The mini-series spans 25 years, following mastermind Leo Pap (Giancarlo Esposito) in his grand heist to break into a $7bn vault. Instead of using a chronological order, Kaleidoscope is organised into colour-coded chapters. They’re set 24 years before the theft (Violet), seven years prior (Green), six weeks before (Yellow), and so on. The only semi-structured element is encouraging people to watch the episode White (the robbery itself) last. With no linearity, the show can be seen in more than 40,000 different ways, providing each viewer with a unique narrative experience.
As audiences flock to social media to discuss the best way to watch Kaleidoscope, the discourse has split into two main theories. The first suggests a traditional chronological sequence, seeing events unfold through the timespan of the series. The second favours a more creative interpretation, based on the notion that the show's name suggests that the colour-coded episodes need to be arranged in the order of a rainbow.
These conversations signal the programme’s popularity. By providing a chance to curate your own viewing experience – and even personalise how the narrative unfolds – Kaleidoscope is feeding into growing appetites for content where the audience plays a role. And by catering to this cohort, Netflix has also served up the ideal ingredients for lively social media debates, giving the series a secondary existence outside of watching hours. As forms of engagement proliferate, offering people the opportunity to both feel involved and connected to others is the best way to spotlight new content in the crowded streaming space.