The new Peacock series Poker Face stars one of my favorite actresses, Natasha Lyonne (Russian Doll), and is from the mind of Rian Johnson (Knives Out). The premise of the series is what hooked me initially. Lyonne plays Charlie, a woman with a special ability to know if people are lying. Always. However, after pissing off a mob boss, Charlie is on the run and randomly helps to solve murder cases.


POKER FACE — “The Night Shift” Episode 102 — Pictured: Natasha Lyonne as Charlie Cale — (Photo by: Evans Vestal Ward/Peacock)

One of the fun things about Poker Face is Natasha Lyonne isn’t the only huge star. Every episode tells a different story with the help of some of Hollywood’s biggest names. Here is a small list: Adrian Brody, Benjamin Brat, Stephanie Hsu, Judith Light, Lil Rel Howry, Hong Chau, Tim Meadows, and so many more!

I love that this is a murder mystery series with a twist. However, when it comes to the old-school “murder of the week” format, I’m not as big of a fan. After the pilot, each episode begins with the murder. Then, we see how Charlie is involved and why she wants to solve the “case”. At first I thought it was a fun idea, reminiscent of Columbo. However, in execution…it’s just boring.


Personally, I think the setup of the murder in Poker Face takes way too long. Every episode comes in just under an hour. So, the first 20 mins are all set up. Then, when we finally get around to Charlie’s part and watch her figure out what we, the audience already know, it gets boring and redundant. I wish every episode started as a teaser, then we dove in to see Charlie living, meeting, and hanging around everyone. 

While I didn’t get to view all 10 episodes, the first 6 are the same format over and over again. We never even really tie anything back to the original reason why Charlie is in these towns. She’s on the run from the mob! 

So, while the performances are spectacular, as well as the characters and places interesting I found Poker Face to be oddly paced and a bit boring. Which is a disappointment for a series I was so excited to watch.

Poker Face will launch with four episodes on Thursday, January 26, with new episodes streaming Thursdays.