KALEIDOSCOPE on Netflix is a new crime thriller series with a fresh twist; People will see the episodes in a different order. The story is good, but not great. The twist feels like a gimmick but that’s about it. Read our full Kaleidoscope series review here!
KALEIDOSCOPE is a new Netflix series with a story that spans a whopping 25 years. Each episode is set at a different place in time and offers a piece of the puzzle. In fact, the title was previously Jigsaw, but – as any horror fan will tell you – that particular title has a strong connection to the Saw franchise.
Using the kaleidoscopic approach as opposed to a puzzle still works. The series has this fresh approach of showing episodes in a different order, it makes sense with this title, as well. It’s not like the Black Mirror movie Bandersnatch where you [the viewer] make any choice, so it’s more up to chance.
There are eight episodes (plus a one-minute introduction episode) in the series.
Continue reading our full Kaleidoscope series review below. Find it on Netflix from January 1, 2023.
The heist was inspired by true crime
As already mentioned, the story in the Kaleidoscope series on Netflix spans 25 years. It’s actually loosely inspired by a real-life story. The case where seventy billion dollars in bonds went missing in downtown Manhattan during Hurricane Sandy. “Loosely” is a good description, but as far as the framing of the heist, it makes perfect sense.
And really, everything in Kaleidoscope is set in relation to the heist. There are eight episodes in the series that span 25 years – from 24 years before the heist to 6 months after the actual heist.
The heist consists of cracking a seemingly uncrackable vault that is guarded by the world’s most powerful corporate security team.
The crew attempting to pull off this heist (I won’t spoil if they succeed here) consists of some very peculiar characters. Most have their own specialty which makes them a valuable asset. And one of them is mainly just as ass. One that I never truly understood why they accepted into the crew. Or trusted even remotely!
The gimmick and ending of Kaleidoscope
Kaleidoscope is described as an anthology series, which makes good sense due to the gimmicky approach. This “gimmick” is having the crime anthology story told in a non-linear way. This is meant to be an “approach to storytelling, building intrigue and suspense uniquely”.
Each Netflix member will get a different immersive viewing experience. In other words, you can’t speak of “episode 3” with someone, since their episode 3 might very well differ from your episode 3. Instead, each episode has a color as its title and this is what you have to refer to.
Some members may start with certain episodes (such as “Yellow” or “Green”), before moving into their own personal viewing order with varying episodes (“Blue” or “Violet” or “Orange” – followed by “Red” or “Pink”). And then comes the story finale with “White: The Heist”.
So, does this gimmick of the Kaleidoscope crime anthology work?
Well, it’s difficult to say how someone else would view this since I only have my own “viewing experience” to go on. For me, it’s all about the story. If the story works, you can do this “jumping back and forth”-dance all you want. And the story does work. However, it could have been great and it’s only good.
Also, while watching the final episode, I felt like I still had many questions that were unanswered. Perhaps I missed a quick mention of something here or there in one flashback or another. Maybe it just never got answered.
How will you watch Kaleidoscope on Netflix?
Eric Garcia is the creator of Kaleidoscope. He previously wrote the books that were adapted into the movies Matchstick Men (2003) and Repo Men (2010). However, he is no stranger to filmmaking as he also produced The Autopsy of Jane Doe. And yes, he is a producer on this new Netflix series as well.
Once you’ve watched the entire anthology series, you will obviously have watched all the same episodes as anyone else. However, the question is; How will the order in which you watch the episodes affect your viewpoint on the story and the characters? Or will it even differ that much?!
Each episode reveals something that will influence the heist. We’ll be going through all the usual suspects when it comes to motive: Corruption, greed, vengeance, scheming, loyalties, and betrayals! So who gets away with it? Can anyone be trusted? Watch Kaleidoscope on Netflix and find out for yourself.
Kaleidoscope is released on Netflix globally on January 1, 2023. Happy New Year!
Creator: Eric Garcia
Directors: Mairzee Almas, Everardo Gout, José Padilha
Stars: Giancarlo Esposito, Rufus Sewell, Paz Vega, Tati Gabrielle, Rosaline Elbay, Jai Courtney, Peter Mark Kendall, Niousha Noor, Jordan Mendoza
A master thief and his crew attempt an epic and elaborate heist worth $7 billion dollars — but betrayal, greed and other threats undermine their plans.