Although Kaleidoscope is an experiment that generally succeeds and even shines at times, it occasionally messes up when it comes to one of the episodes that airs later in the timeline than the conclusion. Your experience could differ from mine, but that’s also one of the show’s advantages. Despite any criticism, Kaleidoscope is definitely worth watching because of its captivating heists, compelling characters, and interesting viewing experience.
The heist genre never fails to be intriguing because, despite its polished, stylised tendencies, it frequently makes the audience feel safe. A film like the blue-collar-tinged “Logan Lucky,” for instance, wouldn’t be characterised as sleek and may not offer the same kind of “aspirational” portrayal of the criminal lifestyle as, say, Soderbergh’s “Ocean’s” franchise, but it nonetheless provides comfort for the same reasons as other heist media. The heist genre is an example of a whole being greater than the sum of its parts.
Even the most basic heist movies and TV programmes succeed when everything comes together because it’s always rewarding to see the big picture and put everything back in its proper perspective. And “Kaleidoscope,” a brand-new Netflix series, fulfils the description while adding a twist.
Apart from the fact that it is a heist programme starring Giancarlo Esposito, the new Netflix heist limited series’ selling point simply has to be its gimmick. And in this case, the gimmick is that the series may be seen in any sequence (apart from a brief introduction called “Black” and the finale called “White: The Heist”). Each Netflix customer will really have a totally unique viewing experience since the streaming service will propose the next episode you watch in a random order.
Construction of “Kaleidoscope”:
“Kaleidoscope” is purposefully made and constructed to operate in any specific sequence, according to screenwriter and novelist Eric Garcia (whose experience with the heist genre dates back to his 2002 novel “Matchstick Men,” for which he also created the screenplay adaptation). The episodes take place at different times; one is set six weeks before the major set piece theft, another seven years earlier, and a third is set six months following the crime.
The programme, which covers 25 years, is partially based on the true event of $70 billion in bonds that mysteriously disappeared after Hurricane Sandy in midtown Manhattan. Leo Pap, played by Esposito, is the mastermind behind the “Kaleidoscope” robbery, commanding a team of criminals that includes Ava the firearms expert, Judy the explosives expert, Bob the safecracker, Stan the smuggler, and RJ the driver (Jordan Mendoza). Additionally, they want to commit theft from Hannah Kim, a protégé of Roger Salas (Rufus Sewell), a corporate security tycoon (Tati Gabrielle).
Idea Behind “Kaleidoscope”:
The idea behind the show is intriguing, particularly as it seems to challenge the viewer to move outside of their comfort zone while watching a heist episode by comprehending the framework but watching it unfold in a different sequence than normal. Heist thrillers aren’t the only genres that use non-linear storytelling, but “Kaleidoscope’s” use of it has greater ramifications for Netflix’s future attempts at narrative development and broadens the way serialisation is seen.
After all, any one episode of a show may easily serve as a viewer’s first episode because broadcast TV was primarily built to allow for this. Technically, “Kaleidoscope,” a serialised show, is also trying to do that by treating seven of its eight episodes as potential pilots (and randomising the subsequent episodes outside of the finale).
Structure and Viewing Order of “Kaleidoscope”:
However, even though the series is made to work in any order and audiences are occasionally left in the dark about key plot points and character beats (though keen heist viewers can quickly piece together some pieces from various implications), it doesn’t follow that there isn’t a “correct” order to watch the episodes.
Despite the gimmick of the random order, it appears that the episode screeners were given to the critics in the same order, which could be assumed to be the “correct” or “proper” order:
- Black(the static intro to the series),
- Green: 7 Years Before,
- Yellow: 6 Weeks Before,
- Blue: 5 Days Before,
- Violet: 24 Years Before,
- Orange: 3 Weeks Before,
- Red: The Morning After,
- Pink: 6 Months After
- White: The Heist.”(static series conclusion)
(Netflix’s description also hints at greater rigidity than is actually the case, as it reads: “Some members may start with certain episodes (like episodes “Yellow” or “Green”), then move deeper into their own personal viewing order with varying episodes (such as “Blue” or “Violet” or “Orange,” followed by “Red” or “Pink”) until the epic “White: The Heist” story finale.)
Reviews About Kaleidoscope:
This particular episode order by far best fulfils the magic trick aspect of a heist, with “Yellow” gathering the team, revealing a big twist that is, regrettably, easy to guess in the opening moments of the episode, and laying the groundwork for the backfilling and foreshadowing of the succeeding episodes.
The episode “Yellow” is the one that most closely resembles a pilot episode, even more so than “Green” and “Violet,” which are set years before the robbery begins.
The purpose of the entire thing is to consider the individual episodes as a jigsaw piece. The series’ initial name was “Jigsaw,” but it was altered perhaps so as not to mislead viewers into believing they are going to witness something comparable to the “Saw” franchise. After all, you don’t always have to arrange puzzle pieces in a certain sequence. The problem is that serialised television in general is already a jigsaw puzzle.
“Kaleidoscope” is not creating the wheel, even though it is technically distinct and intriguing in its gimmick. Simply said, it’s a “Choose Your Own Quest” with less options for the adventure. In interactive specials like “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. The Reverend,” Netflix has already shown that it is pretty skilled at using that specific ploy.
With some of the casting decisions made for “Kaleidoscope,” you should expect what you’re going to receive just as you would with a heist programme. Esposito’s appointment gives the show gravity and legitimacy, Sewell creates a dependable smarmy antagonist for the audience to cheer for, and Courtney’s casting carries on his post-2010 record of entertaining, loose-canon character actor parts. Unfortunately, Gabrielle’s most intriguing performance of the season is in “Yellow,” which serves as her formal debut. Between this and “You,” Netflix has yet to give Gabrielle a part as dynamic as her appearance as Tati in “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.”
However, the fact that every character in the series serves as Courtney’s Bob’s straight man highlights how lighthearted the show is overall.
In fact, “Kaleidoscope” doesn’t appear to care about that either, despite the cool element of heists. The narrative is instead driven by the seediness, collateral harm, and lack of honour among thieves. Because of this, “Kaleidoscope” still has something to offer that makes it interesting to look at and watch. While the genre’s cliches are unquestionably all still present, they only truly fall flat when applied to the federal agent (Niousha Noor), who utterly fulfils the role of a grizzled woman officer who is unable to quit obsessing over her work.
Esposito and Sewell, though, serve as the show’s anchors with their dominance on the opposing chessboard sides, and it’s difficult to turn away from Courtney’s portrayal of Bob due to his glaring ignorance and poisonous nature.
Above all, these eight episodes provide a compelling case for “Kaleidoscope” to continue as an anthology series, each episode focusing on a major robbery or caper that can be emphasised even more effectively using this unique presenting technique.
Netflix is currently broadcasting all eight episodes of “Kaleidoscope.”
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