The best thing about this particular suggestion is that it is a show that has finished it’s run. This means you don’t have to worry about catching up before the next season or trying to hop on a bandwagon that is already moving.
As you may have guessed by the warm opening, I do thoroughly recommend Bates Motel as a watch for anyone who loves Horror, classic cinema, or mildly incestuous overtones. Bates Motel is a story that tells the story of the turbulent teenage years of Norman Bates( played by Freddie Highmore.) The main character in the Alfred Hitchcock Horror masterpiece Psycho. It combined elements. showing events before the film but placing in a modern setting. I believe this works mainly because it puts a story of teen angst in the familiar territory of a contemporary setting. I dare say it would be a little less relatable if it was set in the 40’s. But then again, historical fiction has been going through an anaesthetic renaissance in the past couple of years, so you never know, maybe they missed a trick there!
The story is carried mostly by the wonderful combination of the acting talents of Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga As the mother-son team of Norman and Norma Bates. They move into the abandoned property that becomes the Bates Motel. The first series focuses mostly on the efforts made by Norma to create a better life for her son. It’s fair to say that the story does revolve around her for quite a large portion of the show. But you will quickly realize that Vera Farmiga’s portrayal of the elusive Norma Bates is the most satisfying thing about the performance. Highmore’s portrayal of Norman Bates is effective yet strained in many places.
The supporting vast brings in a fresh new perspective to the relationships in the Psycho lore. Max Theriot plays Dylan Masset, Norma’s other son whose history makes for a really compelling side story. Olivia Cooke plays Emma Decody. And an employee at the hotel and a love interest of Norman. She provides a rather palatable and softer point of interest in what is quite a dark and heavy narrative.
The aesthetic of this show is superb. The production design takes you right back into the old, Hitchcockian horror tht=at we all know and love while blending is with the everyday small-town vibes of middle America. The declining mental state of the characters seems to blend in well with the famous look of bates manor. Although, being set in the modern age makes it look a little weird. A mother and son move into a house yet don’t change a piece of furniture. Making the marriage of the two time periods seem a little off.
Nevertheless. Bates Motel was a great show and told a familiar story in a compelling and horrifying way. Watch this show, you’ll enjoy it. I promise.
For the brits, you can watch the whole series on Netflix or catch up on 5 on Demand. For the Americans, You can watch it on A&E