Parents' Guide to

Murder on Middle Beach

By Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Compelling docuseries about the life, murder of a mother.

TV Max Reality TV 2020
Murder on Middle Beach Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say Not yet rated
Kids say (1 ):

This compelling documentary, which began as a college project, follow's a young man's difficult journey as he tries to make sense of who his late mother was, and what happened to her. Some of Madison Hamburg's filmmaking efforts are dedicated to learning more about his mom while simultaneously coming to terms with the trauma he's experienced from her death. But the overall production is more expository, and it highlights the many ideas and feelings people have about what led up to, and who committed, the murder. Scenes featuring the documentarian secretly (and legally) recording conversations add an investigative dimension to his work. The on-going efforts made by Madison and his team to follow up on potential leads, despite resistance from the local police department, also raise some interesting questions.

As the project evolves, so do the details surrounding Barbara Beach Hamburg's life, and that of her family. Some of these particulars, such as her involvement with a publicly infamous "gifting table" pyramid scheme (which eventually led to the incarceration of Barbara's great aunt, Jill Platt), adds an intriguing dimension to the narrative. But Madison doesn't refrain from asking family members hard questions, which leads to some extremely raw and personal interview moments that highlight how the family has been torn apart. The way he attempts to balance his work as a filmmaker, while simultaneously breaking the fourth wall to discuss his own emotional struggles throughout the process, are both impressive and poignant. If you like documentaries, Murder on Middle Beach offers a complex but well-told story that is worth tuning into.

TV Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate