At first I was unsure about this show. A&E is perhaps best known for its reality television shows like Duck Dynasty and Storage Wars. When I heard that they had a scripted television drama my first thought was, “no thanks!” Then came the time when I finished binge watching House of Cards on Netflix and I desperately needed something else to watch while I ate dinner. Bates Motel appeared in my ‘recommended’ list on Netflix. Netflix predicted that I would give the show 4 out of 5 stars, so I gave the show a try. I finished the entire first season in a few days.
The show is meant to be a modern day prequel to the Hitchcock film Psycho. It stares Freddie Highmore as a young Norman Bates. You may recognize Freddie as Charlie from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or as the kid in August Rush. Freddie is now all grown up and he plays a young man who blacks out and commits murders.
Vera Farmiga stars as Norman’s mother, Norma Bates. Their relationship is a strange one. They are both a little too protective of one another, and extremely close. The fact that Norman was named after his mother is probably an indicator that they are very similar personality wise. Norma does not have blackouts, but she is a murderer just like her son. The first episode starts off with Norman’s father dying and Norma buying a motel and moving herself and Norman to a different state.
Max Thieriot stars as Dylan, Norman’s older half brother. He is the voice of reason in the family. He is quick to point out that things don’t seem quite right. He is incredibly suspicious of his mother, and when he found out that Norman’s father died, he was quick to assume that Norma had killed him.
The show is quickly approaching its second season, which will premiere on A&E on March 3rd. Here is an article that quickly recaps what happens in season one, just so you are caught up before watching season two: