Ok, so this is veering off the well-trodden path, into slightly new teritory for my blog, but I've just finished watching episode one of the new American show Bates Motel and felt, through tenuous links, that it deserved a little write up on here. Do forgive me if you feel I have in any way sullied what you came to see!
Bates Motel is, any fan of Psycho would suspect, a story concerning a certain Mr Norman Bates. This particular series centers around the young Norman and his mother, who move into the famous motel, after the death of Norman's father. The twist with this series is that Norma Bates (played very well by Vera Farmiga who perfectly captures the neurotic, but tough Mother) and Norman are thrown head-first into the 21st Century, with the views of the decrepit house and motel we all know and love, juxtaposed against young Norman texting on his iPhone and going to house parties. The first time you see something modern in this series, it rather knocks you sideways and it does take a little time to recover, especially if you are a fan of the original movie. I guess this was the plan of the Director, to shake the viewer out of the sleepy expectation of prior knowledge and drop us into something unexpected. There are also a couple of quite heavy scenes for an American pilot, which makes me think that things will get darker as the series progresses.
Obviously my take on this series is limited, having only seen episode one (I think, at the time of writing, we are only up to the release of episode 2 or 3 anyway) but I do feel that this has some potential, especially as we are left with a decent taste of things to come at the end of this episode.
It's always a risk to take something iconic and beloved and try and change it, but that is the route we take with Bates Motel, and only time will tell if it succeeds. I will endeavor to update you all further down the line (especially readers in the UK, where there is currently no release planned for this series, although this will undoubtedly change in time) and let you know if this is a success or a stinker.
Mother! Oh God, mother! Blood! Blood!