Poker Face - Rian Johnson and Natasha Lyonne do Columbo

The throwback formula is great fun as stand-alone, network TV comfort food but it’s true that it doesn’t satisfy at the same level as other prestige TV shows can these days. I just love it for what it is.

I will say that this show is probably better not binge-watched. The (to modern tastes) goofy “how does she manage to bump into a murder every episode?” premise doesn’t stand out as much if you watch just one a week.

Says you, we binged it and loved it.

The theme song from Benson was really great. I bet the comedy doesn’t hold up too well though. Comedy always ages the worst outside of its own era.

Apparently Krampus is a real band. Huh. I thought they made that up for the show.

They thankfully break up the pattern for a few of the shows, which makes it a little more interesting. In particular, there’s an episode where knowing someone is lying isn’t really an asset, much less the pathway to resolving the situation.

Mostly I think it’s a show to let the guest star(s) of the week have a good time hamming it up before Lyonne even shows up.

That’s kind of my only complaint about the show. Lyonne is the best thing about it, and sometimes they take way too long to get to her. Like the Chloe Sevigny episode. She’s great, but they spent so much time with her the actual investigation felt rushed.

Maybe that’s another reason why it’s not hitting for me. With my actor face blindness, I don’t recognise any of the guest stars, at least not by name. Indeed, I didn’t know there were guest stars until just now.

That’s the Columbo show structure, though - first show how the villain did the deed, then the detective shows up in act 2.

Yeah, I just think sometimes Act 1 takes up too much time to the detriment of Act 2.

I kinda dig the show’s admittedly odd distillation of the formula. In an interview about Knives Out, Rian Johnson said that the best part of any whodunnit was the detective explaining the murder in the drawing room at the end. So he just made that 75% of the movie. Similarly here, I think the most enjoyable parts of Columbo-style procedurals are the little bottle dramas that end in a murder and coverup, and Columbo explaining the crime as an unlikely interloper.

Just finished ep 3 and part of 4 last night and I’m having fun with it (updated comcast included free Peacock). I do think that part of the issue (also hinted at above) is that I want more Charlie in the episodes. The lead-ups are interesting, but (at least in episodes 2-4), the lead-ups are taking over half the show, and I want more of Charlie calling Bullshit ;).

Hey nice, 5 recommended Columbo episodes to watch on Paramount+ once I get done with Poker Face on Peacock.

“Any Old Port in a Storm” is one of my all-time favorites. Peak of the series. That and “By Dawn’s Early Light” are probably tied for my favorites.

I watched “Time of the Monkey” this morning. I really enjoyed it. Very different from the other episodes of Poker Face so far. I also really like the concept of evil old people, which you really don’t see often enough on TV.

Skimming the thread, we’ve got two episodes left and am I the only one who feels like Lyonne is the worst part of the show?

Well, the character I guess, Charlie, not Lyonne herself necessarily. She’s just sort of unlikeable, almost all the time. No self awareness, always pushing people’s buttons, and it’s not like it’s part of her clever plan to get into the heads of her suspects or anything. She’s far too stupid for that, as week after week she almost talks her way into ending up as a victim herself. When the pieces click she’s often unable to stop herself from blurting out directly to very dangerous people that she knows what they did, with no plan for how to prove it or even protect herself.

And this last one we watched with Nick Nolte, he’s this tragic, sympathetic guy, she’s bonding with him, she’s fascinated by his art, and she’s still bumbling around dripping (what she thinks is) food on his stop motion models. She’s just annoying, to friend and foe alike, constantly.

We’ll see this through but I don’t think I’ll be back for season two.

So I’m watching the first episode of this, about halfway in, where the Adrian Brody’s character is less than enthused about hearing that Charlie asked the dead woman’s direct supervisor whether she’d clocked out.

Also, is it the same woman (and her husband) who are murdered, but the story tells it from two points of view? I was a bit confused by that.

It all makes sense in the end. Trust the show.

Yeah, the time travel stuff is actually explained really well.

Just finished season 1. Having come from Russian Dolls, I felt like Natasha is playing the almost same character but she have so much charisma, I don’t think it matters. Great series.
FYI, for Canadians out there, you can watch this on CBC gems for free with ads.