This past week saw the premiere of A&E’s new television series Bates Motel. A&E has promoted the series well, as I have seen advertisements on movie theater screens, print, and television commercials.
The show is the prequel to the Alfred Hitchcock film Psycho, and the Norman Bates character is from the book of the same name by Robert Bloch. Psycho tells the story of Marion Crane, who, after stealing money from her employer, crosses paths with Norman Bates. Norman runs the Bates Motel, and you probably know the rest of the story.
Bates Motel shows us how Norman becomes the person that he was in the film. After the death of Norman’s father, Norman’s mother Norma decides they need to have a fresh start. So she and Norman buy an old hotel in White Pine Bay in Oregon. When they arrive, things are not as normal as they seem.
Here are some of the differences from film and the series:
-The show is based in the present and not in the sixties. Norman Bates has an iPhone, and newer cars are seen driving around.
-Norman Bates has a brother named Dylan, who is disowned by Norma. Norman doesn’t have a brother in the film.
-The setting of the show is in Oregon and not California like in the Hitchcock film.
There have been only two episodes, as the series has just begun. From the episodes that have aired, I’m getting into it and want to see more. I like the fact that the writers are telling Norman Bates’ back story. You never really knew much about him, and little of his past is told in Psycho. The writers also bring interesting plot elements in the show on what Norman’s life was like. It’s worth a look.
You can check out Bates Motel on A&E on Monday nights at 10 p.m.