Kaleidoscope – The DVDfever Review – Netflix – Giancarlo Esposito, Paz Vega

Kaleidoscope is a one-off series where, for the first time that I can remember, the episodes are purposely NOT shown to you in a chronological order from start to finish.

I sort-of had a similar experience this week when I tried watching new BBC drama Marie Antoinette, on the iPlayer before it was shown on TV. I thought I’d only seen episode 1, but then I realised that since I was playing it from my Android phone, I would assume it would proffer the series from episode 1 onwards… but no, it gave me the finale! Well, I can’t be doing with going through any more of it, and it certainly didn’t give any indication that it was a finale, but it stank, anyhow.

But back to this, and you’ll begin with the Black episode – lasting around a minute, which introduces you to the format:

    “Witness a heist, 25 years in the making, through a unique viewing experience, where every episode is a piece of the puzzle, viewers watch episodes in different orders, entering the crime at different moments in time, how did they plan it? Who betrays whom? Who gets away with it?

    You are now entering the world of Kaleidoscope.”

For me, my first foray was ‘The Yellow Episode: Six weeks before the heist’, where Leo (Giancarlo Esposito) plans to put together the team for his heist, working out who he can trust.

Kate and Laura meet in a cafe, but there’s more than meets the eye, as a man called Roger Salas (Rufus Sewell) proves he has the best vault for cash and valuables, but I won’t detail how that plays out so you can see it from yourself.

However, it’s safe to say that this leads us to an underground vault holding around $7bn, with three doors on it, plus a load of technical gubbins before you get to that, and Leo’s introductory chat about this includes referencing the Triplets, including one wealthy female character and saying “Word is, the King’s got her on speed dial”, but the subtitles say “Queen“, so I guess those still have to be updated.

There’s a lot of characters to get used to, all disparate individuals, all from different backgrounds, some acting normal, others being complete arseholes, and next, I got The Green Episode, ‘Seven Years Before The Heist’. Not sure why they’re given colours, but two of the main characters are in jail, looking to break out, and one needs to reconnect with long, lost relative. Well, apart from that the device in the title is full of different colours, but even then, I don’t see the relevance. If you know, please comment below.

At times, Kaleidoscope seems a bit flashy rather like BBC1’s Hustle, which ran from 2004 to 2012, but even after a couple of episodes, there is intrigue enough to continue with it, and I’m sure there’ll be a debate online as to which order is best to watch the whole series.

Thanks to our friends at Netflix for the screener prior to release.

Kaleidoscope is not available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD, but is on Netflix from today.

Kaleidoscope – Official Trailer – Netflix

Detailed specs:

Running time: 45-50 minutes per episode (8 episodes)
Release date: January 1st 2023
Studio: Netflix
Format: 2.39:1

Director: Everardo Gout
Producers: Kalen Egan, Brad Carpenter, Christie Colliopoulos
Creator/Writer: Eric Garcia
Music: Dominic Lewis

Leo Pap: Giancarlo Esposito
Roger Salos: Rufus Sewell
Ava Mercer: Paz Vega
Judy Goodwin: Rosaline Elbay
Bob Goodwin: Jai Courtney
Hannah Kim: Tati Gabrielle
Stan Loomis: Peter Mark Kendall
RJ Acosta Jr: Jordan Mendoza
Carlos Sujo: Hemky Madera
Liz Kim: Soojeong Son
Stefan Thiele: John Hans Tester
Andrew Covington: Patch Darragh
Taco: Max Casella
Barbara Loomis: Stacey Oristano
Ma Loomis: Susan Varon
Rajiv Reddy: Sathya Sridharan
Cho-Young Woo: John Yi
Suzanne Grovenor: Delphi Harrington
Jenna the Waitress: Mikaela Miyamoto
Kate Soto: Amanda Figueroa
Nazan Abbasi: Niousha Noor
Dr Wagner: Richard Masur
Officer Krease: Jonathan Gregg
Nurse Clemmons: Susanna Guzman
Cade: James Augustus Lee
Santos: Jimmy Najimy
Blue Chip: Damani Varnado
Agent Lutz: Frank Lewallen
FBI Agent: Tina Wonglu
Surly Correctional Officer: Pedro Hector Mojica
Old Timer In Infirmary: Marion Green
Mickey: Anthony Cedeno