In the grand pantheon of stupid ideas, I would have thought a Psycho prequel that moves the action to 2013 would be chief among them but god help me I enjoyed the shit out of Bates Motel.
This TV season in particular is set to become the psycho-killerest in history with not only Bates Motel dusting off the Norman Bates saga for another go, but none other than Bryan Fuller tackling America’s favorite cannibal, Hannibal Lecter (and for network TV no less.) Then lest we forget, Kevin Bacon slumming it on Fox’s The Following, which in its first season has already set the bar for silly serial killering the likes of which Dexter could only darkly dream of. But I belabor a simple point, Bates Motel has mad potential to be both the most intense and silliest of these silly, horrible shows that I continue to watch in spite of myself. I am the problem, after all.
Yet, the strangest thing about the show has nothing to do with the psycho-killer-to-be, and everything to do with Norman’s instantaneous status in town as a total chick magnet.
Norman, played as a 17 year old by the slightly older Freddie Highmore, gets picked up and hit on obsessively by a gaggle of teenage hotties at the bus stop, one of which gives him a ride to school in her hottie Barbie dream car. His milf teacher who has known him for all of 40 minutes starts creepin’ on him after class. And of course Norma and he up the incestuous vibe to surpeme Mother Boy levels. Incidentally, Vera Farmiga plays Norma with just the right mixture of smotherly love. Oh, and it goes without saying that I have to see more of this girl Emma who perks up when she thinks that, just for a moment, Norman Bates might have a terminal disease as she does and is let down to learn that he doesn’t. There aren’t enough young people with oxygen tank cozies on TV. Color me intrigued but also add her to the list of people inexplicably drawn to Norman Bates’ “dark pool” of a soul. The show’s words not mine.
Maybe it’s his big honkin’…