Bates Motel : Season 1

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

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

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 318 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. 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 inI'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. Expand
  2. 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.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 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
  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. 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 firstBates 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. Expand
  5. 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 keepingbates 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
  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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