‘Kaleidoscope’ on Netflix Review: The first great series of 2023

kaleidoscopelike its namesake Fractals Explosion, has a lot of pretty things to look at — and I don’t mean just that Jai Courtneyan elite heist team banded together to break into a bank vault for $7 billion in life.

The latest version of Netflix limited series, which launched on January 1, is intentionally designed with glittery distractions that make your eyes pop. There are bright colors and hidden secrets everywhere you look, making each episode its own guessing game. It’s a clever tactic, effectively building on the show’s unique viewing experience.

We see, kaleidoscope It was created so that the first seven episodes can be watched in any order. Not only that, but the episode order will be presented to each Netflix subscriber in a different sequence. There are no numbers for the episodes, each part being instead paired with a color code: “yellow”, “pink”, “orange”, “blue”, “green”, “purple” and “red”. The “white”, the final string, is placed at the bottom of each user’s order

Some might think of this non-linear structure as a superficial gimmick and deception used to attract viewers And convince them to watch to the end without getting too burnt out. Is Netflix really shuffling and wanting episodes Is that true Play it all differently if you watch them out of order? The short answer is yes.” And to prove it, I deliberately jumped out of the episode order I was presented with so I could test out the Netflix suggestion.

as it turns out, kaleidoscope It’s more fun if you play around with it. On closer inspection, Netflix shuffles the episodes for each user into three different groups: the first two installments (“Yellow” and “Green”), followed by the middle three episodes (“Orange”, “Blue” and “Purple”), and ending with the last two before the finale ( “red” and “pink”). But no doubt some users will break the rules and look for clues to help make sense of the chain and test whether the unstructured nature actually works.

The series itself is a mind-blowing thing to do, and it’s even more satisfying to connect the dots when you consider how the episodes can run in different order. But kaleidoscope Don’t just rely on the unusual narrative device it uses to ensnare its viewers. Beneath those mixed colors is a sleek, elegant heist series that keeps tension building while juggling timelines.

Giancarlo Esposito as Leo Pap in “Blue” kaleidoscope.


Viewers will find that their loyalties shift depending on the episode order, which makes greed and betrayal even more interesting. Couple it all with a cast of outstanding actors, whose characters are as savvy as they are conniving, and Netflix has just dropped its first great series of 2023.

To pull off an effective heist – and an effective heist streak – the first thing you need is a charismatic mob boss. kaleidoscopeLeo Papp, played by one of Hollywood’s greatest secret weapons, will be Giancarlo Esposito. A career criminal, Leo has emerged from hiding to assemble a new team for his ultimate job: Robbing SLS Security Systems, the most secure bank vault in the entire world and home to billions of dollars in dirty bonds.

Leo taps old fellow inmate Stan (Peter Mark Kendall) to dig into a web of petty thieves for their crew. To land a successful job, they’ll need a crooked lawyer, Ava (Paz Vega); a safe breaker, Bob (Jai Courtney); driver, RJ (Jordan Mendoza); and chemist Judy (Rosalyn Albay).

With Leo’s crew assembled, they have to find a way to raise the seed money that will allow them to pull off their grand scheme. To make money, they have to steal money. Most episodes depict these petty thefts: a jailbreak, a jewelry store robbery, a con charity gala. Each one takes place sometime over the course of 25 years, some before the $7 billion SLS vault heist and some after. Each smaller outcome has its own consequences that affect the larger story at play, causing both the characters and the audience to think about who they can trust.

(LR) Paz Vega as Ava Mercer, Giancarlo Esposito as Leo Papp, and Peter Mark Kendall as Stan Loomis in “White” kaleidoscope.


It all leads to “White,” the episode where the grand larceny takes place. The novelty of setting the aftermath of this main event so long before the heist episode itself may infuriate those desperate to watch the heist go down. But in the end, this structuring works wonders kaleidoscope. By the time audiences get to the day after the heist’s episode, “Red,” they’ll be so enthralled to see the repercussions of the heist that it will make watching the finale that much more exciting.

The non-linear structure of the series is allowed kaleidoscope To be free of type conventions. There is no third act reveal to tell how the heist went down, which many crime stories depend on. Television broadcasting has been home to many Nonlinear shear, but reformatting this style for a heist is an inspired twist. this is not Ocean Movie; Brad Pitt is (Luckily) are nowhere to be found, and we’re not forced to wait until the last 20 minutes to watch how the crew pulled everything off.

I laughed with pure happiness more than a few times just by watching things fall into place.

in a kaleidoscopeWe’ve been provided with enough post-heist fallout and pre-crime tensions that, when we get to see the job happen in real time, the rewards are delicious – that I’ve laughed with pure delight more than a few times just watching things fall into place.

But the glamorous and coolest parts of kaleidoscopeThe colorful, ever-changing mystery is one most heist stories forget to include: real human dynamics. These characters may be criminals, but they are not above feeling. There are appropriate emotional stakes at hand, especially when Leo’s estranged daughter, Hannah (Gabrielle Kim), returns into his life. Every actor pulls his weight—Paz Vega is particularly amusing, stomping in coats and hats, carrying guns while walking her dogs—but the real standouts are Esposito and Kim.

Episode “Yellow” of kaleidoscope.

Clifton Prescod/Netflix

The father-daughter relationship between Leo and Hannah is the consistent plotline of the non-linear picture, The North Star that guides the series toward its epic conclusion. What happened between them to cause the rift and how will her presence affect Leo’s plans? Both of those questions are eventually answered, but it’s the accumulation of their resolution over eight satisfying episodes that makes the series’ conclusion so strong.

However, not everything was done neatly. There are undoubtedly plenty of Easter eggs planted throughout the series that will keep Internet hackers and obsessed Redditors busy theorizing until the winter thaw. This is a series for the adventurous viewer and casual observer alike.

Early on in “Yellow,” Esposito’s voiceover tells us that trust is the most important part of stealing. Knowing who to believe is the game we play and every time we play we get another piece of the puzzle. We could be fooled at any moment with the color mixing. But here’s what’s so fun about finishing these impressive volcanic slabs: looking at the big picture from above, finally putting it all together, all your hard work paying off.

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