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Netflix Kaleidoscope (1 Viewer)

Josh Dial

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Josh Dial
Netflix's first "big" show out of the 2023 gate is Kaleidoscope, with all 8 episodes dropping on New Year's Day.

Staring Giancarlo Esposito and Rufus Sewell, the show is a self-contained heist miniseries about a mastermind putting together a team of robbers to pull on One Last Job.

Nothing new with the theme. In fact, a significant amount of the plot is "borrowed" from the criminally underrated 1990s movie Sneakers. The show knows this, though, and even goes as far as to namedrop "Setec" and a few other homages.

But what is new is the way the show is delivered. Similar in a way to Netflix's Love Death + Robots series, every episode of Kaleidoscope except for the last episode can be viewed out of order. Indeed, there is no set order. Netflix will "scramble" the episode order for each individual account. So my order will be different from yours.

Each episode is titled after a colour, and is subtitled to describe when it takes place relative to the heist. Here's a summary based on my order:
  • Yellow: 6 Weeks Before the Heist
  • Green: 7 Years Before the Heist
  • Orange: 3 Weeks Before the Heist
  • Blue: 5 Days Before the Heist
  • Violet: 24 Years Before the Heist
  • Red: The Morning After the Heist
  • Pink: 6 Months After
  • White: The Heist
So, again, everyone's final episode is White (The Heist), but the other episodes can be watched in any order. I know a few people who were given Red and Pink first, which is interesting because those two episodes take place after the heist.

The format itself is quite neat, and I think it makes a subtle comment on the nature of television--perhaps without intending to do so.

The show is good. A few things are very good. It's not going to win any awards or anything, but there are no weak parts, and no bad components. All of the performances are great. Giancarlo Esposito is, as always, fantastic. But he doesn't carry the show. The entire supporting cast is solid.

The show is basically a slightly edgier Ocean's Eleven blended with a modern Sneakers.

It's slick, fun, and often funny. The "app advertisement" joke in the Pink episode had me almost in tears.

And it's a good heist show that checks all the heist boxes. We get the "recruitment" episode, the mini heist before the real heist episode, the one about the rift between the good guy and the bad guy. It's all there. No heist trope is left untouched. There is even an homage to the break-in sequence in Rififi.

If you like heist movies you'll like this. It's all here!

A very solid 8/10.
 

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