“Poker Face” inspirations to watch after Season 1

Showrunners Nora and Lilla Zuckerman tell IndieWire about the television influences that helped them create the mysteries of “Poker Face,” from “Columbo” to “Luther.”

“Poker Face” is a throwback in both format and tone — an episodic murder mystery of the week in the age of serialized storytelling that focuses on neglected areas of America rather than fantastical realms and post-apocalyptic what-ifs. After the first season ends, there won’t be much of the same on television for a while — at least until Season 2 premieres.

But that doesn’t mean there weren’t more like it on television at one time. To combat the exit of “Poker Face,” Peacock series showrunners Nora and Lilla Zuckerman shared the shows that influenced the series on howcatchem in a recent episode of IndieWire’s Tooklit podcast.

Listen to our full interview with Nora and Lilla Zuckerman below. To hear this and more conversations with your favorite TV and film makers, subscribe to the Toolkit podcast via Apple Podcasts, Pocket Casts, Spotifyobsession Cloudy.

“One of the joys of finally getting this show out into the world (is) having shows like ‘Columbo’ and ‘Murder, She Wrote’ on Peacock,” Nora Zuckerman told IndieWire. they’d watch ‘Poker Face’ and jump into episodes of ‘Columbo’ or ‘Murder, She Wrote.’ .”

As for where to start and which episodes made “Poker Face,” the Zuckermans have some favorite “Columbo” episodes. “I love the Leonard Nimoy episode (‘A Stitch in Crime’). That’s wonderful. ‘Murdered by the Book’ is about a writing team, so Lilla and I probably have some kinship with that,” said Nora Zuckerman.

Poker Face Influences: Columbo, Murder He Wrote, Luther and Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

Influences on ‘Poker Face’: ‘Columbo’, ‘Luther’, ‘Mirder, She Wrote’ and ‘Alfred Hitchcock Presents’.

Courtesy of the Everett Collection

“My favorite episode is actually about a female writer who’s kind of an Agatha Christie,” said Lilla Zuckerman. “Not only is he completely diabolical and evil in this murder that he does, but then he really befriends Columbo and it’s actually quite heartbreaking when he has to bring justice and put him away. It’s called “Try and Catch Me.” It kind of reminds me of (Poker Face episode 5) Time of the Monkey where Charlie has this bond with Joyce and Irene and it’s so heartbreaking when he has to do the right thing, you have to face them and get rid of them.”

Read more: Every episode of ‘Poker Face’, ranked

But the structure of the “Poker Face” episodes, which begin with the audience watching a murder (or in some cases seems like a murder) from a certain point of view before Charlie stumbles upon its solution also draws from more recent entries in the detective genre. “I love the British show ‘Luther,’ which has a lot of fans and is a classic howcatchem in some ways, but it’s done in such a different way,” said Nora Zuckerman. “Incredibly, completely different, but the murder on top of an episode of ‘Luther’ is in some ways its own little movie.”

“The other thing I’ll mention that I watched, which isn’t necessarily in the murder mystery genre, but was really informative and enlightening and inspiring, is that I went back and watched a lot of (the 1950s anthology series) ‘The Gifts of Alfred Hitchcock ” said Lilla Zuckerman. “I would encourage people to dive into that as well. The storytelling is so modern. It’s so resonant. It’s spooky and fun and sinister and subversive and super creative, so I had a lot of fun watching it all again.”

“I just hope we make murder mystery stories cool again. I mean, Rian has already done it in the movies. We hope we can do it on television as well,” said Nora Zuckerman.

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