Poker Face finds its niche among a rich history of murder mysteries

by Gordon Shelly

“Poker Face” was created by Rian Johnson and stars Natasha Lyonne in the lead role, Charlie Cale, who finds herself working as a cocktail waitress in a Las Vegas casino.

The show follows Charlie, who has an uncanny ability to tell when someone is lying. A skill she ultimately uses to solve mysteries and crimes.

The first episode places Charlie in a predicament where she is indebted to a Las Vegas gangster who is fully aware of her special skills. A close friend is murdered and she is soon entangled with the gangster’s son, played by Adrien Brody.

From there, Charlie finds herself on the run and in order to keep herself hidden, she uses her innate lie detector to solve crimes and keep one step ahead of the threat constantly at her back.

One of the standout features of “Poker Face” is its lead actress, Natasha Lyonne. Lyonne is a talented performer, and she brings a unique blend of humor, charm, and vulnerability to the role. Her portrayal of the character is nuanced and multifaceted, making Charlie feel like a real person rather than a stock character. The chemistry between Lyonne and the rest of the cast is also excellent, making the interactions between the characters feel natural and authentic.

Most of the characters find themselves in a single episode, so finding that chemistry can be even more challenging at times, but it works.

The writing in “Poker Face” is also a major strength. The show’s creators have managed to create a balance between humor and drama, making for an engaging and entertaining viewing experience.

Comparing “Poker Face” to “Murder, She Wrote,” one of the most iconic mystery series of all time, reveals some interesting similarities and differences. Both shows feature a strong and capable female lead who uses her intelligence and intuition to solve crimes. However, while “Murder, She Wrote” was known for its cozy, small-town setting and gentle tone, “Poker Face” takes a more modern and edgy approach to the genre.

“Murder, She Wrote” focused primarily on solving murders in a quaint and idyllic town, “Poker Face” takes a broader view of the crime genre, puts the character on teh road, constantly in new locations and meeting new characters.

In conclusion, “Poker Face” is a compelling series that is well worth watching. Its engaging writing, strong performances, and impressive production design make it a standout in the current television landscape. While it shares some similarities with “Murder, She Wrote,” it also takes the crime genre in exciting new directions, making it a fresh and innovative addition to the genre.

Gordo’s Grade: B+