Kaleidoscope review

A unique Netflix original that didn’t seem to work for most viewers

Kaleidoscope review

Raine Morrison, Staff Writer

Netflix has released dozens of interactive and rivetingly unique originals throughout its time. After the almost instant success of interactive series’ like Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, Netflix started trying to replicate the success of its release. This causes shows like Kaleidoscope to be released. 

Kaleidoscope is marketed as a unique, action packed heist with twists and turns in every direction of the story. The unique aspect about this show, of course, is that its episodes randomize for each account that watches it. 

Upon my first watch, I became immensely excited about the concept and jumped right in, not minding what cards I drew for my randomization of the episodes. In fact, I think the order I watched it wasn’t far off from where the storyline could be placed as a regular show. However, I did find it difficult to keep up with when the episodes were numerically rearranged. 

The order I drew was Black (which is the starting episode for every order), Yellow, Green, Violet, Blue, Orange, Red, Pink, and White (being the last episode of every order). I did find it difficult to get through at some points, but in the beginning I was really in love with the cinematography and the action sequences. 

The most difficult part about some of the episodes (especially Orange) is the pacing, the utter cheesiness to the dialogue, the storyline, the characters, and even some of the arcs. 

Being that the plot moves so slow, it becomes really hard to go through more than two episodes at a time. Even some of the characters ruin the flow of the show. 

Ray, being the leader of the whole operation for the majority of the show, has been said to be a “bad leader” by critics, specifically because his character isn’t a traditionally stereotypical leader type. I personally agree with this criticism. I found his character to be pretty unlikable the majority of the time. 

Stan and Hannah are by far, the best portrayed characters in the whole show. They both have great storylines and create chemistry with the viewers (meaning they are really easy to sympathize with and relate to). Stan did happen to have a few rough points especially in his arc with Judy, but I do feel that the show was worth watching for their characters. 

Finally, Judy and Bob are by far the worst. Bob is arrogant and annoying throughout the whole series, which seems pointless because he is made out to be a more personal villain in relation to the main villain of the show. The only issue with this is that none of the characters do anything about the issues they have with his character until the very end. Judy is a pretty flat character in my opinion because I felt like she is a plot device for both Stan and Bob’s characters, which makes her feel really pointless. By the end I think it was really smart to end Judy’s story with her taking her own path. 

As for episodes I really enjoyed Green and I really disliked Orange. Green is really creative and gives a great look into both Stan and Ray’s relationship dynamic. Orange is inherently repelling to me. This is because the FBI agent side tangent of an episode is pretty boring, even if it is unexpected. I felt both the agent’s characters are unlikable and the romance side plot to be a little too much. 

To be fair, I think that Kaleidoscope has a really original concept and feel in general, making it an interesting watch. Although it has a lot of flaws it isn’t really as bad as some have made it out to be. 

I’de give Kaleidoscope a 4/10. It is pretty good, but lacks a lot of depth that it really needs to make it pop as a series. I wouldn’t recommend it to someone who’s really into film, but if you’re looking for something that’s easy to watch, it’s a good choice.