Bates Motel should be your new obsession. A criminally underrated show based on the classic Hitchcock movie ‘Psycho’, it tells the story of the future serial killer, Norman Bates, and his mother Norma as they start up their motel business in a small town. The show documents the teenage Norman’s spiral into insanity and how he becomes the psycho we all know and love.
Four seasons have already aired with the fifth and final season to begin on February 20 with special guest star, Rihanna! Norman is one of the most notorious psychopathic villains in cinematic history which should be enough of a reason to watch but just in case you need more to persuade you, here are 6 more reasons why you should watch Bates Motel.
Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore are the big hitters of the show and they are killing it (pun intended) as the mother and son duo, Norma and Norman. From loving moments to crazed screams, these two can make you feel just about anything. They play a fascinating, incredibly odd and uncomfortably close relationship between a mother and son. The two also occasionally team up to play Norman with his dear ‘Mother’ in his head.
‘Psycho’ is famous for Norman Bates’ separate personality of ‘Mother’ – the one who actually does the killing. ‘Bates Motel’ takes the time to craft the persona throughout the seasons as it is created to protect Norman in times of overwhelming stress and also protects him against the supposed lures of beautiful women. ‘Mother’ is aggressive and domineering and of course looks just like Norman’s real mother, Norma. It is a fascinating insight into how one of the scariest killers in cinema became the way he is.
3. Great characters
Along with Norma and Norman, there’s also Dylan Massett (Max Thieriot), Norma’s eldest son from a previous relationship who always felt left out of the close relationship between his brother and his mother. There’s Emma Decody (Olivia Cooke), a girl with cystic fibrosis who becomes attached to Norman and his family and last but certainly not least, Alex Romero (The Dark Knight’s Nestor Carbonell), the morally ambiguous sheriff of the town who is trying to keep everything from falling apart. Together they make up a show about family, illness, drugs and…what to do if you kill someone.
You wouldn’t think a show about a killer would be funny but it really is. Whether it’s Norma beating up a sign with orange road cones and screaming at anyone who pisses her off, to a drug dealer named Ra’Uf to Norman’s odd obsession with placing his taxidermied animals all over the house. There’s a lighthearted moment for every dark story.
Norman/Bradley, Norman/Emma, Dylan/Emma, Romero/Norma (I’m sure there are ship names for these). There are romantic moments to warm even the coldest heart.
Yes, that Rihanna. The singer, who is a big fan of the show, was announced to play the iconic character of Marion Crane in season 5 famously played by Janet Leigh in ‘Psycho’. There’s no word on whether she will play her part in that famous shower scene but it seems like the show is finally catching up to the events of the movie.
The first 3 seasons are currently streaming on Netflix now. Season 5 of Bates Motel is set to premiere on the A&E Network in the U.S. on February 20.