Natasha Lyonne Stars in ‘Poker Face’

Natasha Lyonne stars in this Columbo-style whodunit as a PI with an uncanny ability to spot lies

Truth be told

Director Rian Johnson has been on a roll lately, thanks to the success of Knives Out and his recent followup Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.  

This week brings the debut of Johnson’s first TV series, Poker Face. Produced for NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service in the U.S. (and airing on streamer Citytv+ here in Canada), the show hearkens back to the mystery-of-the-week format featured in such classic crime-solving series as Columbo and Murder, She Wrote.  

Natasha Lyonne (Russian Doll) stars as Charlie Cale, who solves crimes armed only with her vintage Plymouth Barracuda and uncanny ability to detect when someone is lying to her. 

Poker FaceCity+The 10-episode debut season of Poker Face is loaded with guest stars, usually (but not exclusively) playing a particular episode’s evil-doer. In fact, it’s an impressive list that includes Adrien Brody, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Benjamin Bratt, Lil Rel Howery, Ellen Barkin, Chloë Sevigny, Jameela Jamil, Tim Meadows, Simon Helberg, S. Epatha Merkerson, Judith Light, Nick Nolte, Ron Perlman, Tim Blake Nelson, Luis Guzmán, Clea DuVall and more.  

While Poker Face may be Lyonne’s first time starring in a noir-style mystery, it’s a genre that has long interested her. 

Poker FaceCity+“I’d always been obsessed with all iterations of Philip Marlowe,” Lyonne—who is also exec producer—explained in a recent interview with Nylon, referencing the fictional P.I. played by actors such as Humphrey Bogart and Robert Mitchum. 

“I’m very excited to dig into the type of fun, character-driven, case-of-the-week mystery goodness I grew up watching,” said Johnson about the series when it was first announced. “It’s my happy place. Having Natasha as a partner in crime is a dream, and we’ve found the perfect home at Peacock.” 

Poker Face premieres Thursday, January 26 on City+