Review: 'Death On The Beach'

Post by: Rick Ellis 01 August, 2022

I am all in favor of airing (or in this case, streaming) unscripted television in America that was produced outside of North America. The stories are different, the point of view and culture can be unfamiliar. Even the way the shows are produced and the tropes they use can be refreshingly unexpected.

While I didn't know anything about the new Discovery+ true crime series Death On The Beach before watching it, I was pretty sure the 10-episode series had been produced outside the U.S., given that it had crime stories set in a wide range of locations across the globe: Sri Lanka, Thailand, India, Grenada, etc. So as I dove into the show, I wondered what I was getting into to.

As it turns out, while the production style of the episodes will be reasonably familiar to American audiences, the crimes themselves are a grab bag of stories about tourism or international work experiences gone wrong. Some of the crimes fall into the category of "it could only happen in this specific location," which is a nice change from the Investigation Discovery production template that too often turns these shows into more of a predictable dance than an expected search for the truth.

The stories rely heavily on interviews with friends and family, but to be honest, I prefer this style of fewer fakey reenactments, more talking. And after a couple of episodes I even got used to narrator Anna Maxwell Martin's very low-key approach to the material.

The show was produced for Discovery UK and it premiered there in January under the name The Real Death In Paradise. That titles is a nod to the long-running British crime drama Death In Paradise and the name makes a lot more sense than Death On The Beach. In part because not all of the crimes highlighted take place on the beach. But they are located in exotic areas, which makes the original title of the series much more accurate.

The strange thing to me is that the folks at Discovery+ appear to have put absolutely no effort into reworking the episodes for the U.S. While the show is billed as Death On The Beach, the individual episodes still go under the name The Real Death In Paradise. Even the description of the series on the show's Discovery+ listing page seems to have been just copied over from its UK run: "Tragedies in paradise leave families desperately searching for answers."

Given that Discovery+ left everything the same in the app except for the name, why bother changing the name at all? Granted, Death On The Beach is a bit more on brand, but the new title isn't such an amazing upgrade that making the change seems worth even this minimal effort.

Death On The Beach is familiar enough that it could be airing on a cable TV channel, but the subject matter makes the show a nice change of pace. No matter what Discovery+ is calling the show.

Have feedback or more information about this page? Email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Also, subscribe to my free, daily Too Much TV newsletter at

Last modified on Wednesday, 03 August 2022 01:04