Natasha Lyonne brings unmatchable comedy to “Poker Face”

“Poker Face,” a new show on Peacock, is a wildly inventive and refreshing take on the standard murder mystery formula. The show is directed and written by known appreciator and reinventor of the genre mystery, Rian Johnson, who also directed the critically acclaimed murder mystery “Knives Out.” Johnson brings new life to the genre in the modern era, now putting that life into television.

Natasha Lyonne, best known for her work in “Orange is the New Black” and “Russian Dolls,” is the main star of “Poker Face.” The story follows Charlie Cale’s journey through the country as she runs from a vengeful casino owner. Cale goes from state to state, solving mysteries in small towns. Her uncanny ability to tell when someone is lying is what sets her apart from the regular detective. Using this, she solves various murders of people she encounters along the way.

This show is exceptionally unique, not like any murder mystery I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a lot. Unlike a character in a singular location, it’s across the states. In most mysteries, an investigator is suave, cunning, professional, and well-mannered. Cale, on the other hand, is extremely raunchy, dangerously impulsive, intuitive, and loyal. She would commonly put herself in direct danger in search of justice for her friends that she made while on the run.

However, Cale is still a real person. Oftentimes when reflecting on various shows, I realize the characters don’t act like actual people. This show found a way to humanize the main character, allowing the audience to sympathize with her. Cale isn’t a wealthy and well-respected detective but a (at first glance) random, broke, and untrustworthy sleuth. Her casual demeanor, eccentric mannerisms, and old car add realism to the show. These minor details turn her into a relatable character, just trying to make it through another day, following her moral compass.

The show also features a slew of guest stars. Stephanie Hsu, Ellen Barkin, Nick Nolte, Chloё Sevigny, Judith Light, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Benjamin Bratt. These stars are all at a range of pace of careers bringing a refreshing variety. And they also are one of many features that bring life and spontaneity to “Poker Face.”

Unique is one of many ways to describe this show. One of the main reasons for that is the show’s format. Each story starts with a murder and a brief build-up. Then, we back up and see how Cale is inserted into the life of the victim and culprit. During which, you can never guess what will happen next, constantly keeping the viewer on their toes.

“Poker Face” is a comedic and exciting new take on murder mystery shows. It has a new type of detective and a new type of murder. It definitely is a worthy watch because who would hate a nosey, raspy-voiced, and raunchy detective?