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Charlie Cale is bringing her “bullshit” meter to the Super Bowl.
In a spot that will air during the 2023 Super Bowl, Natasha Lyonne’s character from Peacock’s Poker Face is riffing on some of the ads that precede her big game debut. Designed to make it seem like Charlie is weighing in on the ads in real time, the Poker Face ad, directed by by Dan Opsal Of Hungry Man Productions, partnered with M&Ms and Google Pixel for what is being debuted as a “meta” spin on advertising.
The ad features Charlie in a bar watching the game, along with another patron, who is curious about her special ability to be able to call out when someone isn’t telling the truth. He asks her about a beer ad, along with the Pixel and M&M ads, that will air before the spot during the match-up between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles.
The ad also serves as a teaser for what M&Ms has in store, with many eyes on the brand following their announcement of Maya Rudolph as their new spokesperson. (Lyonne and Rudolph together run their Animal Pictures banner, which produces Poker Face with T-Street and MRC Television.)
The Poker Face big game moment will arrive after six episodes have been released. The 10-episode murder mystery-of-the-week series has set fugitive Charlie Cale on a road trip, where she has met a starry guest cast of murderers and victims along the way, including Benjamin Bratt, Adrien Brody, Lil Rel Howery, Chloë Sevigny and Judith Light. Cale anchors the series with her extraordinary ability to determine when someone is lying, which helps her solve each week’s murder in spectacular Johnson-like fashion (coming from the mind of the Knives Out filmmaker).
The sixth episode released this week stars Ellen Barkin, Tim Meadows and Jameela Jamil in a theatrical episode that co-showrunners Nora and Lilla Zuckerman had previously teased to The Hollywood Reporter as the toughest episode to crack. (More to come from Barkin on the episode to THR later on Thursday.)
The howcatchem detective show format is inspired by shows of the ’80s and ’90s that Johnson and Lyonne grew up watching, like Magnum P.I., Murder, She Wrote, The A-Team and Quantum Leap. Johnson cited the shows as being “about wanting to come back to hang out with this character that you love and see them win” and hoping to recapture that with Cale on Poker Face, which after dropping the first four episodes all at once now releases weekly on Thursdays.
“She just can’t help herself but to crack the case. She can’t stand a lie, she loves the little guy, she hates injustice. And really, she just loves a puzzle,” Lyonne has told THR about the character, which follows her Emmy-nominated turn on the Netflix series she co-created, Russian Doll. “I think of Charlie as a little bit more settled, a little but more seasoned, a little bit more relaxed. And somebody who likes people and is curious.”
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