How to Watch ‘Kaleidoscope’ Like a Tarantino Film, According to Netflix

Netflix also has tips for how to watch the mind-bending, nonlinear series like an "Orange Is the New Black" episode or a classic mystery.
Quentin Tarantino, Giancarlo Esposito in "Kaleidoscope"
Quentin Tarantino, Giancarlo Esposito in "Kaleidoscope"

Quentin Tarantino has saved cinema, and now he’s saving Netflix’s “Kaleidoscope” — at least in order for it to make sense.

The non-linear series starring Giancarlo Esposito has fascinated audiences since its New Year’s premiere, with its eight episodes charting the story of a $70-billion bond heist during Hurricane Sandy. With the robbery 24 years in the making, the series bounces back and forth between timelines, showing the thieves in various intervals including six months post-heist. Created by Eric Garcia (screenwriter of 2010’s “Repo Men”), the series is also executive produced by Ridley Scott.

Yet Netflix is looking to another auteur to explain the series. On Twitter, Netflix unveiled various color-coded maps for episode guides to best understand “Kaleidoscope,” including one suggestion to approach the show like “a Quentin Tarantino film.” See below.

“I came up with a bunch of different orders to watch ‘Kaleidoscope’ in so you don’t have to,” the official Netflix account tweeted.

The first option is to view in chronological order; the second is to watch as a Tarantino film, slicing between five days before the robbery, to six months after, to the next day; the third suggests watching like “Orange Is the New Black” by starting with two flashbacks; and the fourth option is to view it like a “classic detective story,” moving almost in exact reverse chronological order before the theft itself.

IndieWire critic Steve Greene wrote in his review for the series that “Kaleidoscope” could easily have “built 45-minute chunks around each person involved in the job. Instead, the approach here from creator Eric Garcia and his writing team has a higher degree of difficulty in hiding details that remain satisfying in any order they’re revealed. The show is being billed as a puzzle, where every episode is a piece. In practice, the show is more like a safe with a pinpad code with each episode giving you a number to unlock the whole thing.”

Viewers have also drawn comparisons to Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” and “Reservoir Dogs” with the non-linear approach to robberies.

Oscar-winner Tarantino announced in November 2022 that he is currently in the works on an upcoming eight-episode limited series for a streamer, rumored to be Netflix. Tarantino broke the news during his “Cinema Speculation” book tour in New York City while in discussion with Elvis Mitchell, whose documentary “Am I Black Enough For You?” premiered on Netflix earlier this year. Tarantino’s series will enter into production in 2023.

Tarantino formerly partnered with Netflix to release the 2015 film “The Hateful Eight” in episodic format. As for his forays into television, Tarantino directed an episode of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” in 2005, helmed one episode of “E.R.” in 1995, and played a character on a two-parter of “Alias.”

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