Bates Motel premiers on A&E
By Kyle Lawrence
Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” has been called one of the greatest suspense films of all time.
There have been sequels before, most of them pretty lackluster compared to the original, and now a
modernized prequel looks into the early years of Norman Bates and his mother Norma. But does it
measure up to the classic film? “Bates Motel,” which premiered Monday on the A&E Network, stars
Freddie Highmore as a 17-year-old Norman Bates and Vera Farmiga as Norma Bates. In the premiere,
Norman and Norma have just moved into the motel following the death of Norma’s husband. We soon
discover that the family has a history of moving around, and that Norma likes to keep Norman on a short
leash. Despite all this Norman and Nora have a very strong bond (which is fairly obvious if you’ve seen
“Psycho”) even when Norma, (spoiler warning!) kills an intruder. The first episode also includes
elements from the typical teen drama genre; Norman gains the attention of some pretty girls, goes to an
outlandish party and to represent the thriller genre, the police show up soon after the murder has been
committed to add tension to the scene. Personally I’m glad we haven’t seen the stereotypical high
school jock bully yet.
Despite the clichés “Bates Motel” manages to be fairly entertaining. Norman and Nora have well-
developed personalities that can be seen in the first episode alone, which is greatly aided by Highmore’s
and Farmiga’s acting. The show also seems prepared to have some very racy and even taboo scenes, and
no I’m not talking about the murder. Overall if the first episode is any indication, “Bates Motel” may
turn into must-see television that will attract many people of varied ages. And with the premiere raking
in over 3 million viewers this seems almost assured. “Bates Motel airs Mondays on A&E at 10 p.m.