Spoilers wanna hold ’em like they do in Texas.

I was looking for something different to watch when I ran into this one. I am already a fan of Natasha Lyonne‘s other project, Russian Doll. Now, technically this is not her baby, but a creation by Rian Johnson. However, this is all on Lyonne’s charismatic presence. Now, before we get into it, this is going to be a serial by every definition of the word. Despite it happening in the present, there’s a distinct 80’s feel to it. Not to mention, the whole gimmick of presenting the crime as it happens first and introducing our pseudo detective to figure it all out later is classic Columbo.

Poker Face (2023) is created by Rian Johnson. Charlie Cole (Natasha Lyonne) has a hidden talent. She can tell a lie when she hears one. That blessing also comes with a curse. She feels compelled to expose a crime when she recognizes one. After one of her friends’ murder is covered up, Charlie ends up in deep trouble with the mafia that runs the casino where they both worked at. Now she’s on the run, going from place to place closely followed by mafia hitman Cliff (Benjamin Pratt) and wanted as a person of interest in the death of Sterling Frost, Jr. (Adrien Brody).

Each of the following episodes is a small story onto itself where we get to see a murder being cautiously committed, an almost perfect crime. It’s up to Charlie, working with very tight window, to deduce and figure it out. Although her talent does help her sniff out when something’s up, it’s her ability to follow through each clue to unravel each puzzle. Her introduction, always later in the episode, is in a time crunch. For most of it, she never gets to see the murderer gets its due. She has to keep moving along.

The premise works. The stories can be a little bit of a mixed bag. Some of them will be more satisfying than others. The idea of the audience knowing how the crime was committed but not how Charlie will get to solve it has been used before (see: Columbo) but I did enjoy the aspect that this was almost everyday people. Charlie is not living a glamorous life inside her beat-up Plymouth Barracuda. Finding her character, with all her quirks and oddities, is 100% whether you’ll want in on this game or not.

Highly recommended. Not all the episodes are bangers, but overall it is a pretty well-built premise with adequate mysteries. These are really classic detective stories told with a more road trip flare. The entire thing rests on Natasha Lyonne’s shoulders as lead Charlie Cale. She’s not your average detective, or damsel on the run or anything average. Worth a watch and even a rewatch for all the things you might have missed.

That will do for now.