Is Kaleidoscope Based on a True Story? Real-life Events Behind Netflix’s Show Explained


An upcoming series that is sure to be one of the biggest releases of Netflix is Kaleidoscope, which follows a classic heist storyline but makes it a lot more interactive and unique in the sense that all of the episodes after the first one could be watched in any order. In that regard, it promises to be one of the biggest releases by any streaming service in recent memory. But what exactly is Kaleidoscope about, and is it based on a true story?

Kaleidoscope is a heist story that is highly fictionalized in the sense that it changed the events of a true event. However, the story is based on the true story of how Hurricane Sandy was responsible for destroying and endangering millions or even billions of bond and stock certificates.

Of course, the thing about Kaleidoscope is that it took a true story and twisted the events to make it more interesting to the eyes of the public so that it would appear that there were actual thieves responsible for the losses incurred due to the events of a natural disaster. Nevertheless, there are some truths and facts in this series despite how viewers should take the events with a grain of salt.

What Is Kaleidoscope About?

We’ve seen a lot of different innovative shows and projects that Netflix has released. However, Kaleidoscope is looking to become the newest innovation in the streaming giant’s library due to the fact that this storyline is as true of a streaming experience as any can be. And that’s because the entire storyline can be watched in any chronological order after the first episode.

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As such, Kaleidoscope should be watchable regardless of the sequence of episodes you follow, and you will still be able to understand what the entire story is about. But the thing about this series is that it will allow the viewers to enter the scene of the crime at different moments in time due to the element of randomness that comes with it.

The entire series follows a classic heist storyline that focuses on a group of thieves that are looking to hit it big by trying to get away with a huge heist. It follows an accomplished thief and his team in an attempt to pull off an elaborate heist that should give them more than enough to last an entire lifetime—$7 billion dollars, to be exact. However, things like betrayal and greed try to make things difficult for them, as it is clear that this entire storyline follows the usual heist formula. But on top of the sequential order randomness, the series is also unique in the sense that its plot spans 25 years.


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To be specific, the story follows Leo Pap in his attempt to mastermind an entire heist in the middle of one of the biggest natural disasters in the history of Manhattan. They try to use this natural disaster as a way to break into one of the most unbreakable and tightly guarded vaults in the history of the planet. As such, this disaster should be something that would make things easier for Pap’s crew.

Series creator Eric Garcia says that the entire storyline will lead to questions every single time you get answers to your questions. And the thing about these questions is that they will depend on how you watch Kaleidoscope, as you might end up watching certain episodes ahead of the others. 

“Being able to move around and watch different orders gives you a different viewpoint on the characters. There are questions that are going to be asked in one episode that is answered in another episode,” Eric said. “Similarly, there’ll be answers in an episode that you’re watching that you don’t even know are answers to something until you see the question when you watch another episode.”

But while the format of the series and the entire style used in the storyline may be quite unique, what makes Kaleidoscope so intriguing is the fact that it actually uses a real-life event as the basis of its storyline.

Is Kaleidoscope Based On A True Story?

One of the things that we know about heists is that they are often always fictionalized storylines. After all, things rarely go the way that is planned when it comes to a heist. And it is impossible for a huge heist to be pulled off without it getting into the pages of history books.

But while Kaleidoscope is still a heist storyline, what makes it so intriguing is the fact that it was actually based on true events that happened in real life. And we’re not talking about the heist itself but simply the natural disaster and the surrounding events.

The entire storyline of Kaleidoscope is based on the stock market losses incurred during the events of Hurricane Sandy back in 2012. During the events of Hurricane Sandy, the stock market lost a lot of money due to the stock and bond certificates that were lost when the hurricane damaged an underground vault.

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“Hurricane Sandy floodwaters inundated a 10,000-square-foot underground vault downtown, soaking 1.3 million bond and stock certificates—including bearer bonds that function like cash—and putting them in danger of turning to mush,” the New York Post wrote back in 2012.

There were three of those vaults in total, and these vaults were quite a secret before the events of Hurricane Sandy. That means that not a lot of people know that these vaults actually existed. It was only during the events of Sandy that people knew that these vaults existed. And the New York Post also said that around $70 billion in bearer bonds were in danger due to the events of the hurricane.

But the thing that we know is that no one actually knows how much was lost during the events of the hurricane as there were no publicly reported numbers. The amount that was damaged remains an estimate, and the contractors that worked on the recovery of these bonds hardly revealed anything about the project.


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“It’s nobody’s business,” said. “The public doesn’t need to know what’s in that vault. It’s between them and their customers.”

According to Reuters, the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. declined to reveal the value of the stocks and bonds that were threatened. However, they also said that what was lost was merely a very small amount compared to the $39.5 trillion that was stored in those vaults. As such, people didn’t need to worry about how much was lost given that almost all of the records were electronic.

So, while the events of Kaleidoscope were based on the damaged bonds and stocks during the events of Hurricane Sandy, what people also need to know is that the events of this series are highly fictionalized. In real life, the thief was Sandy, who was responsible for damaging the vault. However, Kaleidoscope created a real thief in the form of a heist group that took advantage of the hurricane to steal money under the noses of the public while the entire city struggled with a natural disaster.

In that regard, Kaleidoscope is still as fiction as any heist storyline is. It is only that the series creator was able to make a story out of an interesting real-life event that shocked the world back in 2012.

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