Has Tiger King left an exotic sized hole you are just purring to fill? Here is a must-watch list of riveting yet often uncomfortable real life viewing to get you through isolation.

Cheer (2020)

A surprisingly moreish and moving docu-series about competitive cheerleading. Doesn’t sound that interesting, right? It is shockingly riveting. Fascinating emotional back stories of endearing characters you just desperately want to succeed, awe-inspiring athletics, blood, sweat, tears, a plethora of gruesome injuries, and a coach that pushes them beyond breaking point. Prepare to binge, become irrationally invested, and cheer from your lounge.

Abducted in Plain Sight (2017)

If you thought every episode of Tiger King got stranger and stranger, well, take a seat and prepare for many WTF moments. A truly bizarre story about a girl who was abducted not once but twice by a family friend. What makes this story so unusual was how the perpetrator was able to groom her entire family which leads to some truly weird and disturbing events. An incredible insight into the power of manipulation. It also includes aliens – yes, really!

Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened (2019)

This documentary showcases the epic failure of what was meant to be the most luxurious music festival in history going criminally wrong. It’s an anxiety-inducing film that makes you facepalm every few minutes, recounting a true crime story for the Instagram age that makes you feel almost not sorry for half of the “beautiful” victims, some who spent over one hundred thousand dollars a ticket. Just when you thought you couldn’t have any more disdain for social media influencers or Ja Rule, this comes along. Has to be seen to be believed.

Don’t Fuck with Cats (2019)

As disturbing as it is fascinating. This follows the story of model and murderer Luka Magnotta and the amateur detective work of animal lovers on the internet that ultimately leads to his capture. Cyber sleuths hunting down a cannibalistic, necrophilic, animal harming murderer with a penchant for posting snuff films. So many slack jaw moments. Not for the faint hearted but wins all the points for “how can this be real life?” This guy is significantly crazier than Joe Exotic. When truth really is stranger than fiction.

Gleason (2016)

Former professional gridiron player Steve Gleason is diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and this film is a heartfelt, intensely personal, emotional rollercoaster of a video diary made by himself and his wife for their unborn son. Beautiful, heart wrenching, humbling, life affirming, uplifting. There were many tears shed.

Free Solo (2018)

Free solo climber Alex Honnold attempts to achieve his lifelong dream of climbing a 3,000 ft high rock in Yosemite without a rope. One tiny mistake can equal death. This documentary has you on the edge of your seat, and zero interest in rock climbing is required to thoroughly enjoy it. Intense, inspiring, and terrifying with absolutely stunning visuals.

Fantastic Fungi (2019)

How can a documentary about mushrooms have a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes? Smother a meal in creamy mushroom sauce, pour a wine, get comfy and prepare to have your mind blown. This beautiful, immersive, thought-provoking kooky documentary about the possibility of fungi is a must see. As equally fascinating as it is cinematically beautiful, watching this was soul cleansing.

Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey (2014)

A 13-episode masterpiece series from Neil deGrasse Tyson that covers the science of our universe from its conception to the very end. Every episode is a treasure chest of knowledge beautifully interwoven with personal stories. So much more than just a science documentary, it explores why we are and who we are. Mesmerising and awe inspiring, it’s one of those rare gems that you can and should watch again and again.

Bowling for Columbine (2002)

It’s hard to believe this is 18 years old now and so little has changed in America in relation to the right to bear arms. A few short years off the back of the Columbine High School tragedy Michael Moore explores why the US is so fundamentally addicted to guns and how that has led to a dark underbelly of violence. It’s a thought provoking yet entertaining piece of work that is sadly still just as relevant. Moore’s dark sarcasm opens up great debate and conversation that is really needed.

Grizzly Man (2005)

A film built from the self-shot footage taken by Timothy Treadwell and his partner Amie Huguenard as they lived in the Alaskan wild with bears for thirteen summers. They both were not so surprisingly killed by bears in 2003. So much more than a wildlife documentary, this is a post mortem look at mental health as you watch Treadwell descend into madness and reject human society. A complex story that presents as a train wreck with a beautiful view.


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