• Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Mar 18, 2013
  • Season #: 1 , 2
Bates Motel Image

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

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 224 Ratings

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  • 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
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 34
  2. Negative: 3 out of 34
  1. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Mar 14, 2013
    Bates Motel turns out to be a worthy reimagining of the Norman Bates story.
  2. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Mar 18, 2013
    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
    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
    It ain’t Hitchcock, but it ain’t bad. Too bad it ain’t new.
  5. Reviewed by: J.C. Macek III
    Mar 18, 2013
    Bates Motel isn’t Hitchcock, and doesn’t try to be. But the show does make intelligent use of what you already know about Norma and Norman in their efforts to “start over.”
  6. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Mar 18, 2013
    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: 56 out of 63
  2. Negative: 5 out of 63
  1. 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. Expand
  2. 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. Expand
  3. 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. Expand
  4. 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. Expand
  5. Oct 19, 2013
    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 Expand
  6. Feb 26, 2014
    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
  7. 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

See all 63 User Reviews

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