Netflix has a new thriller series in the pipeline called Jigsaw that will allow viewers to watch the first seven of the eight total episodes in any order they’d like. Though this isn’t the first time a series has been released with a non-linear episodic format, it is a first for Netflix, which has previously experimented with interactive storytelling.
Netflix pioneered original streaming content, and now it is taking steps to introduce new ways for viewers to experience visual storytelling — ways that aren’t possible through traditional pay-TV services. Bandersnatch and select other interactive content is the best example of this effort.
In the coming weeks, Netflix will release its next interactive movie, a horror film made in partnership with WWE that’ll let viewers decide how the film’s protagonists survive in a haunted mansion. Though these interactive stories are fun, the novelty is wearing off, and perhaps that’s where non-linear programming comes in.
According to Variety, Netflix will release an 8-episode season for Jigsaw, a thriller series that, sadly, doesn’t appear to have anything to do with the hit serial killer movie franchise. The report cites insiders who claim the new series won’t be interactive, but rather viewers will be able to jump around and, for example, watch the first, then fifth, then second, and so on episodes without ruining the story.
The only episode that must be watch in order is the finale episode, which viewers will save for last. This is the same sort of non-linear format used for the Paramount+ show Interrogation, which was released on the platform formerly known as CBS All Access last year.