Cable network A&E and Carlton Cuse of Lost fame, announced last year that they would be airing a prequel of an Alfred Hitchcock classic, Psycho. Focusing on the relationship between Norman Bates and his mother, Norma Bates.
The first season of the show, entitled Bates Motel, shows how Norma and Norman move to a small town in White Pine Bay, Oregon and purchase the eponymous Bates Motel.
The show stars Freddie Highmore as Norman and Vera Farmiga as Norma and portrays them differently than earlier adaptations. Norma is seen as less controlling and more paranoid than in the movie series. Anthony Perkin's and Freddie Highmore do look a little similar, but their portrayals of Norman Bates differ greatly, as they should.
Highmore portrays Norman as a confused, troubles and maybe even innocent boy as compared to the calm, delusional psychotic that he will grow up to become. The show struggled as most shows do in their freshman year, to find an audience. But slowly and steadily the show has picked up quite a fan following.
The show focuses just as much on Norman's psychotic episodes, as it does on Norma's dominating and overprotective personality. The first episode itself shows Norma killing a man, even though he did try to rape her. But the show definitely dwells deep into the mind of how a psychopath is created.
Norman witnesses a lot during the first few episodes and as the season goes on, we see how his mind unravels, not being able to deal with the some things. Several side stories intertwine with the main story of Bates Motel and the show also introduces Norman's half brother, Dylan Massett, Norma’s son by her first marriage, portrayed by Max Thieriot; a character exclusive to the show.
There were ten episodes in the first season, and a second season of ten episodes has been commissioned by A&E.The first season received a good deal of critical praise and Vera Farmiga was nominated for the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series at the 2013 Emmy Awards. If the first season was any indication of things to come, Bates Motel could be the next big thing.