Bates Motel – Review

TV Series Review – Season 1, Bates Motel

Let’s take a moment and appreciate how creepy this picture of Norman Bates is…super creepy, right?  And I picked the least strange of the series poster type ads.

Series 1 Synopsis  – Norma Bates wants a fresh start for herself and her teenage son, after her husband is killed in a freak accident.  So, they move to a small sea-side town to run a small motel and start over.  Except nothing is what it seems – not this small town, Norma herself, nor her favorite son, Norman.

Thanks to the joy of tv series of Netflix, I powered through the first season of “Bates Motel” this week. And it was awesome – a seamless blend of creepiness, teenage angst, mysteries, rich characters, and a very interesting town…all while filling us in on a backstory of one of the horror genre’s most notorious, well psycho. If you enjoy mysteries and horror, definitely check it out – not only are there mysteries/creepiness lurking everywhere, all of the characters are flawlessly acted.

For those of you who have watched, will watch, or are watching, just a few interesting tidbits I wanted to bring up –

  • Norman talks with his mother a lot, even when she’s not there – As the viewer, we generally follow Norman (though often enough we follow Norma and Norman’s bother, Dylan) and as a side benefit of that, we also get to see what goes on in Norman’s head through dream sequences, quick visual fantasy type events, as well as his conversations with his kind of second personality – a really angry version of his mom.  Sometimes he remembers these conversations with his other personality and sometimes he doesn’t.  What’s interesting is that this lays the ground work to what Norman eventually does in the movie Psycho (i.e. attacking a woman while dressed as his dead mother and no, that’s not a spoiler..if you haven’t watched psycho you most likely know what happens anyway).
  • Norman has “black out” moments – I won’t ruin this for people, but it’s an interesting concept for a character who seems to have two very extreme sides to his personality.  It also raises interesting questions about “black out” moments – is he blocking them out after the fact (for self-preservation) or is it another side of his personality taking over?
  • The town is really, really interesting too – We all know the final fate of Norman Bates, and while a backstory is interesting, that can’t be the only thing happening if you’d like an engaging and long-running series.  Answer?  The town is crooked!  Crooked, I say!!  And filled with mysteries!  Yay!  Also, this town is run by Sheriff Alex Romero (Nestor Carbonell) who is quickly becoming one of my favorite side characters along with the quirky Emma Decody (Olivia Cooke), Norman’s only friend.

Predictions for season 2?  Methinks murder shall be afoot….also, I’m betting Norma and the Sheriff are going to have a complicated relationship that will no doubt lead to romance.  Why?  Well, romance is everywhere…even in horror stories. 😉


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