Kaleidoscope puts an innovative twist on watching shows

The+movie+poster+for+Kaleidoscope

Netflix Media Center

The movie poster for Kaleidoscope

There are 40,320 ways to watch Kaleidoscope.

The sheer size of the number makes it seem as if I had simply chosen the first number that popped into my head and wrote it down—especially seeing as the show only contains eight episodes. As jarring as that number may seem, its vastitude can be attributed to a single innovative characteristic of the series: there is no set order in which to watch the episodes.

The series is centered around a group of six thieves as they try to penetrate a seemingly impenetrable vault in hopes that they will be able to cash in the biggest payout in history: $7,000,000,000. Guided by the criminal mastermind of it all, Leo Pap (Giancarlo Esposito), the crew has to figure out how to get past the high-tech security system all while avoiding any law enforcement on their case, which will do seemingly anything to stop them.

Each episode illustrates a different point in time—ranging all the way from 24 years prior to the heist transpiring to six months after it occurs. In doing so, every episode tells the story of a certain point in time, allowing viewers to tune into the series at essentially any time they please without any prior knowledge of the previous episodes. However, the episodes still tie in with one another. The show makes it so the viewpoint of the various characters and stories are all dependent on the person watching; it puts an artful, unique twist on the classic way of storytelling.

The show makes it so the viewpoint of the various characters and stories are all dependent on the person watching; it puts an artful, unique twist on the classic way of storytelling.”

Even so, it would be wrong not to acknowledge that some episodes work better in the beginning while others work better in the finale. For reference, the order in which I watched each episode went as follows: blue, red, green, violet, orange, pink, yellow, and lastly, white. If one had decided to have the first episode that they watch be either pink or white, which are more conclusion-like episodes, they may lose some of the suspense tied around the heist. However, that is not to say that the experience would become mundane, just different.

Just as being able to choose the show itself had been a captivating experience, actually watching the show was also one I took pleasure in—especially the performance of each actor. One that had particularly stood out to me was the actor of Leo Pap: Giancarlo Esposito. Pap is the primary person that the audience follows since he is the catalyst and mastermind behind the entire escapade. Over the course of the show, Esposito’s adept performance turns a morally grey character into a person that I find myself caring and empathizing with. He makes an ordinary character into one that is worthy of sympathizing with.

Kaleidoscope takes a step into the unknown and does something many others wouldn’t dare to try. The show’s unique, distinctive twist makes more than just picking out the episode an engrossing experience, it makes watching the entire show enthralling for all. It is an unparalleled experience I hope to see more of.