What is special about Kaleidoscope?

By Louie Fecou
Published: January 5, 2023 (Last updated: December 22, 2023)
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What is special about Kaleidoscope? We discuss the unique Netflix series and why it has many people speaking about it. 

“What is a kaleidoscope?” I hear you ask, and the literal definition is “a toy consisting of a tube containing mirrors and pieces of colored glass or paper, whose reflections produce changing patterns when the tube is rotated.”

If you are of a certain age, you will probably be familiar with this piece of kit, and there was always something mysterious and somewhat sinister about it. You would place one eye up against the end of the kaleidoscope, and you would peer through the tube and be greeted by a strangely shifting landscape of symmetrical colourful patterns that were determined by the mirrors, glitter, and colored beads that would move around inside.

If you have never seen one of these old-world toys, check it out. Trippy and psychedelic, they were all the rage back in the day. So that leads us to Netflix’s crime drama which has a unique premise at its heart. The show Kaleidoscope is a crime thriller that has caused a bit of a stir with a unique high-concept premise, but what is so special about Kaleidoscope? We had a quick look at it to let you know.

What is special about Kaleidoscope the series?

This crime drama is another Netflix show that is trying to make the viewing experience as immersive as possible. You could perhaps cast your mind back to the episode of Black Mirror called Bandersnatch, which allowed the audience to make decisions that would alter the outcome of a scene and the end of the story. Well, this latest attempt at an immersive viewing experience is slightly less convoluted than the Black Mirror episode.

This show is a crime drama that is based around a heist that is to be committed over the course of the season. The special aspect of Kaleidoscope is that you can watch any of the eight episodes of the show in any order. This bizarre premise is already intriguing and makes the show almost like a jigsaw puzzle, and it seems that Jigsaw was the original title for the show.

The story takes place over a twenty-five-year timeline and follows a team of professional criminals that are looking to break into an impenetrable vault. Each episode provides more information that explains the overall plot of the story. The nonlinear way of telling the story may seem gimmicky, but there is no doubt that it will create a different experience for viewers, as people will choose to watch the episodes in a different order from each other.

Every chapter of the show is named a color so you can keep track of the way you watched, and Netflix has said that depending on the way you have viewed the story will affect your overall view of the story and the characters.

Should you watch Kaleidoscope in order?

Well, that is a difficult question, as there does not seem to be a “right” order to watch the show. As the episodes are not numbered, you can genuinely watch them in any sequence. From a mathematical point of view, the number of episodes means that there are 40,320 ways that you can watch the show. Talk about a binge-watch. So throw caution to the wind and watch in any way you want.

Is Netflix’s Kaleidoscope based on a true story?

Although not strictly based on a true event, it can be said that the story was inspired by a real raid that happened in New York City during Hurricane Sandy. The disappearance of over seventy billion dollars in bonds was the jumping-on point for the show’s creator Eric Garcia. The event was shrouded in mystery, and the storm seemed to be used to cover up what may have been a heist. It is all a bit unclear as to what actually happened, with the vaults being submerged by water during the hurricane. Nevertheless, the event was the real-life inspiration for Kaleidoscope.

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