I was one of the skeptics going into the Pilot of Bates Motel, but by the end of Season One I realized not only how much I loved it, but that it had the potential to become the next great show on television.
A simple synopsis of this show: it’s basically a prequel to Psycho. Only it is, only it’s not, only it is and ugh… The whole setting thing I’ll get to, but first the parts I really like about this show!
The acting in Bates Motel is great. Vera Farmiga plays Norma Bates, Norman’s mother and she is what you would expect to see in Mrs. Bates only with a lot more layering. Norma Bates isn’t a black and white character, she’s in a very grey area. Vera Farmiga was nominated for an Emmy last year for her performance in this season and it was well deserved. But then Norman Bates is pretty black and white, which would be depressing if Freddie Highmore didn’t deliver his performance so well. I’m not usually a fan of actors playing young versions of other actors, but Highmore captures the young Anthony Perkins so well, it’s remarkable. He is Norman Bates, yet he isn’t totally psycho yet. He’s psycho, just not totally psycho. And then the supporting cast is great too, my favorite being Max Thieriot plays Norman’s (half-) brother. He’s the cool-guy that could have been as annoying as the cool-guy character gets, but he pulls it off. He’s the much better version of the older brother from that Supernatural show on the CW. Other than that Sheriff Romero is really cool, but I’ll talk more about him and some other supporting players in my Season Two review.
I guess what really makes the show appealing to you is the writing and overall tone especially. The creator of Lost is bringing us this show, so it’s going to be intriguing and it’s going to be a mystery. I was right about the first half of that, but it isn’t really a mystery show. There are mysteries in it, this season especially, but it really is a thriller. That’s the thing I love about Psycho too. I had always heard about Psycho as being this intense horror film from the master director of spooks Alfred Hitchcock. But really it wasn’t, and neither is Bates Motel. Both of them do have their surprising moments, but they both are ultimately intriguing thrillers and character stories.
There are really only two issues I have with this show. The first I mentioned briefly before and that’s the setting. This is a prequel to Psycho but it takes place in the modern-day. That confused me, but I thought, “hey, I’ll just enjoy the show…” But as I was writing this review it got me thinking, after the show wraps, are they gonna do a remake of Psycho? I mean it could work and be logical if they make it work and be logical. (Watch it tie into the Vince Vaughn version…) In the first season this whole time-error thing is pretty discrete, like Norman has his iPhone, sure, but all the cars are really old-timey, and they all dress like it’s a long time ago, so you think that Psycho could actually take place after this show. How crazy is that, Psycho actually took place way-in-the-future, we just couldn’t tell because the town was old-timey. But then in Season Two, you feel like there’s a new showrunner and all the characters look like they live in 2014, and there aren’t any 50’s-60’s elements AT ALL. So that was a bummer and it made my remake theory seem more logical. When a show kinda takes you out of it that much though (especially in Season Two, though Season One had its confusing matter too), it takes it down a peg and that’s too bad.
The only other problem I have is that this season seems a bit too short! I would have loved it if this season were 15 episodes or however many more without it seeming illogical. This is a season you can sit down on a winter weekend and just watch for two or three days, with most of your day to spare and you’ll still have the season done by the weekend’s conclusion. I know this because I’ve done this.
So guys, I really recommend Bates Motel. I was walking into it pretty skeptical, but Season One really convinced me it could become the show to compete with on TV now that some of the greats have bowed off. It has great characters played by great actors, intriguing and thrilling storylines without seeming too horror-esque. The show does have some time-frame issues, but despite this, it has great replay value. Therefore, I will give it the replay value rating of a 4/5.
You guys should definitely check out Bates Motel. You’ll be surprised how much you love Season One. And feel not-so, not-so about Season Two. But hey, I’ll get to that.
So guys those are my thoughts on Bates Motel Season One. There will be a Season Two Review in the next few days, check that out when it comes out. Also don’t forget to Follow us on Twitter (@MMTsDotCom) and Like us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/MyMovieThoughts). And the comment question of the day: what is your favorite TV show currently airing? Whatever it or they may be, let me know down below, and as always, thanks for reading guys.