Bates Motel : Season 1

  • Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Mar 18, 2013
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Bates Motel Image
Metascore
66

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 391 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: The relationship between 17-year-old Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) and his mother Norma (Vera Farmiga) is explored in this contemporary prequel to the movie "Psycho."
  • Genre(s): Drama, Suspense

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 34
  2. Negative: 3 out of 34
  1. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Mar 14, 2013
    80
    Bates Motel turns out to be a worthy reimagining of the Norman Bates story.
  2. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Mar 18, 2013
    80
    Three episodes in, the story is certainly serpentine, at times self-consciously so. But there does appear to be writerly method in the madness. More important, there is Farmiga, and she, like Norma, appears up to any task.
  3. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Mar 18, 2013
    67
    A&E reboots the legend of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho,” but Bates Motel plays like a slow-burning riff on David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks” sparked by some fascinating, nuanced performances.
  4. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Mar 18, 2013
    63
    It ain’t Hitchcock, but it ain’t bad. Too bad it ain’t new.
  5. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Mar 18, 2013
    60
    Whether other people's secrets will prove to be as interesting as the intimations of Norman's not-so-sweet future remains to be seen.
  6. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Mar 18, 2013
    20
    Having started with a bad premise, producers Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin then made it infinitely worse by rejecting the loneliness and isolation that were the nucleus of Hitchcock’s film.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 62 out of 74
  2. Negative: 5 out of 74
  1. 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 itI 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. Expand
  2. 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 theIt'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. 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.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. Expand
  4. 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 creepyBates 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. Expand
  5. 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 mostHeavy 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. Expand
  6. 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 toExcellent 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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  7. Apr 6, 2013
    0
    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 toI 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

See all 74 User Reviews

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