• Network: A&E
  • Series Premiere Date: Mar 18, 2013
  • Season #: 1 , 2
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 236 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 7 out of 236

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  1. Mar 19, 2013
    so far its amazing from start to finish. the actors (vera farmiga and freddie highmore) give it their all in their outstanding performances. its too good to miss out and you wont stop watching it.
  2. Mar 18, 2013
    So far, so good. It's only the pilot, so there's time for "Bates Motel" to become great. Vera Farmiga provides a wonderfully nuanced performance as Norma, Norman's domineering mother. Freddie Highmore is a dead-ringer for a young Anthony Perkins. This is not American Horror Story. There are no ghosts or goblins here. Just one boy's forming psyche that eventually turns him Psycho. We'll see where the writers take it. Expand
  3. Mar 19, 2013
    This is a true homage to classic. It gives you this nail biting edge of your seat feeling that leaves you clamoring for more. I can't wait to see where this is headed and how we see young Norman turn 'Psycho'. Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga give amazing performances that take your breath away.
  4. Mar 18, 2013
    I don't normally review television series after the pilot, I usually like to wait until at least 3 episodes in, However this pilot was just too good not to review it. Love the idea of showing how Norman Bates became such a tortured soul. And how awesome is it for Norma bates to finally have a story to her. Suspenseful, Gritty, Creepy, and compelling. would be proud!
  5. Apr 18, 2013
    It's TV's best thriller! The story is very unusual yet compelling and a bit far from the 1960 classic horror film. But the real magic of the show is from Highmore's performance. He definitely nails Norman Bates. Highmore has this innocent and dark charisma which really suits his character. In the other hand, Farmiga provides this caring and mysterious personality for Norma Bates which adds up the show's mystery factor. There's still a lot of secrets to uncover and I cannot wait to see more on what will happen next. Expand
  6. Apr 13, 2013
    This is one of Shows that people gets hooked from the very first episode. Framiga's done a good job with determined with hint of crazy character. For Highmore, he looks normal, but too normal that will makes you think 'this boy is creepy'.
  7. Apr 30, 2013
    This show is great! I like scary stuff but am not a fan of the Psycho movies or anything. The show itself drew me in not the "movies". The writing is great and NOT predictable at all. Great actors and really good character development. As we can see, there are not many negative reviews. I would have to ask the negative reviewers if they are blind and deaf? I watch many shows and they just don't have what this show has! The writing is clever and there isn't all this gore like the other new Tv shows in this genre. I can't say enough good things. I get excited each week to watch this show. Expand
  8. Apr 21, 2013
    I love this show. Its full of suspense and tension that has me on the edge of my seat every step of the way. Freddie Highmore succeeds in portraying a modernized version of the young original 1960's character, Norman Bates. Bates Motel is going where most shows wouldn't go and I hope to see it become much more over the next few years. If you are thinking of watching this show, don't hesitate. Do it now. Expand
  9. Mar 25, 2013
    I was completely into it from the first 10 minutes. Everything about the show is great and well acted. I think I might have found my new favorite show! I would recommend this to anyone.
  10. Aug 17, 2013
    It’s pretty safe to say that I was looking forward to Psycho the trailer was presented in a way I hadn’t seen done before featuring members of the cast talking about the series, I have also enjoyed shows like Sherlock which have brought old publications into a modern day setting. Seeing that I loved the original movie and the book by Robert Bloch’s I was very interested into just how they could bring Norman into the 21st century.

    Bates Motel the record breaking A&E series tells the story of a young Norman Bates and the proceeding events before ****’s masterpiece the 1960′s film Psycho. Bates Motel to put it simply had me hooked, every Monday night on A&E after the episode I could only count down the days until the next episode.

    Bates Motel opens with a strong first episode where we are first introduced to the frankly to close relationship between mother and son. Shortly after Norman’s father dies using the life insurance money Norma buys a motel, not before being harassed by the previous owner. Episode one quickly takes the darkest turn imaginable putting the events of Psycho to shame, so on that front I’m not sure in the already commissioned season 2 how far they could go but if it’s anything like this season I will be happy.

    Bates Motel had me glued to the television drama, even though I didn’t care much for the teen drama love triangle between Norman, Emma and Bradley. It seemed a bit forced and unnecessary, I realize that without it Norman’s betrayal to his mother by “getting laid” wouldn’t of happened and then Emma’s character would serve no purpose as she wouldn’t really be doing anything or have no emotional ark but I just didn’t personally care for the drama. For instance their were a few scenes were I just kept saying to myself “Norman please just kill them already they are driving me crazy”.

    I enjoyed the overall bad ass town which they created I thought it was a little far fetched having all the suggestions that the whole towns economy was being held up by pot, but I suppose the pot fields needed a reason to be important. Another thing which I enjoyed was Norman’s introduction to taxidermy I thoroughly enjoyed that nod to the original.

    When considering the acting I must remark that I thought Freddie Highmore was a great casting as Norman Bates, however whenever he is sad or is crying his voice did annoy me. Vera Farmiga as Norma Bates oh my! Was that the best piece of casting you have ever seen or what? When Norman’s hallucinations of Norma is talking to him I really felt sorry form him, Farmiga was just so intimidating and commanding over him that I could of literally screamed at the TV. The level of acting was great throughout but nothing incredibly spectacular stood out from the crowd in comparison to the fore mentioned performances.

    The series had a great script, a well structured plan which resulted in a good and intriguing story which leaves you gagging for more. Admittedly the middle few episodes did drop the ball a little bit in comparison to the rest of the episodes but it didn’t effect my overall opinion of the series.

    Bates Motel was a great overall series and I would recommend it to anyone.
  11. May 25, 2013
    Absolutely love it!! Freddie Highmore is an amazing actor, as well as Vera and Max, A show with a brilliant cast. Full of suspense and always has you on the edge of your seat. Definitely worth a watch!!
  12. Apr 9, 2013
    Solid opening episode and it has stuck there since, good writing, exceptional cast and just the right amount of thrills. keep it coming! From the begiining you are invested in the characters and it makes you hungry for more.
  13. Mar 19, 2013
    The pilot for this episode was just so strong i had to review it at once. This will be one an amazing show is what the pilot proved. The pilot was so interesting and the acting is just great for a show like this.
  14. Apr 8, 2013
    Bates Motel so far has started out exceedingly well so far mainly because of its character development and its overall essentially creepy atmosphere. If the show keeps this up, along with the fantastic acting from Highmore and Farmiga, then we are sure to have a real hit TV show on our hands.
  15. Jul 27, 2013
    I watched first two episodes and i liked it, then i watch the third episode, it was fantastic.I watched the whole season in two days! Freddie Highmore is the best choice to play Norman, and i was fascinated with Vera Fermiga's acting it was exquisite and suspense was good too, show is thrilling, it's really good but of course not better than the film, no one could do it like did it.
  16. Apr 23, 2013
    Brilliant story lines and acting. What an amazing prequel to Psycho. One can really see the development of Norman's mental nightmares. The writing is clever and very suspenseful. I think even Alfred would have enjoyed the show.
  17. lox
    May 8, 2014
    Perfectly cast, genuinely intense, smoothly paced, superbly acted and multilayered, Bates Motel is a highly engaging, semi-modernized origins story of Norman Bates. Immersing you into Norman's world nearly inch by inch pre-Psycho, mixing 1950's and modern day elements together, this first season is taut and engaging. The highlight of this series is definitely Freddie Highmore, a young and amazing talented actor who channels Anthony Perkins excellently, and Vera Farmiga who is superb and convincing as Norma Bates. Expand
  18. Mar 21, 2013
    Bates Motel is a vary well casted show and vary dramatic, show like this is what get people hooked in to watching them. Well done on the first episode, keep it up.
  19. Mar 20, 2013
    So far, the show is great. I am a huge fan of the original and I have been waiting for this for a while. The house looks almost identical to the original. The technology is vastly improved of course because the timeline is more for modern times. The acting is great and I love how the story gets right into it without any filler at all. Keep it going A&E!
  20. Mar 20, 2013
    Bates motel had a lot to live up to, and I feel it did. Freddie Highmore (Norman Bates) and Vera Farmiga (Norma Louise Bates) are fantastic. I was on the edge of my seat most of the show. A great thriller and a fantastic start to the prequel. I normally hate prequels, the whole idea of them really, but this blew any prequel I have ever seen right out of the water! Cannot wait to see what happens next, highly recommended. Expand
  21. Apr 8, 2013
    Bates Motel is a compelling thriller that really keeps you intact to your seat throughout the show! I'm absolutely impressed. Having 3 episodes already, I would have to say the first was a weak link. It got my attention but not the way the other 2 have. Episodes 2 and 3 kept me really counting down days to the next episode which is very important for a television show. I'm extremely excited to see what's going to happen in the upcoming episodes! I really recommend this show to everyone, it's absolutely amazing. I'm already in love, with just 3 episodes. I love the cast, and characters. Everything is perfect. Bates Motel is something i will be watching until it ends. Hopefully, it stays as good as it is now. It's a classic edge-of-your-seat thriller... Expand
  22. May 7, 2013
    This is a excellent in every way. Vera Farmiga nails it EVERYTIME!! This role is made for her--it fits her like a glove down to every nuance of her movements. The dynamic between mother and son (meaning Norman) is brilliantly written and acted, it is just amazing to watch the disturbing nature of how emotional abuse really takes place and form between people. This show really gets it and makes itself a true gem in the world of cheap knock off shows with way too much hype and not enough substance. Expand
  23. May 8, 2013
    it's been a loooooooooooong time since I've come across such a gripping tv series. bates motel has literally kept my eyes glued onto the tv to see what happens next! superb and convincing acting by vera farmiga and freddie rushmore makes this series all the more entertaining. and such a brilliant idea to set the series in contemporary society to make it all the more believable. I haven't missed an episode yet and look forward to the 2nd season! Expand
  24. May 11, 2013
    Great new show! Creepy and suspenseful. Can't wait to see where it goes. Love the taxidermy sub plot. You know something is off when Norman is stuffing his own dog! Keep 'em coming A&E!
  25. Apr 14, 2014
    The talented and amazing Vera Farmiga is brilliant as Norman Bates mother. I am such a huge fan of hers', the diversity of her films is amazing. This show is a prequeI to the movie Pyscho for those who don't know. So far I've really enjoyed this series, the suspense, crime, nuttiness and drama is none stop and is far from boring. The majority of the shows success will be due to Veras' part, just my opinion. Freddie Highmore aka Norman Bates doesn't do too bad either. Like I said at the beginning, Vera Farmiga is BRILLIANT and that alone is a good enough reason to watch this series. Here's to the writers, actors, producers etc... GOOD LUCK!! Look forward to many more seasons Expand
  26. May 29, 2013
    I personally loved it. I love Norma's character. She is so hilarious at times. Norman on the other hand with his split personalities bring out the dark side of the show. The cute brother just rounds it all off. All in all, I look forward to more Bates Motel and a lot more seasons. Very rare does a series keep me interested but this one has given me the desired effect. Excellent job guys!
  27. Sep 21, 2013
    I've been dedicated to this series from the beginning. The first season was so broad in its storyline with all sorts of problematic issues in trying to introduce all the odd characters; however, suspenseful nonetheless. Toward the end of the season the episodes and characters seem to pick up becoming solid, as well as the plot. I'm excited for season two.
  28. Nov 17, 2013
    The show works it way to climax slowly but in a good way. It doesn't rush things so viewers get to take all the suspense in. Freddie Highmore is surprisingly good playing against his typical role of being a sweetheart and Vera Farmiga manages to pull an act that makes me all sympathetic to her. Bates Motel is a very interesting and unique take on the story and should do well as long as the writers keep it consistent. Expand
  29. Nov 19, 2013
    I just watched this serial and I love that the thrill it serves. The artists both Vera and Freddie give us their best performance. I love it so much and I can't wait for second seasons.
  30. Feb 20, 2014
    i absolutely love it! Freddy Highmore is an amazing actor and the show already had me hooked after only 15 min. of the first episode! this show will keep you suspensed all the way until the end. are you way too hooked? the 2nd season only in two weeks!
  31. Mar 13, 2014
    I love the thrilling show. I watch it every single Monday on A&E network. I recommend this show to everyone who like's suspense. I also tweet a lot during the show and look through what people saying about the show. Every time i see like 40 tweets per 50 seconds its insane.
  32. Jun 28, 2014
    the characters are great. you can like or dislike them with a lot of passion. the relationship between mother and son is fascinating. one of the best tv series!!
  33. Aug 23, 2014
    I've never watched Psycho, but whatever the film's story is, sure I'll like this prequel more because it's amazing. Freddie and Vera are incredible, the story too and this is one of the best series I've ever seen.
  34. Oct 30, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This was a highly anticipated second season for me. With the first season delivering a cliffhanger ending that left so many unanswered questions. The second season didn't disappoint and in my option far exceeded the first. The characters though well developed in the first season become that much more intriguing and complex. I cannot fault the acting in this series particularly Freddie Highmore his ability to portray Norman as a vulnerable awkward teenager one minute and a chilling psychotic psychopath the next are testament to his incredible acting ability.
    What I did enjoy about this season was the deeper exploration into Norman's psychological state. The black outs and the intrigue surrounding his teachers death are more played out and you begin to really see the characters malevolent side. His bizarre co-dependant relationship with his mother is also explored to greater levels.
    I also appreciate the impeccable cinematography in this series the use of light and shade and eerie misty shots are executed perfectly and only serve to immerse you deeper into this disturbing tangled world.
    I would highly recommend this series to anyone who likes their thrillers and who is a fan of the original Psycho as this delves deeper into the psychology of a psychopath. Fast enacting and entertaining.

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 34
  2. Negative: 3 out of 34
  1. Reviewed by: Bruce Miller
    May 29, 2013
    This Bates Motel requires more than just a one-night stay. Once you slip in you may not want to check out.
  2. Reviewed by: Clark Collis
    Mar 20, 2013
    The most believable character--and the real reason to check in to Bates Motel--is undoubtedly Farmiga's Norma.
  3. 50
    I’m torn between condemning the series for piggybacking on a classic and promising an origin story it doesn’t really care to deliver, and praising it for avoiding the homicidal Muppet Babies formula and pulling a pretty brazen bait-and-switch.