The Lesson Is Murder
By Stephanie Morgan,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Unique, distressing true crime show delves into criminology.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Delves into what it takes to become a criminologist, as well as what's involved in the day-to-day life of someone in the profession.
Dr. Fox's team is a diverse, empathetic, and hardworking collection of students who care about learning and becoming the best professionals they can be in order to stop future crimes.
Positive Role Models
Dr. Bryanna Fox is an articulate, intelligent, and empathetic professional who's accomplished quite a lot. She's also a great leader to her team of graduate students who, themselves, are hard-working, smart and caring individuals.
The most respected professional, and team leader, in this show is a woman. Her team of graduate students are all accomplished and intelligent individuals and include several women and people of color including a Latina woman, an Asian woman, and a Black man.
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Violence & Scariness
A true crime series that delves into harrowing and disturbing cases of murder. The show features emotional interviews with the family members of victims, as well as convicted murderers, and explores stories of childhood trauma, domestic abuse, and controlling behavior. The first episode covers the case of a serial killer who worked as a hospital nurse and intentionally caused patients to have lethal brain embolisms, the second covers a man who abuses, and eventually, murders his wife. Re-enactments sometimes show guns and blood. The show also touches on the death penalty and interviews people on death row. Surviving victims describe their struggles with PTSD, and there are descriptions of self-harm and suicidal attempts. Overall, this show deals with heavy and distressing subject matter that isn't suitable for children.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some stories focus on sexual relationships between adults. There are descriptions of dating and marriage, often ending in violence. Mentions "deviant sexual behavior" including a person asking his partner to defecate on him, or in front of him, during sexual encounters.
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Infrequent use of words like "punk."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Mention of substance abuse and addiction.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Lesson Is Murder is a true crime series that delves into harrowing and disturbing murder cases. The show, which is structured around a psychological criminologist teaching graduate students, features emotional interviews with the family members of victims and explores stories of childhood trauma, domestic abuse, and controlling behavior. There are interviews of murderers describing their crimes, discussion of mental illness and self-harm, and mention of addiction, substance abuse, and eating disorders. The show also touches on the death penalty and interviews people on death row. Surviving victims describe their struggles with PTSD, and there are descriptions of self-harm and suicidal attempts. Overall, this show deals with heavy and distressing subject matter that isn't suitable for children.
Where to Watch
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The Lesson Is Murder
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What's the Story?
THE LESSON IS MURDER is a true crime series narrated and hosted by Dr. Bryanna Fox, a psychological criminologist and former FBI special agent. Dr. Fox studies violent offenders to develop psychological profiles that help law enforcement catch dangerous criminals. Each episode covers Dr. Fox re-investigating a different criminal case while training a team of her top graduate students in her work as a professor at the University of South Florida.
Is It Any Good?
This show offers a unique and interesting take on the true crime genre by delving into the psychology of murderers rather than just solving the crime. The Lesson Is Murder viewers are taken on a journey alongside graduate students working toward their degrees in psychological criminology, led by a thoughtful and intelligent host, Dr. Fox. While some of the interactions may feel performative, the show provides comprehensive coverage of not just the crimes, but also the backgrounds and childhoods of the murderers, as well as interviews with victims' loved ones and convicted murderers. This show is sure to appeal to true crime fans looking for something new and thought-provoking.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
What do you think makes Dr. Fox stand out as a particularly intelligent and thoughtful investigator and leader? How does she display a passion for teamwork? Does she add to the overall experience of watching the show?
In what ways is The Lesson Is Murder different from other true crime shows you've watched? Do you think the focus on understanding why the crimes were committed, rather than who committed them, adds to your understanding of crime and justice?
How do you feel about the interactions between Dr. Fox and her students? Do they come across as genuine or is there a sense of performance for the camera?
- Premiere date: March 23, 2023
- Cast: Bryanna Fox
- Network: Hulu
- Genre: Reality TV
- TV rating: TV-MA
- Last updated: March 23, 2023
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.
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