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Bates Motel: Season 1 (2013)
Movie Review by The Mortician

Bates Motel: Season 1 (2013) Ahhhh, Hannibal goes jetting off into the sunset at the end of his last epic movie and Norman Bates comes to terms with his madness at the end of his last story only to live happily-ever-after with his shrink wife, leaving the door wide open for the small screen to revisit (and reinvent) these characters in new prequel TV shows. Even though PSYCHO IV kind of touched on Norman's childhood growing up with a crazy mama quite well, this new show chronicling Norman and Norma Bates is a slick, modernized, rethinking of the events that lead up to forming and creating the Norman Bates character we love. And they do a great job! If you think of it like a parallel universe version of Norman's teenage life in modern times, it really works. The occasional use of cell phones and computers do not hinder the basic story of Norman's smothering mom, played to the hilt by infuriatingly sexy (and psycho!) Vera Farmiga, who plays MOM sweet, seductive, and totally bi-polar. First episode has her brutally stabbing a drunken neighbor that rapes her and engaging Norman to help dispose of the body! Fantastic stuff all around, and actor Freddie Highmore looks and acts as if he could grow up to be Tony Perkins quite easily---he really channels a lot of the late great actor's mannerisms (and clothing choices) to a deranged perfection! The show is very engaging and addictive, full of colorful new characters in the Bates' life---including the cool addition of Norman's brother, Max. The town they move into (where they buy the classic hotel to renovate and re-open it) has a life of its own---TWIN PEAKS style---with many crazy characters for the Bates clan to interact with, and it's awesome to watch Norman try to deal with his blossoming homicidal impulses to kill "bad girls" as a teenager! The key to everything clicking is the Bates house and motel, which remain timeless characters unto themselves and exactly as they always have looked since Hitchcock's original 1960 film. Seeing modern things happen in and around them again is a trip! Wickedly cool and fun to watch, I recommend you give this show a try. The first season was awesome, and we get to see all the little events that twist, contort, and warp Norman's perspective.

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