The new Netflix series Kaleidoscope has a lot of things that are familiar. It’s a heist story, so it has many of the usual parts: old grudges, putting together a team, and smaller missions that lead up to the big one. But Kaleidoscope is different in one important way from other shows you may have seen. The episodes can be watched in any order.
The series started on January 1 and is currently Netflix’s most popular show. Without giving too much away, Giancarlo Esposito plays Ray Vernon, also known as Leo Pap, who is the leader of a group planning a multibillion-dollar job and settling an old score. Every episode tells a piece of the story, whether it’s about what drives Vernon, how the heist is planned, or what happens afterward. The segments come to you in whatever random order Netflix decides (with the exception of the actual heist serving as the final episode).
Netflix has tried out nonlinear stories before, so this isn’t the first time. In 2018, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch was a movie about a computer programmer that was like a choose-your-own-adventure book. In You vs. Wild, which came out the next year, viewers got to decide what Bear Grylls should do.
The episodes of Kaleidoscope are named after different colours. This is probably a reference to the show’s name, but it’s also a way to keep track of what order you’re watching them in and compare with your friends. You don’t have to watch what Netflix tells you to. Here’s what you need to know about Kaleidoscope and how to watch it.
And if you’ve made it this far and still don’t know what happened, here’s how the story ends.
Do I have to choose one?
No, not always. If you press play on the show, you’ll see a quick introduction to how it works, and then the episodes will start right away. They can come in any order, except for “White,” which is the heist itself and is meant to be the last episode of the series. Still, you can choose your own order if you want to.
Came up with a few more orders to watch Kaleidoscope in so you don’t have to… pic.twitter.com/83kCslkJ39
— Netflix (@netflix) January 4, 2023
I came up with a bunch of different orders to watch Kaleidoscope in so you don’t have to pic.twitter.com/FE6IiwjzM9
— Netflix (@netflix) January 2, 2023
How do I watch it in the right order?
In the spirit of the show, I won’t say much about each episode so as not to give anything away. If you want to watch Kaleidoscope in order, starting with a young Vernon 24 years before the heist, the episodes go like this:
- Violet (24 years before the heist) (24 years before the heist).
- Green (7 years before) (7 years before).
- Yellow (6 weeks before) (6 weeks before).
- Orange (3 weeks before) (3 weeks before).
- Blue (5 days before) (5 days before).
- White (the heist) (the heist).
- Red (the morning after) (the morning after).
- Pink (6 months after) (6 months after).
If you choose this path, you should know that any big twists in the end will happen in the White episode.
Best order to watch KALEIDOSCOP series on @netflix.
— Puzzle Brain Kenya (@DigiNetKe) January 4, 2023
KALEIDOSCOPE allowing audiences to watch episodes in any order is a brilliant & refreshing concept.
An exciting & exhilarating Series.
My preffered order
— Mr Magik (@AbiodunOdelola2) January 4, 2023
My #Kaleidoscope watch order!
White (have not watched yet)
Absolutely in love with #kaleidoscopenetflix such a phenomenal spin on story telling. Each episode truly is a puzzle piece rather than a specific sequence.
— ames (@screaminglip) January 4, 2023
Can I watch something else?
If everyone has been doing the math right, there should be more than 5,000 ways to watch seven episodes that don’t repeat. If you don’t watch White last, there are even more ways. You and your calendar can decide how many of these watch orders you want to try.
Netflix tweeted some suggestions for how to watch Kaleidoscope if you want to watch it like a Quentin Tarantino movie (Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Violet, Pink, White, Red) or like a classic detective story (Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Violet, Pink, White, Red) (Orange, Green, Violet, Red, Yellow, Blue, White, Pink).
You could go your own way and follow the rainbow (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Violet, Pink). Or, if you want to be really rebellious, you could start with the big heist right away.
What do people on social media suggest?
People are talking a lot about how they chose to watch the episodes and which order is best.
How did the person writing this article watch it?
What a nice thing of you to ask. As Netflix told me, my order was:
Strangely, this is exactly what my best friend’s Netflix account told her to do. This way of doing things got off to a good start for me, but having Orange and Blue, and then Red and Pink, meant that there were two sets of episodes in order, with small time jumps in between. In that part, I was starting to lose a little bit of interest. If you watch this show in order, you might miss the point. If I could go back and watch in a different order, I’d move up Red (but leave Pink where it is) and switch Yellow and Green, because I think Yellow would be the best episode to start with.
So, this is how:
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