• 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 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. May 3, 2013
    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.
  6. Feb 21, 2014
    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.
  7. Apr 23, 2014
    so far its like watching alfred hitchcocks pyscho which was a good movie . But bates motel is the new pyscho with a whole new look and new secrets . This show is basically creepy nothing compared to hitch cocks pyscho and its beyond creepy so far . Grade B-

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.