Knit to This
Knit to This: Poker Face
I go back and forth about whether I prefer bingeing a new show all at once or downing each episode one-per-week, as Gen-Z TikTok influencers like, oh, Milton Berle and Lucille Ball intended. Sometimes, it really just depends on the show. I found more than one Handmaid’s Tale at a time impossible, but I binged two seasons of The Marvelous Mrs Maisel in one long day (no, I do NOT want to talk about productivity … or my subsequent two-day phase of speaking exclusively in mid-century Greenwich Village lingo).
The new-ish series Poker Face presents a real dilemma, though. As each episode dropped weekly, I found it so, so delicious that I wanted to eat the whole box of Columbo-flavored candy all at once … but it’s so, so good that I was also just fine making it last as long as possible. The first season has ended, so you can choose how YOU want to do it.
You might already know the set-up. Natasha Lyonne plays Charlie Cale, a Vegas casino cocktail waitress with an unusual gift—she’s a human lie detector. After the first episode sets up a reason for her to be on the run and off the grid, each subsequent episode reveals her in a different place, with a different odd job (each progressively more oddball and more hilariously unlikely than the last: barbecue chef, rock and roll roadie, dinner theater waitress, retirement home orderly … go-kart rental agent?), and in true Columbo fashion, in each job she’s got a different murder or two to solve. She’s the harbinger of death, y’all. If you see Natasha Lyonne heading your way, run.
Frankly, I could do without the human lie-detector bit. It seems to me she could just walk around and say, “Did you do it?” “Did YOU do it?” “DID YOU DO IT?” until her lie detecting organ or whatever it is dings. But no, the writers (of which Lyonne is one, occasionally) satisfyingly complicate the plot so she can solve the mystery in a matching complicated way. It is tremendous fun, even when it feels like the long way to get there.
I’ve mentioned Columbo twice now and that’s not by accident. The creators of the show know exactly what they’re doing with the constant vibe references, and they know we know they know. Guest stars galore! Chlöe Sevigny! Judith Light! Hong Chau! S. Epatha Merkerson! Nick Nolte! Stephanie Hsu! Ellen Barkin! Joseph Gordon-Levitt! I mean … it just goes on and on in a way not seen since Murder, She Wrote or The Love Boat and I would have it no other way.
Even the titles at the front of each episode harken back to Columbo, right down to the way the drop-shadowed title of each is displayed with the copyright date right there at the bottom in Roman numerals. Charlie has one thing Columbo doesn’t, though, and that’s the spectacular Natasha Lyonne (seriously, she is the absolute cat’s meow in this) and her shag/mullet, which not even the great Peter Falk ever dared to try.
Poker Face is streaming on Peacock, which is apparently another thing.
The prize? For no particular reason except that detectives are sometimes called gumshoes and gum is often mint-flavored, it’s Soak in Wild Mint!
Soak is the modern way to clean and refresh your handknits—and all your beloved laundry. Its gentle, eco-friendly, no-rinse formulation comes in five light scents and also scentless for when you’d just rather keep it simple. A 3-ounce bottle travels with you and is good for 18+ washes.
How to enter?
Step 1: Sign up for MDK emails, right here. If you’re already signed up, you’re all set. We have a new option for texting, so when you sign up for those, you’ll get a coupon code good for 10% off your next MDK order.
Step 2: “Who loves ya, baby?” What is your favorite detective show? Let us know in the comments.
Deadline for entries: Sunday, May 14, 11:59 PM Central time. We’ll draw a random winner from the entries. Winner will be notified by email.