When and Where Does Poker Face Take Place?

Image Credit: Sara Shatz/Peacock

Directed by Rian Johnson, Peacock’s thriller series ‘Poker Face’ revolves around Charlie Cale, who is renowned as a “human lie detector.” Charlie’s talents captivate Sterling Frost Jr., who hires her for a secret mission, which ends with the latter’s death. Sterling Frost Sr. sets out to exact his revenge on Charlie for leading his son to death, forcing her to embark on a cross-country trip. With the casino owner’s right-hand man Cliff LeGrand trying to find her, Charlie seeks refuge in several places, only to eventually continue her run. If you are intrigued about the places she ends up in, here’s everything you need to know about the show’s settings! SPOILERS AHEAD.

Modern Day Setting with Contemporary References

Although ‘Poker Face’ doesn’t reveal any specific year as its setting, it is safe to assume that it is happening in the present time. Within its intriguing “howcatchem” structure, the series does attempt to comment on the quirks of our contemporary times. In the second episode, murder victim Damian is a famed social media influencer and celebrity, who makes his workspace his “studio” as well. One of the reasons Jed kills Damian is likely because he cannot compete with the latter in terms of fame and appeal. Through Damian, the show succeeds in portraying how anyone can rise to become a “celebrity” among one’s peers in this Instagram era.

Image Credit: Phillip Caruso/Peacock

In the fourth episode, Al, one of the members of Doxxxology, tries to sell random materials associated with his band on eBay as highly-valued merchandise. The musician tries to sell a stapler that hits the band’s drummer Gavin by associating it with their hit song “Staplehead,” tricking the potential buyers. Al’s example shows how fan culture has changed over the years and prominent or famed personalities can take advantage of the same using the internet. Even though ‘Poker Face’ is ultimately an inverted murder mystery without any obligation to offer social commentary, the show turns these aforementioned examples into relatable plot points that intrigue the viewers.

Poker Face Takes Place in Las Vegas

‘Poker Face’ is structured as a road trip mystery series, with its narrative starting in Las Vegas, Nevada. In the first episode, Charlie is working at Frost Casino as an employee of Sterling Frost Jr. When the casino boss kills her friend Natalie, she leads him to his own death. To escape from Sterling’s potent father Sterling Frost Sr., she leaves Nevada and ends up in New Mexico. Johnson and his writers had chosen settings that parallel the features of the characters of the show. The flashiness of Sterling Jr. can be seen as a reflection of the appeal of Las Vegas. The isolated gas station stop in New Mexico in the second episode blends in with the episode’s killer Jed’s loneliness.

In the third episode, Charlie arrives in Texas and meets George Boyle, who is a master chef when it comes to meat and the co-owner of a BBQ joint. George’s decision to become a vegan becomes a dramatic development because he has lived his entire life cooking and eating meat in Texas, a state which is renowned for meat dishes and meat consumption. The fourth episode of the series is set across the state of Wisconsin, especially in the city of Milwaukee. The city is known for its breweries, bars, and pubs, which offer stages for Doxxxology to perform and survive.

In the upcoming episodes, we will see storylines set in or nearby the Adirondack Mountains, Atlantic City in New Jersey, etc. Although the episodes of the series’ first season are set across the country, they were prominently filmed in New York. Hudson Valley and Newburgh are the pivotal New York locations of the show and these locations doubled in for the Midwest settings of the series. In addition to New York, New Mexico and Los Angeles also hosted the show for the production of its first season.

Read More: Is Peacock’s Poker Face Based on a True Story or a Book?