There are a lot of crime shows on Netflix, but the upcoming series Kaleidoscope offers something a little different: the option to watch in whatever order you want. The nonlinear series is a heist drama that stars Giancarlo Esposito, Paz Vega, and Tati Gabrielle and is loosely based on a true story. Here’s the basic setup:
Spanning 25 years, Kaleidoscope is an all-new anthology series following a crew of masterful thieves and their attempt to crack a seemingly unbreakable vault for the biggest payday in history. Guarded by the world’s most powerful corporate security team, and with law enforcement on the case, every episode reveals a piece of an elaborate puzzle of corruption, greed, vengeance, scheming, loyalties and betrayals. How did the crew of thieves plan it? Who gets away with it? Who can be trusted?
More interesting than the premise, though, is the way the episodes will be presented. The show is structured so that you can watch them in any order, but doing so will likely create different perspectives as you attempt to solve the mystery. (In a nice touch, all of the episodes are named after colors like “Blue” or “Violet,” culminating in a finale called “White.”)
This isn’t the first time that Netflix has released a nonlinear series; the streaming service did something similar with the return of Arrested Development in 2013. But the structure makes a lot of sense for something like a crime story, where solving the mystery is a large part of the appeal. Having a choice in how you approach that story could give the experience more of a video game-like feel. It calls to mind the live-action games of Sam Barlow, including Her Story, Telling Lies, and more recently, Immortality (which is available on Netflix).
It also continues a trend of Netflix being a little more experimental of late. In addition to investing in mobile games, the company has also tried different forms of trivia and is getting into live shows for the first time with a Chris Rock special.
Kaleidoscope starts streaming on January 1st.