Netflix introduces a new viewing concept with “Kaleidoscope”


Courtesy of Netflix

“Kaleidoscope” is unique because the episodes can be viewed in any order.

A revolutionary concept for the future of television was introduced in Netflix’s latest hit: Kaleidoscope. The story follows an ensemble cast of engaging and diverse characters as they execute a daring multi-billion dollar heist in the middle of a Category 4 hurricane. The twist is watching the episodes unfold can be done in any order, leaving a different viewing experience every time.

While the story told by the end is essentially the same for every viewer, how you get there depends on the randomized order Netflix gives every different person. Each episode takes place at a different point in time in reference to the heist which is the last episode, and wraps up the central mystery. The span in time reaches as far as 24 years before heist to 6 months after it takes place.

Of course the initial question that arises is: which order is the best?

Depending on the order you watch it, the story unfolds in different ways, with explanations, twists and turns, and character development being revealed in manners, all of which make sense no matter how you watch. The final episode wraps up all stories as it displays the heist in full.

You may hear people suggest chronological order, rainbow order, or any other they think is the best. Truthfully, it doesn’t matter what order you view it in, but I would suggest watching the events after the heist before the finale and the backstory episode somewhere in the middle. This makes the reveal of the motivation more emotionally charged as it is after you become invested in the characters.

The series features several outstanding actors, with the standout performance going to the lead, Giancarlo Esposito. Esposito gives another outstanding performance, adding onto his list of iconic roles. Additional standouts include Jai Courtney and Paz Vega as their respective characters.

Because each episode has a distinct place in the timeline, it makes for an exciting individual viewing experience as most episodes have their own goal and story which serve to set up the heist or deal with aftermath of it. These include a prison break, a 300,000 dollar diamond heist, a revenge mission, and an exciting emotionally-charged backstory episode.

Plenty of critics have emerged claiming that while the show’s concept is executed correctly, it doesn’t mean it needed to be done. “Kaleidoscope” has a 45% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, with many claiming the show itself is bland. Many are left with the impression that the main characters are unlikeable, and their actions are outlandish. I couldn’t disagree more. The purpose of the show isn’t to glorify thieves and portray them as wronged individuals taking what they rightfully deserved. The characters’ stories and actions align with their characterization, which doesn’t need to be morally justifiable to make a good show.

The character development progresses through the timeline and as you put the pieces together you find out both what motivates the characters and what actually took place. The show contains action, drama, and emotional moments surrounding investing characters. “Kaleidoscope” is worth a watch for not just the concept, but its content.