'Poker Face' is worthy spiritual successor to 'Columbo'

Director Rian Johnson tips hat to influences


February 2, 2023

Courtesy photo

Natasha Lyonne is Charlie Cale, a truth-sniffing amateur sleuth on the run, in Rian Johnson's "Poker Face" on Peacock.

Ever since COVID reacquainted me in 2020 with Peter Falk's "Columbo," I've considered how neat it would be to see the murder-mystery genre diversified by creating a female version of the Columbo character.

Until recently, one niche of character portrayals where women have been underrepresented, especially outside of relationship-oriented dramedies, is the "clever mess" category.

You'd recognize this character as a man, because he's Hugh Laurie as Dr. Gregory House and Peter Falk as LAPD Lt. Columbo. Their brilliant insights were offset by their rumpled clothes and five-o'clock-shadowed face...

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