Shows Like Poker Face
The first season of Peacock’s Poker Face is almost over—here are the classic TV crime shows that inspired it to check out next.
Great news for fans of Poker Face: Peacock has renewed the comedy-mystery series for a second season before the first is even finished. Star Natasha Lyonne tweeted, “We’re so happy you like our show and can’t wait to make some more for you,” while show creator/producer Rian Johnson’s tweet was a bit more sarcastic: “Our goal is to keep making these until you’re so sick of us.”
Both Lyonne and Johnson have been vocal that Poker Face is a throwback tribute to classic TV detective shows of the ’70s and ’80s, solving case-of-the-week mysteries with a light comic touch. After the Season 1 finale on March 9, you’ll probably want some more like-minded shows to jump into—why not go to the inspirational sources?
Shows like Poker Face and where to stream them
The biggest influence on Poker Face, right down to Lyonne’s cigars, disheveled wardrobe, and “Ah, just one more thing” rejoinders. TV classic Columbo (featuring Peter Falk as the titular detective), as Poker Face does now, revealed the crime and culprit up front, leaving us to watch how he’s going to figure it out before the hour’s up. Also: celebrity guest stars galore.
Where to stream Columbo
The Rockford Files (1974–1980)
Jim Rockford (James Garner) was an ex-con who became a private investigator, so he knew how to work both sides of the law to crack a case. Like Lyonne’s Charlie Cale, Jim was a crafty fibber who can always talk—or fight—his way out of a sketchy situation or assume a new identity. Jim was also a loner who nonetheless had some colorful accomplices.
Where to stream The Rockford Files
Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
She was a mystery novelist, but Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) also solved more murder cases than the Cabot Cove and New York City police forces combined. Like Jessica, Poker Face’s Charlie has keen smarts and the ability to see through a suspect’s BS, as well as an inexhaustible inquisitive nature. Oh, and she was a woman working in a man’s world.
Where to stream Murder, She Wrote
Starsky & Hutch (1975–1979)
Few crime dramas are as intrinsically linked with a car as Starsky & Hutch, the ultimate ’70s buddy-cop show. Lyonne’s Charlie doesn’t work with a partner, but she does drive a bitchin’ blue Plymouth Barracuda that’s just as cool as S&H’s iconic red-and-white-striped Ford Gran Torino. Charlie also occasionally wears a sweater nearly identical to Starsky’s.
Where to stream Starsky & Hutch
Pretty Hard Cases (2021–2023)
Canadian import Pretty Hard Cases is more of a modern-day contemporary to Poker Face, a comic crime series about two female Toronto detectives (Meredith MacNeill and Adrienne C. Moore) who have the brains and skills to solve cases but can’t quite get their personal lives together. Pretty Hard Cases was originally titled Lady Dicks, which Charlie would totally appreciate.