re:View – Bates Motel

TV review by Cody Maltby

Bates’ Motel is a prequel to the Hitchcock suspense classic Psycho, about the teenage years of that films infamous killer Norman Bates.

Strangely though, the show is set in the 21st century, which is something that isn’t needed but it isn’t really a bother.

The show looks at how 17 year old loner Norman (played brilliantly by child star Freddie Highmore) becomes the man that made Hitchcock a suspense King. We look mainly at his relationship with his obnoxious mother Norma (EMMY nominated Vera Farmiga)and his clumsy interactions with girls and teachers.

A new character for the fanatics to play with is Dylan Bates, Norman’s estranged brother (Max Theriot, the mysterious guy in House at the end of the Street) who sees the danger between the close and slightly creepy relationship of Norma and Norman, but these two have a secret, something that brings them closer and gives us a peak into both Norma and Norman’s future.

This 10 episode show is full of everything. Suspense, romance and even some comedy. I think what the writers and Freddie himself bring to the role of Norman is a morally wrong and engaging reflection.

We can relate to Norman, we sympathise with him for most of the series, yet there is still that niggling knowledge that he is going to become a monster. With that in mind it is hard not to pre-determine the fate of any character that comes close or befriends Norman.

Another interesting aspect of the show is that if you aren’t savvy with the most influential “horror” of all time, Norma Bates could easily be perceived as the real Psycho, not only for the fact that in the first episode she sheds a little blood herself, but also the controlling and self involved nature of her, Vera Farmiga is nominated for an Emmy for this role. And with good reason too.

Bates’ Motel is an interesting character study of an emotionally unstable teen, who suffers with the pressure and responsibility of leaving adolescents but also the hardships of keeping an urge for homicide at bay.

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