Poker Face (1 x 01)

SPOILERS

“Dead Man’s Hand”

I have found another series that I want to watch. It was on Peacock, of all places. I have Peacock mainly because of the WWE, but they do have several movies and original series on the streamer as well. I just have never been interested in any of their shows before. I saw the premise for Poker Face and the high Rotten Tomatoes score for the series and I wanted to give it a chance. After the first episode, I was in.

Television has had plenty of examples of these kind of “mysteries-of-the-week” shows. Mysteries where we know who the guilty person is, but the fascinating part is how our protagonist is going to figure it out. It worked for Columbo, The Rockford Files, Monk. If the lead character grabs the attention of the audience, they will follow along as the character discovers the truth.

Unlike the other shows I mentioned, Poker Face’s main character is not a cop or a detective. She is not Columbo. She is not Adrian Monk. She is not James Rockwell.

Created from the mind of Rian Johnson, Poker Face tells the story of Charlie Cale (Natasha Lyonne), a woman who can tell if someone is lying. Natasha Lyonne was a regular on Orange is the New Black as well as several other projects. Part of the success of this episode was the charisma and skills of Natasha Lyonne.

The show kicked off at a casino where one of Charlie’s friends, Natalie (Dascha Polanco), a casino maid, found incriminating evidence on a laptop as she was cleaning a room and she took it to her boss, the casino manager Sterling Frost Jr. (Adrien Brody). Unfortunately, Frost was involved and wanted that information hidden. He sent his security head Cliff (Benjamin Bratt) to take Natalie out. Since she had an abusive husband, he made it look like a murder-suicide.

This first episode was written and directed by Rian Johnson and he brought his best to the series. I enjoyed this first episode very much. The shocking suicide of Adrien Brody’s character was a huge event in the episode and set up Charlie to go on the run to avoid Frost Sr.’s vengeful plan. It was kind of like David Banner on the old Incredible Hulk TV show.

I have three more episodes after the pilot that have been released already available on Peacock. There will be new episodes every Thursday.

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