Bates Motel : Season 1

  • Network: A&E
  • Series Premiere Date: Mar 18, 2013
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 356 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 32 out of 356

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User Reviews

  1. Mar 18, 2013
    9
    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!
  2. Apr 18, 2013
    10
    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 addsIt'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
  3. Apr 13, 2013
    10
    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'.
  4. Apr 30, 2013
    10
    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 justThis 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
  5. Apr 21, 2013
    10
    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'tI 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
  6. Mar 25, 2013
    10
    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.
  7. 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 theyIt’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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  8. 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.
  9. 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 aThe 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
  10. Mar 18, 2013
    9
    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 seeSo 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. Mar 19, 2013
    10
    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.
  12. Mar 19, 2013
    10
    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.
  13. 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!!
  14. Apr 8, 2013
    9
    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
    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.
  16. IAC
    Mar 20, 2015
    7
    Excellent performances from everyone signed on to this series. Norma Bates is one of the best written characters on TV right now, brought to life by Vera Farmiga in a way that is disturbing and sympathetic at the same time. This kind of fallibility and nuance is generally reserved for leading white male characters, and to see a woman finally written as both condemned and redeemable isExcellent performances from everyone signed on to this series. Norma Bates is one of the best written characters on TV right now, brought to life by Vera Farmiga in a way that is disturbing and sympathetic at the same time. This kind of fallibility and nuance is generally reserved for leading white male characters, and to see a woman finally written as both condemned and redeemable is refreshingly courageous. It is beautifully shot; props to everyone involved with the look and feel of the show, which creates a subtly off-kilter blending of eras from 1960s through present day.

    Most criticism I've seen here stems from a comparison to its source material, Psycho, which frankly I feel is missing the point. Bates Motel is a separate entity that draws from the classic film, but is in no way a companion piece. It explores the motives and psychology behind a dysfunctional, codependant relationship between mother and son, which is interesting on its own. It's not Psycho, and it's not trying to be.

    My own criticism is with regards to the plot, which can feel contrived at times, particularly in the second season. Certain events occur for the sole purpose of moving the characters from A to B, rather than their attitude and decisions moving the plot, so I sometimes felt like I was being led by the nose. The strength of the show is in the characters, their twisted relationships with each other, and the depth with which the actors all seem to grasp their characters. Overall, a compelling, unique show that's not afraid to creep you out with incestuous undertones in a relationship that has you feeling compassion and disgust a the same time.
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  17. Mar 21, 2013
    9
    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.
  18. 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 herbates 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
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Aug 9, 2016
    10
    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 addsIt'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
  22. Mar 19, 2016
    10
    I love this show. I quite honestly was never a big fan of Vera Farmiga, but she is outstanding as Norma Bates! She has completely won me over. She should have been nominated for the Globe way before Gaga was ever thought of. Shes doing an amazing job. I love how Normans character has been progressing over the seasons...the writers certainly know what they are doing. Keeping it close to theI love this show. I quite honestly was never a big fan of Vera Farmiga, but she is outstanding as Norma Bates! She has completely won me over. She should have been nominated for the Globe way before Gaga was ever thought of. Shes doing an amazing job. I love how Normans character has been progressing over the seasons...the writers certainly know what they are doing. Keeping it close to the original story whilst not straying to far from the original story!There are some very wonderful supporting actors as well. One of the top shows on TV this year! Truly Enjoying It!!! Proud to have gotten many friends and family hooked on it!! Expand
  23. May 17, 2016
    9
    The show tells the story of Norman Bates and the terrible circumstances that led him to his serial killer persona but the real hero of the story is his mother Norma, incredibly rendered by Vera Farmiga. Norma struggles to find some version of happiness and to keep her family together despite a series of events that would have decimated even the strongest of families. This show manages toThe show tells the story of Norman Bates and the terrible circumstances that led him to his serial killer persona but the real hero of the story is his mother Norma, incredibly rendered by Vera Farmiga. Norma struggles to find some version of happiness and to keep her family together despite a series of events that would have decimated even the strongest of families. This show manages to take a film classic to levels that even Alfred Hitchcock himself couldn't possibly have dreamed of. Bravo to the creators. Expand
  24. Mar 19, 2013
    7
    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.
  25. Apr 20, 2014
    8
    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!
  26. Apr 9, 2013
    9
    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.
  27. Mar 19, 2013
    9
    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.
  28. 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.
  29. Apr 23, 2013
    10
    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.
  30. Jul 10, 2014
    8
    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.
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.