Gunther’s Millions Season 1 Review – A terrible bait and switch documentary

Season 1

Episode Guide

Lucky Dog
In the Dog House
In Dog We Trust
Heir of the Dog


Spoilers ahead!

There’s a fine line between a clever reveal and an outright bait and switch that annoys a large amount of people. Netflix’s latest true-crime docu-series unfortunately falls in the latter category. Gunther’s Millions is a pretty deceptive documentary in truth, advertising one thing but waiting until near the end of episode 3 before revealing the true story.

To save everyone some time, I’m going to reveal that in this review so if you want to go in completely blind, stop reading now. For everyone else, in the words of Listen with Mother: “Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.”

Split across four episodes, Gunther’s Millions tells the story of a German Shepherd called Gunther VI, who was reportedly awarded a trust fund of millions upon the death of his owner, a widowed Countess with no living relatives.

It’s a wild story and something that looks to try and capitalize on Tiger King’s incredulous tone with a lot of cutaways featuring Gunther eating tender meat, running about his lavish gardens and looking the part. All the while we have his PR rep Lucy Clarkson and a whole swathe of other people looking after the dog and staying at the mansion chiming in with their thoughts. Among those happens to be Maurizio Mian, a man tasked with being in charge of the trust fund itself.

As the episodes progress, the faint whiffs of a cult, not to mention a “master race”, are explored through meandering episodes that take an age to move onto the real star of the show – Gunther. And therein lies the bait and switch I mentioned before.

Gunther’s Millions is not actually about Gunther. In fact, the reveal at the end of episode 3 is that the proceeding 90 minutes of footage we’ve just seen have been completely fabricated; a hoodwinked trap to lure you into thinking this is a whimsical docu-series about a dog and its fortune. In fact, the truth is it’s a story about Maurizio Mian and his battle with depression, as it turns out he fabricated the whole story while making up the whole story about the Countess. The dog actually owns nothing.

If you’re a dog lover and got into this expecting a story about a fortuitous pooch living the good life (like all the promotional material and pictures would have you believe) then you’re going to be disappointed. The story itself isn’t necessarily a bad one but the fact that everything is stretched out to such a degree, with repeated footage and sound bites, really takes the enjoyment away from this one.

The twist itself wouldn’t have been so bad had we not slogged through nearly 2 hours of footage to reach this point either. In the end, this documentary feels like it’s wasting your time when it easily could have been a 90 minute movie. In all honesty though, the end result is so underwhelming and lackadaisical that you’ll be disappointed you even took the plunge to check this one.

If you want to watch some crazy dogs, check out Netflix’s series Dogs instead, it’s a much better use of your time.

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  • Verdict - 3.5/10

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