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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Psycho
Bates Motel is a beautifully crafted story detailing the start of Norman Bates' early years at the notorious motel. Norman and his mother Norma are given full backgrounds and really bought to life. Freddie Highmore is simply stunning as the twitchy, slightly unhinged teenager and Vera Fermiga is perfect as his dominant controlling mother.

A superb cast of...
Published 18 months ago by T. Cosens

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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Mixed Picture
This prequel to 'Psycho' begins well with a subtle depiction of Norman and Norma Bates's co-dependency and then remembers sporadically to feature it as the series progresses. However, there are bewildering excursions into Manga, pot plantations and Asian sex slaves that seem to have strayed in from another series completely. Storylines are unceremoniously dumped at odd...
Published 13 months ago by dinosaur66


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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Psycho, 29 Nov. 2013
By 
T. Cosens (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Bates Motel is a beautifully crafted story detailing the start of Norman Bates' early years at the notorious motel. Norman and his mother Norma are given full backgrounds and really bought to life. Freddie Highmore is simply stunning as the twitchy, slightly unhinged teenager and Vera Fermiga is perfect as his dominant controlling mother.

A superb cast of supporting characters offer various sub plots all with interesting consequences. Nothing is wasted here. from the actors to the settings to the various story strands, everything is given full attention and real care has gone into evoking the foboding atmosphere that Psycho portrays.

The series explores various themes but it is the relationship between mother and son that holds the weight. At first it seems Norman becomes a killer due to his controlling mother but it quickly becomes apparent that it may not be as simple as that. Its a curious story thread that has a lot of potential for further exploration.

A stunning first series that shows some huge potential. A real classy production with fascinating characters. The motel itself is a joy to get lost in and for fans of Hitchcocks masterpiece there are so many fun references to look out for.

The only downside is the series is too short. Cutting it off after 10 episodes is criminal when the show is this gripping. A real gem.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mother also liked it., 1 Jan. 2014
This review is from: Bates Motel - Season 1 [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
I approached this series with hesitation,how could a prequel to Psycho be set in a modern and contemporary day?How much story could be told?
Psycho is sacred ground,one of the all time classic films.Mother saw it on its first release and loved it,she expected the series to be terrible.Well,from the first episode me and Mother (can you see what I'm doing here?) had our prejudiced expectations confounded.The modern day setting works,the characters are well written,the acting chilling and excellent.A brilliant series,I just hope that they don't make to many series and keep it fresh.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A MOST SATISFYINGLY CREEPY PREQUEL, 18 Jun. 2014
By 
Mr. D. L. Rees "LEE DAVID" (DORSET) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Bates Motel - Season 1 [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
How did Norman Bates evolve into the deranged killer of Hitchcock's acclaimed "Psycho"? Skilfully this ten part season portrays his early life. Ingeniously it updates time to the present, whilst remaining true to the atmosphere of the original.

Newly arrived in White Pine Bay, Norma Bates and her son prove not the only ones decidedly weird. The locals have their own way of doing things. (The creators admit owing much to "Twin Peaks".) What of the sheriff and his deputy, can they be trusted? The activities of both may surprise.

Vera Farmiga makes chilling impact as smother-mother Norma, prone to outbursts and general instability. Freddie Highmore excels as seventeen year old Norman - gangly, well meaning, likeable. Despite revelations of blackouts and psychotic episodes, the acting is such that Norman for most viewers retains sympathy. Max Thieriot impresses as big half-brother Dylan, far from the nasty piece of work he at first seems. Olivia Cooke shines as supportive friend Emma, cystic fibrosis impressively not holding her back.

Not everything convinces, some of the subplots rather far-fetched. Also, the Bates seem unaware of fingerprints, DNA and forensic ability to detect blood stains. (Break-ins are unwise when not wearing gloves.) Note too Norma at the steering wheel, the actress at times needing to remember she is meant to be driving.

Minor matters no doubt, but they distract a bit.

Bonuses include deleted scenes, plus an almost hour long question-and-answer session (badly in need of brisker chairing). Amusingly Freddie Highmore gloats that he, alone of the cast, is guaranteed to survive future seasons. (All others need to check new scripts with some anxiety.)

As ever with box sets, episodes seen in quick succession add greatly to the impact. For two well packed evenings, I was most enjoyably (and gruesomely) entertained.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Most discerning portrayal of dysfunctional family dynamics, 13 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: Bates Motel Season 1 (DVD)
This review is only for the first 6 episodes & I'm planning to watch the rest of the episodes tonight. Young Norman is played brilliantly by Freddie Highmore, (who looks like a young Anthony Perkins); his mother Norma is played by Vera Farmiga; and an additional character Norman’s older brother Dylan, is played by Max Thierot.

This is the most discerning portrayal of dysfunctional family dynamics. As a writer of psychological suspense fiction myself I cannot help but be mesmerised by the skill with which Norman’s early life is portrayed, and by the clarity and focus with which it accounts for Norman’s behaviour in Psycho. The series is highly focussed in what it says about unhealthy mutually-interdependent relationships, in this case, between a mother and son. In particular Vera Farmiga as Norma is outstanding, as she portrays the toxic mix of Norma’s psychological make-up. We watch mesmerised as the pace of events, and the choices she makes, precipitate her into rapid changes between being over-affectionate, unreasonable, controlling, proud and hard, aggressive and emotionally manipulative. Finely blended into this mix, we find flashes of callous indifference, mental cruelty and martyr complex, as she puts guilt on Norman.

Dylan, the older brother, is an inspired addition to the gallery of characters, one whom we didn’t see in Psycho. In Bates Motel he represents normality. As he says about Norma: “She’s always got a drama, and she always will. She’s like an addict. And when you have an addict in your life the best thing you can do for them is walk away from them…” “You’ve just got to get away from mum,” he says to younger brother Norman. “She’s just going to bring you down with her.” How prophetic of the events in Hitchcock's masterpiece 'Psycho'.

And as you follow the twists and turns of the plot, you see how Norma has a talent for creating alternative scenarios when things go wrong, which serves only to complicate things further and make them far worse. Dylan tries to persuade her to “stop making up stories”. As you watch the drama of the first 6 episodes, you just long for Norman to accept Dylan’s offer to leave his mother and go to live with Dylan instead. You start to persuade yourself that this could be the vital moment of choice, when, if Norman had taken this step, he might have been saved from the tragedy and horror of the future as presented in Psycho. And yet you still can’t help thinking: would that help? How would Dylan deal with Norman’s mental health problem? Would Norman end up killing Dylan instead? I will have to watch the final episodes to find out!
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4.0 out of 5 stars PSYCHO - The Soap Opera!, 12 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Bates Motel - Season 1 [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Okay, for those younger audiences who don't know. Norman Bates famously played
by the late Anthony Perkins was a killer who ran a hotel, and dressed as his mum and
killed people, some in the shower dumping their body after in a deserted swamp -after
the jealous mother took over.

`Bates Motel` is a prequel set instead of the sixties it takes place in modern day...
Norman and his mother take on the infamous motel to start a new life after the
death of his dad. What follows is a spate of killings, a mob war and other unpleasant
crap for them!

I think what got me at first is the amount of change that has been applied, like
Norman having a brother, teenage girls, gangster sub plots. His brother is
someone I hated but you grow to like. I also thought Vera Farminga was WAY
too cute and likable to play Norma. She plays it well. Freddie Highmore is the
spitting image of a younger Anthony Perkins and should be noted - not just a
pretty face.

This does lack the creepiness of the original films but builds a lot towards the way of
tension and suspense!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent prequel to 'Psycho', 8 April 2014
By 
B. D. Compton "Gettysburg" (Johannesburg,South Africa) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bates Motel - Season 1 [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
I am not a particular follower of this particular genre of film (Unless it is Nordic Noir), but after seeing one episode on DSTV in South Africa, it piqued my interest and i decided to rent it from the DVD store and to my pleasant suprise throughly enjoyed it.

Many moons ago i saw the Alfred Hitchcock film of 'Psycho' with Janet Leigh and Anthony Perkins(The grown up Norman Bates)and remember how much i was disturbed by it especially the scene of Janet Leigh in the shower and Anthony Perkins with the knife, for those days it was quite daring. Well, this modern day TV series showing Norman Bates in his younger days with his controlling Mother starting afresh in in a small town of Pine Lake after Norman's Father died(Accident or murder!!) and purchasing a motel called the 'Seafarers Motel' which was foreclosed on the original very dark owner. They renamed it 'Bates Motel' and from thereon in, the most disturbing occurences start to happen of a psychological and violent nature and to tell you anymore would be to spoil what is an outstanding piece of storytelling of a chilling nature.

The acting, cinematography and direction are excellent and all of this is backed up by some great background music that sets the mood for the disturbing occurences.I must talk about the acting awhile. Vera Farminga,playing the part of the controlling and disturbed Mother of Norman Bates is outstanding and deserves an Emmy for her performance as it was a very difficult role that was handled with such aplomb.Watch for all the nuances of her performance and you will understand what i mean, i was totally absorbed by it. Freddie Highmore as the young Norman Bates is also very well played as can be said of all the supporting cast, but in my opinion Vera Farminga steals the show.

Why have i only given it 4 stars then if i have praised this series so much. Well,i suppose it is because every fifteen minutes or so there are slight breaks when changing over from one scene to another, which i can only presume were the advertising breaks on the original show on American television. I found this a little offputting but make no mistake this series is not to be missed if only for Vera Farminga's outstanding performance. The ending of this series i also felt was a bit premature. I only hope that Season 2 (if there is to be one)can match the quality of Season 1.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth a look, highly recommend..., 24 Oct. 2013
This review is from: Bates Motel - Season 1 [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
I had some free time so decided to give 'Bates Motel' a try, I ended up watching the entire first series in less than a week- am hooked! The show is brilliantly acted, particularly by Freddie Highmore- who is both engaging and slightly scary as Norman Bates! The complex relationship between Norma and his Mother is at the crux of the show, and it masterfully acted, its compelling stuff!! Really enjoyed this series, so cannot wait for series two! Hopefully be able to view at the same as shown in the US.
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35 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars another very good prequel, 24 Jun. 2013
This review is from: Bates Motel - Season 1 [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
This show has been made with a lot of thought and care, there is good character development and plot. Just like the new Hannibal drama, we know what the end game is but the effort put into making this can be seen from the very first scene leaves one waiting impatiently for the next episode.

I have never watched Psycho by Alfred Hitchcock but this drama is based on the lead up to the films main character, Norman Bates, from when he and his mother turn up to a new town for a fresh start and purchase the motel that was supposed to provide their income. Norman is 17 here and is a very soft, mostly awkward but well behaved young man. It follows on how he develops his psychosis. Even though I know that he becomes a killer the series is made so well that I actually rooted for him when things weren't going his way.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Prequel, 4 April 2014
I came across this series looking for the 1987 alternate sequel to Psycho starring Butt Cort as the theme of that movie provides a good alternate to Psycho 2 and deals with suicide (which was crossing my mind at the time). I quickly realised this series was dealing with Norman Bates before he killed his mother and lover as seen in Psycho 4. I didnt think it could work after having seen the terrible insult of the original remake of Psycho (1998) which didn't work at all and though how stupid it was mainly because in 1998 no one would entrust an employee with that kind of cash, let alone carry it, unlike in 1960 when people carried large amounts of cash and trusted other people like they did. So, i kept an open mind on this.

I was really surprised to see this work beautifully. Freddie Highmore plays young Norman and Vera Farmigo is a great screwed up mother worshiping Norman and screwing his head up which we all know where it will eventually lead too.

Highmore has grown up a lot since his debut in the remake of 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' and is one of the very rare childhood actors that has everything to make it as an adult actor, looks, talent and off screen personality (from the extras)

I am so looking forward to seeing series 2 and weather this runs for 3, 5, 10 or more series the altimate finale when mother is killed and Alfred Hitchcock takes over.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NORMAN!!!, 5 Jan. 2014
By 
Mapoo (Sheffield, England) - See all my reviews
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After first watching this on Sky Universal Channel, I was Hooked its a Fantastic series. But when I got to Episode 10 I was actually away on Holiday and when I returned to watch episode 10 I noticed it had been Removed from Sky on Demand and also deleted from my Sky Planner, Sky said it had a Expiry date and needed to be removed which also deleted from your planner. I thought everything stayed on your planner. But never mind i've had to buy the full season 1 to watch episode 10 but its ok I can watch it all again, its a fantastic series, and anyone who loved it and is a fan of the Bates Motel. Then this is deffinatly a Must buy for anyone! even those who loved the original Psycho.
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Bates Motel - Season 1 [DVD] [2013]
Bates Motel - Season 1 [DVD] [2013] by Vera Farmiga (DVD - 2014)
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