Have You Watched “Poker Face”? (My Thoughts)

I’m completely hooked on Poker Face, an hour-long mystery show on Peacock from Rian Johnson (Knives Out) and Natasha Lyonne (Russian Dolls).

I had heard rave reviews about the show that reveled in the hook of the main character’s (Charlie) ability to determine when someone is lying and that each episode is completely independent (no real ongoing story to speak of).

However, I was surprised to go into the show without knowing the true element that makes it stand out among all other mysteries: In every episode of Poker Face, you know exactly what happened (usually a murder), whodunit, and how they did it before the main character has a second of a screentime.

Compare this to every other crime/mystery show I’m aware of: Typically they start with a crime scene, and most of the show is spent watching detectives attempt to solve the crime. Sure, there are twists on the genre (e.g., Dexter), but that’s pretty much the standard format.

In Poker Face, in the first 20 minutes of each episode you watch people meticulously and cleverly committing terrible acts. Each crime is so well-executed that you’re left wondering how they can possibly be caught. I’m on the edge of my seat during this portion of the show, as I’m trying to catch even the smallest mistake that might come back to bite them later.

Then enters human lie detector Charlie, who isn’t a detective. She’s just someone who cares and often doesn’t have anything better to do. If she sees someone lie, she is always curious to pursue what the lie is and why the person was compelled to lie. That’s another layer to the mystery–as the viewer, we’re left wondering how the antagonists will lie and what Charlie will do with that information.

I’m loving the show, and I highly recommend it. Have you watched it? Do you have a favorite episode?

13 thoughts on “Have You Watched “Poker Face”? (My Thoughts)”

  1. We love this show so much! I don’t know that we have a favorite episode. They are all so good, really.

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  2. It’s not a “whodunit”, it’s a “howcatchem”. I believe 1970’s mystery series Columbo made this form of storytelling famous.

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  3. I’m intrigued! Excellent sales pitch, Jamey. Unfortunately, Peacock is not available over here. There’s no legal way to watch the show here, for now.

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  4. They are all SO GOOD. I particularly enjoyed Exit Stage Death, The Orpheus Syndrome, and Escape From Sh** Mountain. Really looking forward to Season 2!

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  5. Great recommendation Jamey – we watched the 1st episode last night and loved it – looking forward to finding out who the casino boss is that is now chasing her.

    We had been watching Ted Lasso and Lucky Hank, which we were enjoying, but Poker Face definitely changes it up a bit.

    We loved the Knives Out movies, so this just continues in this genre.

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  6. I’m going to have to give it another shot based on your review. I started the first episode 2x but haven’t finished it. I do that sometimes, then learn I gave up on a great show… so, I’ll try again because of this review.

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    • I hope you enjoy it, though I totally understand if it’s not a good fit! What’s another show that you almost didn’t get into but ended up really enjoying?

      Reply

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