Exclusive T.V Preview: #BatesMotel
Bates Motel on A&E is equal part mess, equal part intriguing to watch. The drama, of course, as anyone knows — is loosely based on the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock classic Psycho and the novel by Robert Bloch. Technically speaking, it is actually a prequel of sorts, focusing on Norman Bates before he went cray cray and his mum became beef stew.
But because creator Anthony Cipriano set the story in present day (2013) and expanded it beyond the fetid claustrophobia of the terrifying Bates home, A&E says the show is ‘inspired’ solely by the Hitchcock film. During tonight’s premiere episode, Norman (Freddie Highmore) and his mother Norma (Vera Farmiga) have packed up all of their belongings, and moved to the seemingly sleepy (and creepy) coastal town of White Pine Bay — where Norma plans to make a new start for her and Norman in the motel business after an unexplained death of her second husband (who happens to be Norman’s father. Norma, also has another son Dylan (Max Thieriot) from her first marriage; but he is supposed to be ‘The Devil Child’. However, he’s unaware the fam-bam is moving.
Before they even get a chance to oversee the hotel, by changing the motel’s dingy neon sign, Norman and Norma find themselves covering up a gruesome murder. Norman quickly discovers a strange notebook filled with mysterious drawings of Asian women in XXX Bondage (Graphic). The sheriff (Nestor Carbonell) almost instantly becomes suspicious of the Bates family, and his deputy (Mike Vogel) becomes quite smitten with Norma.
Meanwhile, as many people have in their life — Norman finally settles in at a high school attempting to fit in, all the while developing a crush on the popular girl named Bradley (Nicola Peltz). But erm, that didn’t work out. Norm was pursued by the creepy loner Emma Decody (Olivia Cooke), who has to drag a heavy oxygen tank around all-day because she has cystic fibrosis.
During the first three episodes of Bates Motel, the polt thickens to even an even higher degree as we learn that White Pine Bay is no Mayberry and that half the town is raising Mary Jane to make money [For those that don't know, that's slang for marijuana].
Freddie Highmore (Finding Neverland) is a fantastic choice to have played young Norman, partly because he shares that combination of sexy innocence with malevolent overtones that made Anthony Perkins absolutely petrifying and unforgettable in Psycho. At front, Highmore possess a boyish sweetness — the mouth suggesting a faint smile every now-and-then. However, when he is provoked, thinks change for the worse, with his face becoming garish and scary looking.
- ‘More Ibsen and Chekhov than Hitchcock:’ Vera Farmiga channels her inner stage presence to play Norman Bates’ mother in revisionist Bates Motel. (o.canada.com)
- Check into the’Bates Motel’ (toledoblade.com)
- In ‘Bates Motel,’ teen meets more than one psycho (dailyherald.com)
- Jackie K. Cooper: Bates Motel Is Weirdly Fascinating — and Is That a Surprise? (huffingtonpost.com)
- ‘Bachelor’ Sean Lowe performs on ‘DWTS’ live; ‘Bates Motel’ premieres (examiner.com)