Bates Motel (2013) / Thriller-Horror
Regular Cast: Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Max Theriot, Mike Vogel
Director: Tucker Gates
Story developer: Carlton Cuse, Anthony Cipriano, Kerry Ehren
"Bates Motel" is a television series which debuted on the basic cable channel A&E in March of 2013. It is inspired by the classic 1960 film, Psycho, by Alfred Hitchcock, which in turn is loosely based on the Robert Bloch novel, "Psycho". The storyline for the TV series is not a prequel, but rather a retcon of the tale of Norman Bates (Highmore, The Spiderwick Chronicles) and his mother, Norma (Farmiga, Safe House), set during Norman's adolescent years, prior to the events of the films. It ignores the events of Psycho IV: The Beginning, and is regarded as being completely outside of the continuity of the film series, much as the pilot movie for another spin-off series from the 1980s, also called "Bates Motel" had been. Despite it being labeled a 'prequel' to 1960's Psycho, "Bates Motel" is set in the present day, and captures the essence of the Norman Bates saga rather than sticking to the facts of the Hitchcock film.
While the TV series retains the look of the Bates residence, as well as the basic layout of the Bates Motel, the geography of the location of both has changed from the movie's spot of a secluded tract about 15 miles out of Fairvale, California, to a more coastal area within the vicinity of the fictional town of White Pine Bay in Oregon (principal photography takes place in British Columbia, Canada). Unlike the films, Norman is a transplant to the home, rather than having grown up in the house that overlooks the motel.
The series has been co-created by Carlton Cuse, one of the creators of the wildly popular cult TV series, "LOST", and Kerry Ehren, creator of "Friday Night Lights" for television.
Click below for reviews of individual episodes:
1.1 - "First You Dream, Then You Die"
1.2 - "Nice Town You Picked, Norma"
1.3 - "What's Wrong with Norman"
1.4 - "Trust Me"
1.5 - "Ocean View"
1.6 - "The Truth"
1.7 - "The Man in Number 9"
1.8 - "A Boy and His Dog"
1.9 - "Underwater"
Qwipster's overall series rating (so far):
©2013 Vince Leo