Review by CJ
Tucker Gates, Paul Edwards, Johan Renck, David Straiton, SJ Clarkson, Ed Bianchi
Robert Bloch (based on characters by), Carlton Cuse, Kerry Ehrin, Anthony Cipriano, Jeff Wadlow, Bill Balas
Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Max Thieriot, Olivia Cooke, Nicola Peltz, Nestor Carbonell, Mike Vogel
Other notable appearances:
Richard Harmon, W. Earl Brown, Terry Chen, Keegan Connor Tracy, Ian Hart, Ian Tracey, Vincent Gale, David Cubitt, Ben Cotton
41-43 minutes per episode
Number of episodes:
After the death of her husband, Norma Bates moves to White Pine Bay to start a new life as a motel owner with her son Norman.
Bates Motel is set in modern times so it’s not exactly a prequel to Psycho, but it does a great job of exploring the complicated and twisted relationship between Norman Bates and his mother.
Farmiga does a captivating job of playing Norma Bates, who is herself not as sane as she would have the world think.
Highmore’s Norman Bates is incredible to watch. Not only does Highmore bear a striking resemblance to Anthony Perkins, but he plays the character with the same eerie calm and nails the sudden outbursts. If you watch closely, you can see Highmore flushing during his outbursts and paling on queue as he calms down.
My favourite Bates Motel characters are Dylan, Norma’s eldest son and Normans half-brother, and town sheriff Alex Romero. Dylan, who is portrayed by Thieriot, is the voice of reason in an otherwise pretty nutty household. His development throughout season one has been interesting to watch. Romero, portrayed by Carbonell, is an intriguing character who obviously has a lot more to him than meets the eye. I can’t wait to see what comes from this character in later seasons.
Season one of Bates Motel lays good groundwork for future seasons. At times it does feel slow moving, but this helps to build tension and didn’t feel boring at any point.
Even though most viewers will go into this knowing the ultimate end for Norma and Norman, season one of Bates Motel is an enthralling look into the devolution of an iconic character and the horrors that took place before his life went down the drain.
“What’s important is, we’re together. And as long as we’re together, nothing bad can really happen. Right, Norman?”