‘Gunther’s Millions’ Review: The Worst Kind of Netflix Documentary

From his first trailer, Gunther’s millions lures viewers with an enchanting premise: A dashing dog is heir to a massive $400 million fortune and lives in the lap of luxury, meaning Madonna’s Miami mansion, with meals of steak and gold flakes.

What a good boy. What a quirky concept! What an unproblematic millionaire! but Gunther’s millions — despite its title, which winks at it an enchanting screwball comedy (Opens in a new window)– It’s neither fun nor exciting. It’s Netflix’s latest boring and annoying true-crime release. In this case, it’s an overlong docu-series that quickly shifts the focus from the adorable and wealthy dog ​​to the glory-hungry follower, tougher than fleas, and the gentleman who tugs at their leashes.

what is Gunther’s millions Above?

A German Shepherd is surrounded by models in bikinis.

Like Spuds Mackenzie, but weirder.
Photo credit: Netflix

Directed by Emilie Dumay and Aurelien Leturgie, Gunther’s millions is a four-part documentary series that tells the untold story of a German shepherd named Gunther VI who was reportedly awarded a multimillion-dollar trust fund following the death of his owner, a widowed countess with no surviving relatives. In Episode 1, “Lucky Dog,” the Netflix series hurls the audience into the luxurious (and absurd) lifestyle of this absurdly rich pup, introducing us to his polished PR rep, his overzealous spokesperson, his amused personal chef, his steely lawyer while flaunting the dog’s lavish B-roll and casually strolling through the grand grounds of his Tuscany villa.


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Gunther’s employees are beaming like they’re in competition wheel of fortune while they spin the tales of his fortune and his rules. They insist that most of his money goes on things he likes For example. Gunther likes boating, they say. So he owns a huge yacht. Maybe it takes a second. Probably because the dog also longs for a change?

There is a touch of whimsy in this section, such as when Lee Dahlberg, a model-turned-dog talker, shares how he feared he wasn’t cut out for the role of a mysterious German millionaire. “I don’t speak German,” he warned, adding with a goofy grin, “Neither does Gunther!” It’s a joy to imagine that our world is one where such an eccentric millionaire can exist, snuggled up in the Lap of luxury of cashmere dog beds. But something sinister creeps in as this beaming man confesses with alarming enthusiasm, “I wanted to be a tick on that dog’s ass for the rest of my life!”

His reliance on such frankness suggests this phrase will go down great at cocktail parties, maybe even those thrown by Gunther. But there’s also a red flag here, one of many, warning that this docu-series is less about an incredible dog and more about the people who flock to build and perpetuate his legend, at the cost, what it wants.

Gunther’s millions is a frustrating bait and switch.

Maurizio Mian and Carla Riccitelli in

Maurizio Mian, his ex-wife Carla Riccitelli and his boss dog Gunther.
Photo credit: Netflix

Dumay and Leturgie invite us to roll our eyes at the selfish soundbites of Gunther’s minions portraying themselves as carefree, ambitious or clueless. Likewise, the filmmakers ask us to scowl when these themes spiral around questions that aren’t so fluffy. When it comes to the “cult” allegedly cultivated in Miami under the direction of Maurizio Mian, the trustee of Gunther’s estate, the interviewees laugh in embarrassment or look concerned and ask the documentarists directly if they should talk about these things. It seems that Dumay and Leturgie aren’t playing by Gunther’s rules, and admittedly there’s a thrill in the apparent transgression of that.

Gunter’s story is an epic she weaves into a wannabe pop group, a scientific study of the sex lives of hot young people, decoy dogs, eugenics, financial fraud, animal cruelty, tabloid fodder, reality TV trinkets, and a tragic backstory for the dog’s namesakes. But at its core, it’s all about Mian. As anyone pondering the question of a canine multi-millionaire might suspect after a few moments to ponder, Gunther’s story is a bunch of bullshit, and he’s its creator.

Episodes 2 through 4 introduce viewers to the many lives and loves (and lies) of Mian. We will meet his ex-wife whose enthusiasm and mischievousness makes her feel a role Lady Gaga would sink her veneers into. We’ll meet a baby mama who puts up with a wildly bizarre publicity stunt. And we’ll meet a cocky, tattooed stud who smirks and introduces himself as “god” when actually he is Fabrizio Corona(Opens in a new window), an Italian reality TV star who has mastered the art of the captivating confessional interview. No wonder he’s played as one of the cliffhangers from one episode to the next.

There is no reason Gunther’s millions must be four episodes long.

Fabrizio Corona

Fabrizio Corona, who destroys the confessional in “Gunther’s Millions”.
Photo credit: Netflix

A common complaint about Netflix’s true-crime docuseries is that they’re not necessarily as long as the story itself needs to be, but as long as the filmmakers can possibly stretch it — presumably so Netflix can get the best of it can make these watched count minutes. In this case, I actually screamed when Episode 3 came out Another irritating cliffhanger of a barely intriguing question about the structure of the fourth and final episode. I was convinced that this story was over, and yet it dragged on.

Dumay and Leturgie captivate audiences by over-indulging in the beats of the story. Respondents agree and agree and agree over a plethora of b-roll footage and dodgy reenactment footage, as if worried about playing on your phone or making a sandwich. So the plot crawls along like a wounded snail. Maybe we’re meant to get caught up in the wacky characters and scandals like so many do tiger king, but Gunther’s millions Nothing is scandalous like murder plots and nobody is messy mesmerizing like Joe Exotic.


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Instead, it has Mian grumbling and spitting out blunt lies, all with the same sullen expression on her face. Yet, Gunther’s millions treats Mian’s apparent boredom as a major revelation in episode 3! And yet it begs a much stranger question.

was Gunther’s millions financed by Maurizio Mian?

Lee Dahlberg a

Lee Dahlberg compares himself to a tick in Gunther’s Millions.
Photo credit: Netflix

At one point, Corona turns to the camera and asks the filmmakers directly if they work for Mian, and they don’t answer. The docu-series uses this lack of transparency to its advantage by brewing intrigue. It seems the most logical explanation for why some subjects seem genuinely shocked when the filmmakers ask about Mian’s shadiest deals, or why some laugh so blithely at how something they just said could arrest them – maybe they think that this is not the case will make the final cut. Could this be why Mian admits to cheating herself, albeit on a hot mic à la The Jinx(Opens in a new window)?

Even in the finale’s credits, they reveal that he’s outright lying again, admitting that this pathetic falsehood would spice up the story. Is he officially producing the film? Or is he a man with so much power, privilege, and influence that he believes he can impose his will on anyone who crosses his path?

Mashable reached out to Netflix to clarify whether Mian is a producer or funder of the docu-series, and a streaming service representative said he was neither.

Whatever Mian’s involvement (or lack thereof), I’m not sure it matters because to this man, the truth doesn’t matter. Apparently all he wants is attention, for better or for worse. That’s how I was reminded voyeur(Opens in a new window)a truly thought-provoking Netflix documentary about a man who confesses to decades of sizzling transgressions and eventually becomes the subject of Gay Talese’s book The voyeur’s motel. Over the period of voyeurfilmmakers Myles Kane and Josh Koury decode the subject’s confessions to reveal that he may only be lying to gain the spotlight his stories afford.

However, Koury and Kane address the troubling questions of what this attention-seeking behavior might mean—for the subject, those interested in him, and human nature itself Gunther’s millions, serious issues are treated like bubbly hashtags with painfully little insight. Further frustratingly, the filmmakers provide re-enactment footage for things in the first three episodes that they later reveal to be entirely fictional, essentially lending credence to Mian’s lies before framing them as a big reveal.


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That’s how I walked away from it Gunther’s millions reminiscent of the worst true crime documentary I’ve seen on Netflix, Don’t fuck with cats.(Opens in a new window) (In the interest of full disclosure, I have stayed away from Joe Berlinger’s publications since his terrible Ted Bundy series(Opens in a new window)so I may have missed some that were even worse.) In don’t fuck with cats, Director Mark Lewis lures viewers with the promise of web detectives who will genuinely seek justice for the cats being tortured in anonymous online videos before, without warning, they take a harsh turn in an even more disturbing horrific crime. Finally, to top it off, Lewis gets mad at the viewer’s interest in such content and delivers a condemning speech about the fierce interest in murder stories we didn’t even sign up for that at first!

Gunther’s millions‘s Bait-and-Switch isn’t so grotesque, although there are some parallels; It also begins with the appealing trick of an animal story and then evolves into a true crime story about a devious man who craves attention. In this tricky framework, with all its flashy bells and whistles of scandal, sex and cults and all its ready-to-reveal interviews, Gunther’s millions should be…some. It should be interesting, challenging, or even shocking. But for much of its run, its revelations feel odd and superficial, up to a bleak final chapter that’s just plain sad. This true-crime docu-series is ultimately a stupid waste of time.

Gunther’s millions Premiered on Netflix on February 1st.

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