Creator: Anthony Cipriano, Carlton Cuse, Kerry Ehrin
Stars: Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Max Thieriot
Based on: “Psycho”, by Robert Bloch
Original Network: A&E
Original Release: March 18, 2013 – April 24, 2017
Worth it? Yes, and don’t tell mother!
A contemporary prequel to Psycho, giving a portrayal of how Norman Bates’ psyche unravels through his teenage years, and how deeply intricate his relationship with his mother, Norma, truly is.
I have to say this is the biggest surprise of a tv show that I have had. Far better acted, written, and was far more interesting then I ever would have given it credit.
When I originally saw teasers and trailers for the show I assumed that it was going to be A&E’s copy of a teenage CW show with teen angst and drama. I had absolutely no interest after catching the first episode because it dealt with Norman at a new high school. I was entirely wrong about the show.
I had assumed it was only a teenager show mostly because the actor looks like, and it is a young Norman Bates, and they focused on his mom a lot in the beginning, but for some reason I assumed she wouldn’t be a lasting character. I mean how do you make Norma Bates, AKA “MOTHER!” a regular character. Not only is she a regular (and she is there on screen until the last episode), she is on the same level as Norman and they are both great characters, acted by very good actors.
There is of course a lot of drama, violence, death and insanity, but that is expected from a reboot prequel of the original movie “Psycho”. It hit all the notes for me, including the surrounding characters, unexpected reveals and even though several key facts about Norman are changed it is definitely Norma Bates.
The only thing I hesitate on, and this isn’t a poor reflection it is still great, I would have handled the last 3 or 4 episodes differently. SPOILER ALERT: I would have not had the final 3 or four episodes end the way they did, wrapping up the storyline 100%, instead I would have changed a couple of things that would allow it to end, right about where the movie started. That however isn’t a bad thing, just a style thing.
Pros: Excellent acting, writing, and kept my interest over the five seasons, even if I cringed sometimes.
Cons: I stylistically would have wrapped it up at a different point, but that is purely a dramatic choice.
I am really glad I did start watching it, and I encourage others to give it a try.
Here is the trailer, I really wish though it didn’t have that CW feel at the beginning: