You decide which piece of this Giancarlo Esposito and Tati Gabrielle starring puzzle you’ll watch first.
Netflix is at it again. After changing the way we watch TV and then subverting the nature of storytelling with the Black Mirror movie Bandersnatch, the streamer will kick off 2023 with another viewing experience that might change the game. Kaleidoscope (formerly titled Jigsaw), a bank heist series that comes on the very first day of the year, offers a non-linear episode structure, meaning that whoever’s watching can pick the order of the episodes as they sift through the story.
In order to shed some light on how this will be achieved, Netflix put together a trailer and first-look featurette in which the cast and crew talk about the puzzle-like nature of Kaleidoscope. However, the details of how each episode plays out are still kept under wraps, probably to make viewers more curious to check the series out.
It’s not too hard to imagine how the story of Kaleidoscope will be told, though. Since the series won’t follow the traditional 1-2-3 episode order, it’s pretty safe to say that each installment of the story will be self-contained enough in order not to be confusing, and it probably won’t rely too much on cliffhangers. If it indeed plays out that way, Kaleidoscope will be like a collection of eight mini-movies whose order does not matter as long as you know what connects them.
At the same time, the format is also a good way to put a twist on a story we’ve seen a million times; bank heist movies and series frequently follow a set of tropes that include recruiting members, mapping out the heist in extreme detail, and people double-crossing each other. This was the theme of one of Netflix’s most popular series: Spanish-language thriller Money Heist, which has spawned a spin-off and a Korean remake. In Kaleidoscope, the difference is that the bank robbery takes place during a storm, and its non-linear format is certainly what will set the series apart.
Kaleidoscope is created by showrunner Eric Garcia, who certainly has a knack for good stories. He wrote the screenplay for the sci-fi dystopia Repo Men and produced the twisty The Autopsy of Jane Doe. Garcia trusted Brazilian filmmaker José Padilha (RoboCop remake) to set the tone for the series by directing two episodes. The show is also directed by Everardo Gout (The Forever Purge), Mairzee Almas (The Sandman), and Robert Townsend (Black Lightning).
The cast of Kaleidoscope features Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad), Tati Gabrielle (You), Paz Vega (The OA), Rosaline Elbay (Ramy), Niousha Noor (Here and Now), John Hans Tester (The Man in the High Castle), Stacey Oristano (Friday Night Lights), Jordan Mendoza (Ziwe), and Soojeong Son (Servant).
Netflix premieres Kaleidoscope on January 1. You can watch the sneak peek below:
Check out the official synopsis here:
Spanning 25 years, Kaleidoscope (previously titled Jigsaw) is an all-new anthology series following a crew of masterful thieves and their attempt to crack a seemingly unbreakable vault for the biggest payday in history. Guarded by the world’s most powerful corporate security team, and with law enforcement on the case, every episode reveals a piece of an elaborate puzzle of corruption, greed, vengeance, scheming, loyalties and betrayals. How did the crew of thieves plan it? Who gets away with it? Who can be trusted?
Erick Massoto is a Brazilian writer who’s always loved film and TV and is obsessed with making lists. He can also name about 700 Pokémon and Digimon off the top of his head, but sadly no one has ever asked him to do it.