Kaleidoscope Switches Up the Order


Kaleidoscope’s cover reflects its nonlinear plot. (Source: Netflix)

All television shows follow a simple, unspoken rule — watch the episodes in order. Netflix has decided to break this rule by producing a show that can be watched in any order: Kaleidoscope.

This new heist drama, released on January 1, consists of eight different parts, each highlighting a significant event in the crew’s burglary plan. It spans from two years before the heist to six months after it. Unlike other shows, it provides viewers with pieces of information instead of following a linear timeline.

Filmed in Brooklyn, the show has a familiar yet mysterious vibe that is guaranteed to have viewers on the edges of their seats. We have all seen heist media, but Kaleidoscope takes it to a whole new level — with its intricate characters, thoughtful planning and climactic execution, the show keeps watchers on their toes while giving them valuable background knowledge. Interestingly, it can be watched in exactly 40,320 different combinations, but Netflix always lists the finale as episode “White,” which culminates in the actual heist.

Although one can watch it in chronological order, viewers find that the show is more enticing when they can choose. It gives power to the individual and allows new viewers to begin watching without confusion. Gabriel Feinberg (II) says, “The show was super engaging. I really enjoyed connecting information about the characters throughout the episodes, and how past events lead to others.”

The creator, Eric Garcia, uses numerous tools to give the story a more exciting twist. By following suspense with shocking reveals, he tells an invigorating story. The show also puts a new twist on color theory. Each episode possesses a title that states a color, which is significant throughout the run. When asked about the show’s open watch order, its lead actor Giancarlo Esposito says, “I think the magic of this is to watch it in the color scheme that appeals to you.”

Even though the show has been praised as a groundbreaking production, it was awarded a mere 6.1 out of 10 rating on the IMDb website. Some critics claim the overall plot is too boring to make up for the interwoven storytelling. Other critics think the story is too difficult to follow. 

Preston Musoke (II) says, “It was a bit confusing at times, but it was worth the hype in my opinion.”

With its action-packed episodes, fun characters and complex arrangement, Kaleidoscope manages to blow viewers away and portray life in new colors. Although no Netflix original is perfect, Kaleidoscope comes close.