky lady. She’d be fun to play.’ And then, as I did more research, I began to really admire her. I really want people to see that she is a kick-ass businesswoman, a very passionate activist, and is a survivor.”