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SYFY WIRE Poker Face

‘Poker Face’ star Natasha Lyonne will take your calls on Peacock’s 'B.S. Hotline' phone service

Need help with the truth? Think of this as your own personal B.S. detector.

By Benjamin Bullard
Natasha Lyonne as Charlie Cale in Poker Face Season 1 Episode 1

If only life gave away cheat codes like this every day: Just in time for this week’s Peacock premiere of Rian Johnson’s new mystery show Poker Face, the plucky streamer has handed out an 800 number where none other than series star Natasha Lyonne is answering, serving up pre-recorded messages that take square aim at helping you call bulls**t.

As Charlie Cale in the soon-to-release comedy sleuthing series, Lyonne’s character may not know how to pin down perps, read ‘em their rights, and book ‘em into the county jail. But she’s endowed with a detective’s gift that's probably better: a preternaturally keen sense of what a flat-out lie sounds like — and when somebody’s telling one.

Peacock’s cheeky viral play on that idea is 1-866-NOBLSHT, an actual number that dials up the “BS Hotline,” an on-the-nose replication of your everyday menu-maze answering service. A perky greeter auto-answers to assure “your call is very important to us!,” as you listen to a triage of button-mashing options on how to handle the liar (or liars) in your life.

RELATED: Before Peacock's 'Poker Face,' revisit the 8 best mystery series

Johnson and the gang have apparently thought this whole thing through: Numbered selections on the keypad range from Charlie’s tips on dealing with garden-variety deceit cases like “swindlers” and “cheaters” all the way up to “when you're working a dead-end job at Sterling Casino and your boss is clearly up to something shady” — a conundrum that sounds just a little too specific to have been anything other than a product of firsthand experience.

Of course Peacock’s first notion of people who could benefit from Charlie’s built-in lie detector points straight to characters in neighboring NBC series, whether it’s Steve Carrell’s Michael Scott in The Office, Andre Braugher’s Cpt. Holt in Brooklyn Nine-Nine, or (our favorite) Mariska Hargitay’s ace detective Olivia Benson in Law & Order: SVU. The streamer even tweeted out accompanying character photos (hint, hint), just to be extra-sure that gullible souls like Michael Scott — wherever he is — get the truth-sniffing help they so desperately, hopelessly need.

Lyonne’s Poker Face character is set to embark on a 10-episode journey, as Johnson brings over to the small screen some of the same mystery-loving vibes we’ve seen in his Knives Out films. Poker Face has a twist, though: The series plays out an end-to-end mystery with each single episode, serving up hour-long procedurals that Johnson (who produces the series and directs a handful of episodes) has previously explained are inspired by the episodic TV mystery shows of his childhood.

With Lyonne in the driver’s seat, Poker Face’s week-to-week lineup of self-contained stories gives a huge list of guest stars their chance at an episode or two with Charlie as she encounters new faces from one installment to the next. Expect Adrien Brody in the series premiere, followed all season long by a huge roster of guest actors that includes Nick Nolte, Chloë Sevigny, Ellen Barkin, Tim Meadows, Jameela Jamil, Lil Rel Howery, Benjamin Bratt, and tons more.

If your B.S. detector needs fresh batteries, now’s definitely the time to act: The series premiere of Poker Face is just around the bend, kicking off at Peacock beginning Thursday, Jan. 26.

Looking for another new series that combines crime and comedy? Check out Paul T. Goldman, now streaming on Peacock.