• Network: A&E
  • Series Premiere Date: Mar 18, 2013
  • Season #: 1 , 2
User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 200 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 7 out of 200

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  1. Apr 14, 2014
    9
    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
  2. Mar 24, 2014
    8
    Heavy on story though weak on dialogue, But Bates Motel is so powerfully acted and very well shot, That Bates Motel is one of the most intriguing shows out right now.
  3. Mar 13, 2014
    10
    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.
  4. Feb 26, 2014
    7
    I am impressed with this show because I had extremely low expectations. It's a cooky, silly pretense that could have gone horribly wrong. The plot is not its best attribute. But, the characterization and acting is what I'm excited about. The characters are smart; I love when shows assume their audience is smart too. I get insulted when everything is completely digested for me and the characters are so stunningly stupid, I want to yell at the TV. At least, there is some resolve, toughness and self-awareness in these characters! And, I sense complete commitment in the actors, good for them! Expand
  5. Feb 21, 2014
    3
    The problem with this show is that it's a recycled "Lost," not surprising since Hollywood veteran Carlton Cuse has produced both "Lost" and "Bates." Although the latter's opening episode had some bright spots, it suffered greatly from overt silliness and editing problems. One stark example of the former is the lawman-tinkling-in-the-bathroom-scene. He'd already been established as the curious sort. To believe that he wouldn't peek behind the shower curtain and see the dead rapist is absurd. Additionally, he certainly would have been able to smell the blood. Of course, if he had discovered the body, the series would have ended immediately; hence, any viewer with half a brain would have felt nary a shred of suspense.

    An editing issue that readily comes to mind is that the aforementioned rapist apparently only drives his pick-up truck during the day. I guess he walked over that night; maybe it was a full moon and he lived in the abandoned motel next door.

    The decision to set "Bates" in the present day makes little sense, since the reason to watch the series is to see how Norman became the "psycho" he was in Hitchcock's film. If the TV series is present-day, it has nothing to do with the film. It could just as well have been entitled "Smith's Motel." Worse, just as with"Lost," this show can go anywhere it wants. Essentially, there are no rules -- a bad thing, unless you have the IQ of a walnut.

    There is plenty more. It seems that all the high school kids are super-nice, and the girls are all pretty. Norman's teacher is gorgeous, too, and she empathetically touches his hand on the first day of school. If any of this unrealistic Hollywood pap clears up in future episodes, I stand corrected. But I won't be watching.
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  6. Feb 20, 2014
    10
    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!
  7. Feb 19, 2014
    8
    I am a fan of Psycho and was anticipating this show greatly. The 1st season felt like it wasn't for Psycho fans and for other fans entirely. I surprisingly had no problem with that happening. I was disappointed it didn't have that Psycho vibe to me, but I still love the show as something on its own. Its one of those shows you don't expect or know how it will go after the first couple episodes, but it delivers. The cast isn't something to die for, but they fulfill their roles well enough to keep people interested. I'm looking forward to what direction season 2 will take. Expand
  8. Nov 19, 2013
    10
    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.
  9. Nov 17, 2013
    9
    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
  10. Oct 27, 2013
    8
    bates motel is a surprisingly good prequel to the events depicted in Hitch's Psycho. The story is pacy and the look of the seres is in keeping with our memories of the original. Where this series is best served is with its two leading actors. Freddie Highmore is uncannily cast as his resemblance to Perkins from the original film is all too believable. Vera Farmiga brings class and her wonderful talent and beauty to the moher role and all in all the series delivers. Expand
  11. Oct 19, 2013
    8
    Really liked this show. It has potential to be so much better and i'm looking forward to season 2 to see if it gains or loses momentum. Farmiga shines more than any one else here and its amazing watching both Norman and Norma plummet into insanity
  12. Oct 6, 2013
    6
    I thought this was interesting and of course a little creepy. I have only seen the pilot but I have the series recorded so I will continue to watch it!
  13. Sep 21, 2013
    10
    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.
  14. Sep 9, 2013
    8
    I like this series! because respect Psycho, make references without copy the original movie.
    Freddie Highmore is a wonderful Norman Bates and is so handsome too.
  15. Sep 6, 2013
    7
    We all know how it ends, but exploring what makes Norman Bates tick is fascinating. The acting is fresh and the characters are well developed. A&E may have just become relevant.
  16. Aug 17, 2013
    10
    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.
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  17. Jul 27, 2013
    10
    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.
  18. Jul 16, 2013
    8
    The first respectable homage of "Psycho" I've seen yet. The characters of Norma and Norman were done wonderfully by their respective actors (Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga) and I actually felt like I was watching a modern day remake done well. How they even kept the original set of both the motel and home was great to see. The only downside I have is that I feel like they ended it a little too soon. I hope they decide to bring this show back, but if not, I can still rewatch these episodes and enjoy it. Expand
  19. Jul 15, 2013
    6
    Bates Motel is the new thriller starring Vera Farmiga as Norma and Freddie Highmore as Norman. Bates Motel is kind of prequel to Psycho, but is it as interesting as Psycho? It is well made, but the story isn't as interesting as it should have been. Despite that the screenplay is mediocre, on the brighter side, the performances are breathtaking and enthralling. Directing wise, but the main issue I have with this series, that it falls apart sometimes in some of the episodes. While falling apart, it collects the pieces and builds up something shocking. Enough with negativity, and let me go the the positive new things in this series, Bates Motel has a great chemistry bonding Farmiga and Highmore, which makes it great but dark mother/son love, it is kind of wired but in a great way, you don't see bonding between parents and sons these days. But as I said it has uncountable flaws, but much more new and first rate things. Despite being somehow not as interesting as it should have been, but on the bright side, it is a good "Compelling Thriller" AND EXTREMELY INTENSE ONE, as said the critics, it is extremely moving and I will wait passionately for season 2. Go ahead and create more mystery and more good things. BRAVO!! Expand
  20. Jun 19, 2013
    7
    Bates Motel starts off strong just like any other TV series premiering this year, but soon starts to lack in story and cliffhangers. The acting provided by Vera Farmiga (Norma Bates) really makes the show shine in places it really doesn't. All in all, Bates Motel started off strong but ended but a lousy season finale that makes you wonder whether or not you will be tuning in for Season Two.
  21. Jun 9, 2013
    8
    A great plot, great actors Vera Farmiga is excellent), great twists and stunning landscapes. The motel is exactly the same like the movie 'psycho'. I am really looking forward the next season and i can't wait to see what else Norman will do. Thumbs up. One of the greatest (maybe the best) tv series that came out this year. A must-see
  22. May 31, 2013
    6
    It is good, entertaining and interesting but it didn't live up to my expectations, some really chilling and nerve wracking episodes and scenes, but almost half of it is boring, on the bright side, it has great acting, an interesting but not so powerful plot, some chilling scenes and an amazing episodes later in the series, it is overall good and entertaining but not highly recommended.
  23. May 29, 2013
    10
    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!
  24. May 25, 2013
    10
    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!!
  25. May 11, 2013
    10
    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!
  26. May 8, 2013
    10
    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
  27. May 7, 2013
    10
    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
  28. May 5, 2013
    8
    Been loving just about every episode so far. Great actors and easily enjoyable characters. The plot itself is also very exciting and usually has you sitting at the edge of your seat during the intense parts. It's great to hear they are making a season two!
  29. May 3, 2013
    0
    All the good thrillers were in the past where much was left to the imagination. Bates Motel, like most of today's thrillers try to draw the audience in with blood, gore and overt sexuality. FAILS to allow viewers to reach their own conclusion using their own imagination on all levels unless you are an empty headed twit who can't imagine anything on your own. It is more sickening than thrilling.
  30. May 2, 2013
    8
    Rather Entertaining!

    I started watching the show scarcely expecting it to deliver, but deliver it did! Since the creators of the show were positioning it as a prequel to ‘Psycho’ it is near impossible for a viewer to try and not draw a parallel between the show and the movie. Let me put it this way, while ‘Psycho’ or let’s say a show like ‘Dexter’ is a character study of a serial
    killer while the pathology already exists, in other words the character is already a sociopath, ‘Bates Motel’ is a case study too, only difference is the pathology doesn’t exist yet. It’s fascinating to watch it happen before your eyes at a languid pace and to observe the twisted relationship dynamic between the Mother and the Son. I quite liked the Norman Bates here,played by Freddie Highmore, this one in my opinion is a lot different Norman than the one created and precisely for this reason I find him more compelling. For starters he is lot more “functional” than the one in the movie and dare I say more likeable. The casting is spot on, Freddie Highmore somehow manages to look innocuous but you can clearly see the darkness that he keeps bottled up inside him. We never got to meet Norman’s mother while she was alive, Vera Farmiga is doing a great job as the menacing,domineering and at the same time a caring mother of a would be….serial killer I reckon. The worst thing they can do to this show and which would kill it for me is if the writers do decide to turn this Norman into the one we saw in ‘Psycho’. I think they should let Freddi Highmore give him a different personality.
    We also never got to meet any of the townsfolk where ‘Bates Motel’ existed, in this series the town is also a character and there’s plenty going on. I wouldn’t say that the show has broken any new ground but it is treading wonderfully well on an established one so far (7 episodes in) and hasn’t faltered.
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Metascore
66

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
    80
    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
    83
    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.