Thanks to Netflix I had the pleasure of binge watching season one of Bates Motel. I love scary movies and TV shows. Anything that looks remotely creepy piques my interest. While I’ve never seen the original Psycho, I know enough about it to keep up with the general public in pop culture trivia. I haven’t been too excited about all the remakes of classic TV and movies lately. Are we doomed to repeat this cycle of visual entertainment every 30-40 years? But I have to give A & E props for this rehashing. I’m supremely impressed with Bates Motel. The show, set in present day, lets you see how Norman Bates grows up and becomes the psycho we all know and love. I found it a nice touch that Norman and his mother are a little out of date compared to the rest of the town. Everyone dresses in current fashion while Norman routinely wears khakis, a button-down shirt with a sweater over the top and a longer, 1960’s inspired boy’s cut. Norma often wears knee length circle skirts and has her hair set in curls like the average housewife of the era. And it’s not just the fashion that’s a subtle nod to the original time period. The car Norma drives is a late 60’s Mercedes. Norman watches classic movies on an old black and white console TV. Most of the home furnishings are decade appropriate too. The characters do have cell phones, like the rest of the towns people, and Norman does have a laptop. I appreciate the vintage feel given to the family. To me, it kind of pays respect to the movie, while letting the show develop it’s own identity.
Vera Farmiga plays Norma Bates and Freddie Highmore plays Norman Bates. (Weird and uncomfortable naming, right?!) They first show up in White Pine Bay having bought a run down roadside motel, with intentions of fixing it up and leaving their old life behind. But we all know something’s not right. Bates Motel does not beat around the bush. Shit starts to hit the fan in the first episode. There really isn’t a lull in any episode. Viewers will not be bored, that’s for sure. With all the various sub-plots, it’s really interesting to see how Norman’s mind works and how his mother affects him. You really get to see his psychopath side unfold. I found the entire first season to be really satisfying and compelling. I haven’t started on season two yet, but I do look forward to watching.