Poker Face, an irresistible new “case-of-the-week” comedy, invitations us to take a seat again and benefit from the experience because it follows an amiable drifter fixing crimes throughout America’s highways and hinterlands. Created by Rian Johnson, the present isn’t a whodunnit within the vein of his Knives Out films however an excellent cosier “howcatchem”: we watch as our detective deduces what has already been revealed to us from the very begin.
Although it could be a realizing, affectionate throwback to style classics equivalent to Columbo, the 10-part sequence is as a lot a novelty as it’s a nostalgia journey. In an period of grisly true-crime chillers, the present stands out for its heat and free method which prioritises playfulness over plausibility and brings stylistic aptitude to a well-worn components.
We start in Las Vegas, the place an insouciant, smoky-voiced cocktail waitress Charlie Cale (Natasha Lyonne) is about to embark on some severe sleuthing. She might lack the sophistication of a Poirot however not even a beer-for-breakfast food plan dulls her uncanny potential to identify lies, regardless of how snowy white or abysmally darkish.
After efficiently calling the bluff of a on line casino boss (Adrien Brody) following the suspicious homicide of an worker, Charlie is compelled to hit the street to evade the hitman on her path. Every episode finds her arriving at a brand new vacation spot — from a trucker cease to a BBQ competition — simply in time to crack a recent case. Performed by the likes of Chloë Sevigny and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the killers are sometimes determined — with petty motives and careless execution.
The tales don’t at all times maintain as much as shut scrutiny (and the plot blueprint can turn into repetitive) but it’s by no means lower than a pleasure to spend an hour or so in Charlie’s good-humoured firm as she scrutinises the predictability of human nature whereas discovering clues in unlikely locations. Innate expertise alerts her to falsehoods however it invariably takes a profitable mixture of scepticism, commentary, meddling and unflappable tenacity to convey her to the reality.
On Sky Max from Could 26 at 9pm and on Now thereafter; on Peacock within the US
Discover out about our newest tales first — comply with @ftweekend on Twitter