NUNN'S THEATER HABIT
Natasha Lyonne shows her true Poker Face
Sun. February 5, 2023 12:00 AM
by Jerry Nunn
To tell the truth, Peacock's Poker Face is the detective show that audiences have been craving for a long time.
Natasha Lyonne stars as Charlie Cale, a spunky detective with a knack for spotting truth-tellers. It's a believable gift that she attempts to explain in the first episode. The ability is complicated, but Cale is not. Each episode sets her on a new journey to solve a local crime with unique characters depicted by guest stars.
Once viewers adapt to the setup they could possibly watch Poker Face in any order they choose, but there are building blocks of plot and development along the way if screened in sequence.
After the first four episodes, Peacock is choosing to release one each week just like in the good ol' days. That means some folks will wait until the whole series completely rolls out to binge it and others will patiently explore it weekly.
The first one titled Dead Man's Hand reunites Lyonne with Dascha Polanco, her costar from Orange Is the New Black. This displays an easy chemistry between the two that is ended too soon. The finale is so final one may wonder where the series will go with episode two The Night Shift, but that is all part of the fun. Poker Face is an unpredictable fun ride that rewards its audience with strong writing and brilliant performances.
Cale roams where she wants to while taking up odd jobs that bring her into dire situations. Curiosity hasn't killed this cat so far and watching her adapt to those around her is another example of Lyonne's longtime likability. She had bonded with many of the supporting guest stars previously such as already mentioned Polanco and Chloe Sevigny among others.
Ryan Murphy must be kicking himself to have not used the talented Judith Light as Poker Face does and once word gets out about how fully developed and juicy a small can be, performers will be lining up down the block to join Lyonne onscreen.
The series is so well done that there are not tons of things to critique here, but Poker Face needs LGBTQ+ representation and that is solved quickly with out actresses Cherry Jones and Jameela Jamil set for future episodes.
Rian Johnson has created a strong contender for best television series in the first month of 2023 and has even placed Cale in the same world as his hit Glass Onion. Maybe one day Benoit Blanc will make a surprise appearance and a dream list by the creators is already being formulated for season two.
Until then, we have 10 episodes to devour and repeat viewings will only add to a satisfying romp for crime solvers and mystery fans.
Poker Face exposes the truth every Thursday on PeacockTV.com.