Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Natasha Lyonne has another hit with Poker Face

 After watching avuncular Joe Biden expertly Trash Talk (in the easy style of Larry Bird) the entire Republican House and Senate at the State of the Union address last night, we switched over to Peacock for the new series by Rian Johnson and Natasha Lyonne, Poker Face.  Johnson is coming off his two clever, successful ensemble Knives Out films and Lyonne has rebounded from her low period with her Netflix Russian Doll series.

As an aside, I will not post any picture of Major Traitor Greene wearing her Wilma Flintstone/Cruella DeVille mash up puppy fur coat, Greene realizes her maniac antics and loud braying garner her an outsize media presence and influence and she's using that to move up the ladder in the U.S. House.  Greene and Santos are shameless assholes who know the modern conservative loves them for their venal stupidity and shamelessness.

Anyway, the Johnson/Lyonne series is an homage to the detective procedural dramas of the 1970's and 1980's all the way down to the yellow block font opening credits but, it is also a specific sub-genre of the murder mystery known as the HowCatchEm aka The Inverted Detective Story

Lyonne's disheveled character and beat up car

This plot device has been around a long time, Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder in the the 1950's for instance, but really flowered on television in the famous, star studded classic Colombo series.  Peter Falk's disheveled Lieutenant Colombo, the squat detective in the rumpled raincoat driving a 1959 dull gray Peugeot is an icon, and an archetype of the underestimated hero who outwits his opponents.

The series also pays attention to its' 1970's roots with her characters 1970 Plymouth and musical choices thus far, Junior's Farm by Paul McCartney and Fox on the Run by Sweet. 

The series is also set up like the A-Team with the character on the run with an overarching season long storyline while Charlie Cale solves a one-episode whodunit each week. And while Lyonne's character Charlie Cale has a minor superpower of instantly knowing when a character is lying to her with 100% certainty it's not a deal breaker since the writers of Colombo admitted when crafting their stories they did write Lt. Colombo as possessing an almost preternatural ability to ferret out the truth and seemingly possessing a 3rd person god's eye view of what had happened so in that regard, I don't have any problem giving Lyonne's character the ability to call bullshit in Poker Face.

It's a good show and you should watch it.

No comments: