Thursday, 3 November 2016

Bates Motel Season 1 (Spoiler free) Review

Psycho was one of Alfred Hitchcocks very best films and I think it should go without saying that Hitchcock was a master of horror, and Psycho is one of those very few films which despite being from the horror genre actually seems to garner a large degree of respect as a piece of classical cinema. So when it was announced that there was going to be a series based on the same book that the Alfred Hitchcock film was based on people were well I guess the right way to phrase it would be tentativly excited.

As it stands Bates Motel is set before the timeline of the film/book, it is set when Norman Bates is younger (17) and kind of showing what he was like before the events we know about, what he did, who he knew and how he became to be the character we saw in that classic film, one of  the legends of horror. This is a good thing as we have already seen a few sequels which explore what Norman Bates got up to later after Psycho, I cant say I honestly remember all of them but I do remember rather enjoying Psycho 2, so without going in to review territory I would recomend that if your reading this intrested in Norman Bates in general that you give it a bash.

So what did I think to the first series of Bates Motel? Well in short I really enjoyed it. There are a few things I would mention to someone who has seen Psycho who is thinking of giving it a shot one of these is that it is one of those sort of remake/reamaginings of an idea which although it does stay true to the core of the idea it grabs that core and plucks it out and places it into a modern world. This is not set in the 60's like the film, you will see mobile phones, the internet and other modern tools and ideas, this doesnt bother me at all but I think its worth mentioning as I know that this might turn off a few people. As far as I am concerned having written my own horror stories I know how difficult it can be to check facts if you set something in a diffrent place or a diffrent time, it is just an extra list of rules you need to remember a lot more things you have to fact check so that your not pulling anyone out of the moment by them seeing a digital sports watch that wasnt released till the 80's when your shows set in the 60's. Setting things in a modern setting just makes things far easier so I wouldnt hold it against them.

One of the best things in my oppinion about the original Psycho was Anthony Perkins acting in the role of Norman Bates, its only fitting that one of the best things about this show is the chilling and disturbing way in which the actor Freddie Highmore portrays Norman Bates. I once read the statment that the best villians are those who do not think that they are villians, well this takes it a little bit further in a lot of ways Norman Bates is sort of the hero of the show your very much seeing life through his eyes the things he faces and what it is like for him, if your anything like me you will actually find yourself rather liking him even if you dont like some of the decisions he makes and if you can even feel yourself wanting him to defy his future. Vera Farmigais also great as Nora, she is always intresting, you never quiet know if she is telling the truth about things or lying for her own benefit or to protect Norman, this show will always keep you guessing, you will feel yourself connect with quiet a few characters and there problems.

The show starts with Norman and Norma moving to White Pine Bay to start a fresh life after there father/husband ha passed away. They have purchased a motel which they are planning to renovate and then run as a new business venture. I wont take it much further than this as I want to draw attention to the show and give my oppinion on it without ruining it for anyone and it is one of those shows which has revelations in every episode and that is a lot of what will keep you coming back. At 10 episode a season and approximatly 45 minutes per episode it wont take you too long to make your way through the first season, I am currently half way through the second season myself.

I would give Bates Motel season one a very healthy 8 out of 10, its not flawless but it is a darn good show which I find to be really well paced and to create and maintain a veyr believable community/world with lots of interacting characters, relatiionships, and power dynamics, on a side note it might not be a bad gateway to bring someone in your life into the world of horror as its almost part horror, part pschological thriller and part soap opera. There is a lot here which would appeal to diffrent types of people.

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