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Charlie Cale (played by Natasha Lyonne) has a unique talent that gets her into a lot of trouble—she knows instantly when someone is lying. Of course, this can come in handy too, especially when sitting at poker tables at small casinos scattered across America.

In fact, Charlie’s unique ability at a poker table is what gets the whole story started. After getting in trouble as a lone casino shark, she is offered huge sums of money to detect the lies of powerful people making deals at some of the largest casinos in the country. When an arranged deal around a table goes terribly wrong, Charlie is on the run for her life, detecting lies and solving crimes along the way. Charlie is often not happy about her special ability, but she has an inner sense of right and wrong that compels her to keep asking questions until the truth is exposed and a crime is eventually solved.

Inspired by the Columbo crime mysteries that aired 1971-78 on NBC, Poker Face uses an “inverted” detective story format, which means each episode starts with the crime and who committed it—eliminating the “whodunnit” question right from the beginning. The fun and challenge of the rest of the episode is watching how Charlie Cale pieces together the clues to solve the puzzle in the end. 

After the soaring success of the “Knives Out” films, director Rian Johnson created this 10-episode series. It has received critical acclaim and was recently renewed for a second season. This is good news because season one ends with a resolution, but also with a new challenge as Charlie finds herself on the run again, chased by powerful people who want her dead. (Peacock, Rated TV-MA, for violence and profanity. Recommended for adults.)

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