Gunther's Millions is another failure trying to take the Tiger King crown

It’s easy to get sucked in by the hook of Gunther’s Millions. A rich countess leaves her entire $400 million fortune to her beloved dog after the suicide of her only son, with strict instructions that the money is to stay in the dog’s bloodline. Pretty crazy, huh? Well…

We are introduced to direct descendent Gunther VI, a German shepherd who is quite clearly a very good boy and lives a life of luxury with a wide entourage of hangers-on led by his handler Maurizio Mian, an eccentric Italian who was friends with the countess’s son.

Unsurprisingly, Gunther cannot control his finances (I know, I was disappointed too) so it’s up to Mian to invest for him and splash the cash on a variety of luxury items to keep his canine boss happy.

Mian is shrewd enough to know there’s a story to be exploited here and so goes out of his way to construct a wild fantasy of canine excess.

At one point they buy Madonna’s mansion and form an ‘art collective’ of impossibly beautiful people called The Burgundians with the explicit goal of making the dog happy. What a lark! What could possibly go wrong?

Well, it descends, as it must, into some form of sex cult. Except it doesn’t really. Sure, there’s commandments and everyone has to sleep with each other and there’s some bloke with a clipboard claiming the whole thing is some form of social experiment, but no-one’s in any real danger.

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It’s little more than a bunch of talentless, fame-hungry idiots happy to debase themselves at the altar of a rich dog and his creepy handler because that’s preferable to getting a real job.

You have to work your way through three episodes of this nonsense to get to The Big Twist. I won’t spoil it – because lord knows if you decide to watch this drivel you at least deserve that – but it leaves a bad taste. It does, also, have the unfortunate consequence of rendering absolutely everything you’ve seen up until that point as pointless.

Some may be angered by that, most will have been rendered numb by the banality of it all that it’ll barely register a blip. 

Gunther’s Millions doesn’t really pose any questions. It offers very little in the way of probing. It’s the documentary equivalent of junk food: it offers a giddy thrill in the initial bites but you quickly realise that there’s nothing of substance here. It’s little more than another failure in the long line of Netflix documentaries trying to recapture the glory days of Tiger King.

If there is a question to ask about Gunther’s Millions it’s why we keep inflicting these ‘wilder-than-fiction’ stories on ourselves?

They’re invariably hollow, filled with little more than endless drone footage, inane contributors each with the same stupid grin on their face hoping they can come up with the perfect combination of meme-worthy anecdote and delivery so that one day they, too, can mispronounce Jimmy Savile’s name on Cameo (à la Carole Baskin), and a final episode twist that would make M Night Shyamalan sigh.

Actually, when you think about it, the perfect word to sum up Gunther’s Millions was staring at us all along: woof.

Gunther’s Millions is available to stream on Netflix now.

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