Peacock’s Poker Face has been submitted for consideration at this year’s Emmys, and the show deserves a nomination and a win just for how good the storytelling is. Created by Knives Out’s Rian Johnson, Poker Face is a crime show where the lead ends up solving murders while on the run from a mob boss who is hellbent on killing her. Beware of spoilers ahead!
Poker Face Isn’t Like Other Crime Shows
There are many crime shows, but none offer as funny twists and turns as Peacock’s original series, Poker Face. It stars Natasha Lyonne as a former casino worker named Charlie with a unique talent; she can tell when someone is lying.
A real-life ‘bullshit’ detector, as Charlie puts it.
When her friend, Natalie, who works at the casino as a cleaning lady, finds proof of one of the high rollers’ crimes, she takes it to the manager Sterling Jr. (Adrien Brody) and his head of security, Cliff (Benjamin Bratt). However, this turns out to be the wrong move for Natalie because she and her husband get killed by Cliff.
Sterling Jr. and Cliff try to cover things up as best as they can, while Charlie tries to get to the bottom of her friend’s murder, which was pinned on her abusive husband. But Charlie knows better and can smell something ‘fishy’ going on. After several inconsistencies from Sterling Jr., Charlie quickly connects the dots and exposes them for killing Natalie. One of the scenes that hooked me in the pilot episode was those shared between Cliff and Charlie – they kept the show electric.
Bratt admitted to having the time of his life playing a bad guy for once. The Law and Order actor told Vulture, “I don’t know if I’ve aged into it now or learned more about how we all possess a darker side. But it’s certainly more fun.” What comes next is so unexpected, thanks to Adrien Brody’s performance as Sterling Frost Jr. Knowing he and the Casino’s reputation are ruined and his father, Sterling Frost Sr., might kill him for destroying his business -Sterling jumps off the casino building.
Natasha Lyonne Will Keep You Tuned In
The episode plays out as we all expect, with Charlie escaping and Sterling Sr. vowing to find her and kill her for her hand in his son’s death. The Liam Neason of it all was a great touch to end a captivating pilot episode. It certainly got me excited to find out what happened next. Charlie goes on the run, living on the road as she uses her unique power to solve crimes.
In each episode, Lyonne’s character develops friendships with people who either get murdered or are framed for murder. To help her newfound friends, Charlie uses her talent to get to the bottom of the cases. It’s a pretty basic format but far more interesting than what’s out there right now. The show also introduces us to some fantastic bad guys who you will enjoy seeing go to jail. That and Charlie’s unintentionally funny commentary makes for a great crime show.
Lyonne’s acting and the talented cast carry the show, of course, but the brilliant storytelling kept me watching. Again, Lyonne’s performance in Poker Face as Charlie is mesmerizing. In the end, I hope Poker Face gets the nomination and wins this year, but either way, we’ll be watching when season 2 comes along to see what Charlie is up to and what murders she’ll solve.