Art by Vivian Hsia
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There are 20 interactive Netflix specials, shows and movies streaming, but “Kaleidoscope” is the most popular show on Netflix, according to the streaming service’s public ranking system, The Huff Post.
Netflix is calling Eric Garcia’s “Kaleidoscope” a “nonlinear streaming experience,” and that’s because you’re invited to watch eight episodes, titled with different colors, in any order you like –– with the story making sense whichever way you go.
Each episode helps viewers piece together a puzzle and figure out the truth about a specific crime –– if the crime was pulled off successfully and who was involved. In the show, a master thief and his crew attempt an epic heist worth $7 billion. However, the storyline goes into the backgrounds of each main character and the betrayal, greed and other threats that undermine their plans throughout the show.
There was some difficulty in writing the highly non-linear script that led to Netflix’s creation of a bespoke program called Branch Manage, according to UPCPodcast. The content needed to use the cache memory of platform.
I believe Netflix gave me the one true order for the best viewing experience through Branch Manager: Green, Yellow, Violet, Orange, Blue, Red, Pink and White. By starting seven years ago before the heist, “Green” is the perfect beginning, and by ending with “White,” the order was satisfying to watch. Viewers can also choose whichever episode they want to start with.
By choosing the episodes and forming the “title colors” in any order, the viewer chooses to create their own pattern of colors through this experience.
Senior Bethany Lee watched it in the order of a specific TikTok recommendation: Yellow, Violet, Orange, Green, Red, Purple and White.
“I like this order because it was all in order,” Lee said. “I feel like it would’ve been kind of confusing if I watched it another way because of the time jumps. I definitely would want to watch more shows like this. I feel the concept of interactive shows is something that can definitely be developed into a bunch of other television shows.”
Viewers will see all the colors but in different orders which will affect their perspective and experience of the characters and show.
Netflix asked the question: How will you experience the colors of Kaleidoscope?
“Bandersnatch” was originally to be part of “Black Mirror’s” fifth series, but the production was longer than predicted, so it was instead released as a standalone film.
In “Bandersnatch,” viewers make decisions for the main character, the young programmer Stefan Butler –– played by actor Fionn Whitehead –– who is adapting a fantasy gamebook into a video game in 1984.
“Bandersnatch” is an interactive film and throughout the episode, you’ll be presented with a series of choices that chart a path for the main character. The questions asked could be what to wear one day compared to picking a job, according to the Washington Post.
Viewers have ten seconds to make a decision using their remote or trackpad.
There are five main endings to Bandersnatch with multiple variations, according to the Washington Post. There are more than one trillion unique permutations.
The response to “Bandersnatch” was mixed. Some were intrigued by the technical design of the film, while others did not find favor in the interactive experience. The narrative had mixed commentary about the extent a viewer has to make choices in the episode, according to Ars Technical.
Despite critiques from gamers and viewers, the overall sense is interactive series and films are attractive. They ignite a sense of curiosity within viewers and should be continued to be made for the sake of creating disruption in the linear television world.
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