‘Kaleidoscope’ on Netflix Review: 2023’s First Great Series

Kaleidoscopelike the explosion of fractals names, it has a lot of good things to look at – and I don’t just mean Jai Courtney, one of the members of the heist team assembled to rob a bank of seven billion dollars. all life.

Netflix’s latest series, which premiered on January 1, is intentionally designed with flashy distractions that will keep your eyes peeled. There are bright colors and hidden secrets everywhere you look, making each episode its own hypnotic fantasy game. It’s a smart idea, which builds effectively on the unique watch experience.

You see, Kaleidoscope it is made so that its first seven parts can be seen in any order. Not only that, but each Netflix subscriber will have their episodes delivered to them in a different way. There are no part numbers, with each part paired with a color code: “Yellow,” “Pink,” “Orange,” “Blue,” “Green,” “Violet,” and “Red.” “White,” the last sequence, is placed at the bottom of every user’s order

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Some may think of this non-linear structure as a scam, a sophisticated trick used to hook viewers and convince them to watch all the way to the end without suffering from too much fatigue. Does Netflix really scratch episodes, and things like that really play all that differently if you look at them out of order? The short answer is “Yes.” And to prove it, I purposely skipped out on the program I was given to test Netflix’s offer.

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As it happens, Kaleidoscope it’s even more fun if you play with it. After careful analysis, Netflix combines the segments of each user in three different sets: The first two segments (“Yellow” and “Green”), followed by the middle three (“Orange,” “Blue,” and “Violet”) , ending with the last two before the last ( “Red,” and “Pink”). But without a doubt, some users break the rules and jump around, looking for links that help make sense of the sequence and test if random behavior works.

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The series itself is a fun mind-bender, which is even more satisfying to connect the dots when you think about how the episodes will play out in different orders. But Kaleidoscope it doesn’t just rely on the unusual narrative device it uses to trap its viewers. Underneath these horizontal characters is a slick and stylish heist sequence that keeps the tension building as it moves through time.

Giancarlo Esposito as Leo Pap in the “Blue” episode of Kaleidoscope.


Viewers will find that their loyalties change depending on the episode’s schedule, making greed and sales more interesting. Combine all this with a stellar cast, whose characters are as cunning as they are plotting, and Netflix had just dropped the first major series of 2023.

To pull off a successful heist—and a successful heist series—the first thing you need is a mastermind. Kaleidoscope‘s would be Leo Pap, played by one of Hollywood’s greatest secret weapons, Giancarlo Esposito. Leo, a career criminal, has come out of hiding to assemble a new team for his latest mission: To rob SLS Security Systems, the most secure bank in the world and home to billions of dollars in dark bonds.

Leo hires his old cellmate, Stan (Peter Mark Kendall), to dig into the petty thieves’ network of their employees. In order to find a successful job, they will need a crooked lawyer, Ava (Paz Vega); a safe-cracker, Bob (Jai Courtney); the driver, RJ (Jordan Mendoza); and chemist, Judy (Rosaline Elbay).

With Leo’s crew assembled, they must find a way to raise the seed money that will allow them to pull off their big project. In order to make money, they will have to steal money. Most episodes feature these mini-heists: prison break-ins, jewelry store robberies, romantic heists. Each takes place over the course of 25 years, one before the $7 billion SLS vault heist and the other after. Each score has its own consequences that affect the larger story at play, making both the players and the audience wonder who can be trusted.

(LR) Paz Vega as Ava Mercer, Giancarlo Esposito as Leo Pap, Peter Mark Kendall as Stan Loomis in the “White” episode of. Kaleidoscope.


It all leads up to “White,” the scene where the big deal takes place. The new placement of the fallout from the main event before the heist itself may upset those who want to see the heist go down. But in the end, this composition works wonderfully Kaleidoscope. By the time the audience gets to the day-after-the-heist episode, “Red,” they’ll be so excited to see what happens next that the heist will make watching the finale even more exciting.

The series’ nonlinear nature allows Kaleidoscope freedom from conventions of type. There is no third-act show to tell us how deep the heist is, which many crime stories rely on. Broadcast television has been home to many non-fiction stories, but adapting that heist genre is an inspired script. This is not Ocean’s film; Brad Pitt (thankfully) is nowhere to be found, and we don’t have to wait until the last 20 minutes to see how the crew pulled it off.

I laughed out loud more than a few times as I watched things fall into place.

In Kaleidoscopewe’re given just enough of the aftermath of the heist and the conflict before the crime is committed that, when we see the action unfold in real time, the payoff is palatable—so much so that I laughed out loud more than once. just seeing things fall into place.

But the most bright and beautiful parts of Kaleidoscope‘s ever-changing, mystery characters are the forgotten elements of heist stories: the real human. These players may be criminals, but they are not mysterious. There’s an appropriate amount of emotion present, especially when Leo’s estranged daughter, Hannah (Gabrielle Kim), comes back into his life. Each actor is pulling their weight — Paz Vega is especially funny, strutting around in trench coats and berets, holding a gun while walking her dogs — but the real standouts are Esposito and Kim.

The “Yellow” part of the Kaleidoscope.

Clifton Prescod/Netflix

The father-daughter relationship of Leo and Hannah is the parallel line of the non-linear picture, the North Star that leads the series to its epic conclusion. What happened between them to spread, and how will his presence affect Leo’s plans? These two questions will be answered, but their build-up over eight satisfying episodes is what makes the conclusion of the series so strong.

It’s not all wrapped up neatly, though. There’s no doubt that there are plenty of Easter eggs planted in the series that will keep internet sleuths and obsessive Redditors busy learning about it until the snow melts. This series is for the fancy watcher and the casual watcher alike.

Earlier in “Yellow,” Esposito’s voice tells us that trust is a big part of cheating. Figuring out who to believe is the game we are playing every time we fight each other, grabbing another piece of the puzzle. We can be fooled at any time as the characters move. But that’s the most fun part of completing these brain-teasing jigsaws: Looking at the big picture from above, finally put together, all your hard work paid off.


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