Peacock’s Poker Face begins like an intense drama but quickly morphs into a garden variety police procedural with a twist. Natasha Lyonne’s character Charlie, while on the run, finds herself at the center of murder after murder in every town she visits. She investigates, solves, and brings down murderers of all kinds, from a Texas barbecue restaurant owner to a has-been rock musician, a race car driver, and a Bonnie & Clyde-like duo living in a retirement home. Charlie isn’t a cop, but she has a gift: she can detect when someone is lying so flawlessly, that every white lie sets off a lightbulb that something bigger might be behind it.
If you like Poker Face, which has been renewed for a second season, these are all great shows to consider watching while you anxiously await its return.
When it comes to murder mystery series that combine both dramatic and comedic elements, The Afterparty is a good choice. It works in a reverse fashion like Poker Face, with the crime being depicted in the beginning followed by the lengthy process that Detective Danner (Tiffany Haddish) embarks on to figure out what happened. While Danner and her partner Detective Culp (John Early) are more hapless than helpful, it turns out she’s far more observant and intuitive than she lets on. The episodes all pertain to the same incident, but each one focuses on a different character and the story told through their perspective. Naturally, each person views the events of the night differently and reveals a new clue based on their actions that fateful evening. With each unique perspective also comes a different genre, with episodes going from romantic comedy to horror movie to action film, and more, similar to how Poker Face’s episodes each have a unique look and feel for the backdrop and theme.
Detective Danner might not have the same gifts as Charlie, but she picks up on subtle clues that lead to figuring out who the murderer is and why they did it. The Afterparty is another whodunit show with a more humorous twist that will appeal to fans of Poker Face.
Stream The Afterparty on Apple TV+
Like Poker Face, Murderville is a murder mystery with a unique twist. This show skews more towards the comedic side with improvisation by the cast who spoof the genre. There’s a different celebrity in each episode, much like Poker Face, with Will Arnett as the link (like Charlie). He plays Terry Seattle, a senior detective looking for help in solving a heinous crime. There’s no script, so each celebrity, including Conan O’Brien, Marshawn Lynch, Sharon Stone, Ken Jeong, and others, simply goes with the flow to help steer Seattle in the direction they think might be the right one based on clues. The resulting outcomes are often hilarious.
Based on the BBC Three series Murder in Successville, Murderville gives the same subtle clues and hints you’ll see in Poker Face with a diverse guest-starring cast list that’s just as impressive.
Stream Murderville on Netflix
Poker Face is described as a modern-day interpretation of Columbo, so it makes sense that classic crime drama would appeal to fans. Unlike Lyonne’s character, however, who does not work in law enforcement, Peter Falk stars as Lieutenant Columbo, a homicide detective in Los Angeles. The similarities are in the inverted detective style, also called “howcatchem,” whereby the crime and who committed it is shown first, after which viewers follow Columbo as he works his way through the clues to figure out what happened.
With the same whodunit themes and compartmentalized episodes, Columbo might be decades old, but the character draws parallels to Lyonne’s Charlie and is just as entertaining.
Stream Columbo on Peacock
In another crime drama, Dr. Cal Lightman (Tim Roth) is an expert in reading people on Lie to Me, much like Charlie. His gifts are called upon by law enforcement to help with cases thanks to his uncanny ability to observe micro-expressions and body language to determine when someone is lying. While he uses a more psychological and scientific approach than the unique gift that was seemingly bestowed upon Charlie with no rhyme or reason, the end result is the same.
With a unique story in every episode, there are three seasons and a total of 48 episodes of Lie To Me. That’s more than enough content to watch while you anxiously await the confirmed season 2 of Poker Face.
A police procedural drama, the main character in The Mentalist is Patrick Jane (Simon Baker), a man who consults for the California Bureau of Investigation (CBI) using his purported psychic abilities. He can’t read people like Charlie, per se, but he claims to have paranormal abilities. Originally working as a con man, Patrick doesn’t really have supernatural powers, but his years of pretending have helped him develop skills in cold reading and hypnosis. He uses this newly acquired perception, in turn, to read people and their behaviors.
Patrick is a lot like Charlie in that he once used his abilities to lie, cheat, and steal. But now, he’s using them for good and solving crimes in the process. There’s one, big case that ties it all together, just like in Poker Face: Patrick is trying to hunt down the serial killer who murdered his wife and daughter. With an interesting twist, it’s Patrick who is tracking down a threat versus Charlie in Poker Face, who is running from one.
Stream The Mentalist on HBO Max
Russian Doll has nothing to do with murder mysteries unless you count the fact that the protagonist is trying to solve her own recurring death. She’s living in a Groundhog Day nightmare, and eventually even dabbles in time travel to figure out the meaning of it all.
The main reason to watch Russian Doll is to get more of Natasha Lyonne and her signature crass, rough-around-the-edges portrayals of characters you wish you were friends with, but also worry deeply about. She heads up this widely successful series as well, and while the storylines are very different, if you’re a fan of Lyonne, Russian Doll is worth watching.
Stream Russian Doll on Netflix
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