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

Universal acclaim- based on 235 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 7 out of 235

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  1. Mar 25, 2013
    So far, so good. The writing needs some polishing up and the teenage storylines could be very problematic, but Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore are great, it’s shot well and the little references to the movie are fun. It could be great if they had smarter writers who could make a reference to Jane Eyre without mentioning that they're referencing Jane Eyre, but that can improve with time. I'm looking forward to the rest of the season. Expand
  2. Mar 19, 2013
    Not a fan of the whole "contemporary prequel" thing, I think they should've stayed true to the cult classic Psycho and set it in the 50's or 60's. Besides that there isn't much bad to say about it- the acting and writing is good, and its compelling and suspenseful enough to keep viewers interested.
  3. Apr 20, 2014
    Intresting twist on a movie, that almost everybody watched! a Prequel set in our time. Actors are great, the show is interesting to watch. Season one ended on a cliff note! will watch season 2!
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Jun 19, 2013
    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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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
  11. Jul 10, 2014
    The show is creppy is in a good way. I like the way Norman Bates is . We all try to think he is a nice guy with just some "problems" but we all know he is pshyco in training. The acting is outstanding and Freddie Highmore sometimes gives you the chills. Oh my god,this show is excellent because the way it's presented in.
  12. Mar 24, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Another example of really wanting to like a show, and being completely disappointed. I had to struggle to watch the entire pilot, I was ready to stop at each commercial break. I kept on watching hoping it would get better, never did for me. I am open to an out-of-time prequel, but many aspects did not work for me. I would have liked to seen the storyline being true to the movie, Norma being conned into building the motel. Norman watching his mother in unhealthy relationships with men. This just seemed rushed, buying the hotel and then finding out the bypass was being built could have been stretched out into an few episodes could have paced the pilot better. I could not suspend my disbelief at a number of points, when every female was falling over themselves to flirt with him, the police do not notice that Norma and Norman were behaving oddly, when they were ripping up carpeting in the middle of the night, and others. Expand
  13. 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
  14. Apr 6, 2013
    I want to start by saying I knew this was a bad idea it is completely destroying a classic film. Now as bad as it is I still watch just to poke fun at the little things like the deep fried father burnt to a crisp in episode 2 how is he still living? Either they went overboard on the make up or the guy looked like a cannibal's supper. The power of suggestion is a big thing to influence Norman I guess. What happened to the whole incest storyline much easier to believe that could drive one psycho instead of a stupid book with nudity in it. Why even use that book just give him some old playboys lol. By the end of season 1 I will not be able to watch any psycho again they have completely killed it. Expand
  15. 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.
  16. Sep 6, 2013
    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.
  17. May 31, 2013
    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.
  18. 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.
  19. Jul 16, 2013
    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
  20. 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
  21. 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!
  22. 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.
  23. Oct 27, 2013
    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
  24. 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!
  25. 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.
  26. Mar 20, 2013
    Farmiga and Highmore are really great. The developing of their relationship is amazing, the acting shines, but my question is how long can they hold us to a tv show when we know what will happen to the end? mmm thats a really tricky hope they nailed, because i really enjoyed the pilot.
  27. Mar 20, 2013
    My problem was with the casting of the mother. She wasn't spooky enough. Her teeth were too white. She was too pretty. Let's go with a type like Felicity Huffman, a young Cloris Leechman or even Kathy Bates. I liked the boy. Why not set it in 1950 like it should be so it makes sense in our minds? That rape seemed unmotivated. If that man was that crazy he would have been arrested when he was younger. They didn't address his truck being in her yard, did they? I wondered about that. Expand
  28. Mar 20, 2013
    When a show is based off of a classic movie (an Alfred movie in specific) it has some pretty high standards to live up to. Did Bates Motel do this in the pilot episode? Almost.

    Bates Motel stars Freddie Highmore (Norman Bates) and Vera Farmiga (Norma Louise Bates) and it is about: "After the death of her husband, Norma purchases a motel located in the coastal town of White Pine Bay so
    she and Norman can start a new life" (Wikipedia). Not going to lie, I had some pretty high expectations when watching this TV show, and although I did not find it particularly worthy of all the hype that it was getting, I still think that the show has potential of achieving what it hopes to be.

    The acting in this TV show is not to be compared to the best. At times I was taken out of the world of Bates Motel and back to reality due to the ineffective execution of dialogue; though it was not something that happened often. That's not to say that the acting is terrible; even though the acting is not top of the line, it never got to the point that I was unable to take the show seriously. Highmore was able to deliver his lines the way they were intended (for better or worse) and Farmiga was the devilish, creepy mom that she should be.

    Highmore was able to get me to relate with his character: a normal 17 year old boy who never really got the chance to settle down and make a life. And I think that's good; that I need to be able to relate with a character like this in order to be engulfed in the world of Bates Motel. I felt like I could empathize with him.

    This is the pilot of a TV series; not everything in the story is going to be revealed in this first episode. So it would be wrong to completely judge the series story based on the very first episode where things are still developing. That being said; the story in this episode really doesn't get started until about a quarter of a way through (and even then there really isn't any "story" yet). This is the one thing that will keep me watching this show throughout the weeks: the story. I am interested in how everything will play out. Hopefully, the cast is able to produce a final product that is worthy of being a psycho prequel.

    Right off the bat they do a good job of making the town of White Pine Bay feel uncomfortable and unwelcoming. As though everyone in the town is hiding something, something big. They did a good job with that, with making the Bates family feel so different and separate from the rest of White Pine Bay. The gritty, eerie feel of the town sets the mood of the show, and I always felt on-edge while watching. Overall, this TV show gets the feel that it wants with some creative and intriguing camera-work and angles, the acting is not the best but at times it shines, and the story is compelling and interesting. I give the show a B because even though at times the acting and execution seemed a bit cheesy, their ability to keep the show interesting and suspenseful reined supreme over all else. I look forward to watching future episodes.

  29. 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
  30. Mar 21, 2013
    Slow, derivative, and feels like a mess of a concept. I couldn't find myself caring for the characters, and the pilot was an extremely boring time-sink. Maybe it will pick up from here, but I'm not expecting much from the series. It will be neat to see Norman Bates grow into the killer he's supposed to be, but I just find myself wanting that to happen already because as he stands now, he's extremely unlikable. Expand

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.