Bates Motel (2013 - )
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Hitchcock purists beware: This updated take on the Master of Suspense's horror classic Psychotakes plenty of liberties in terms of character and plot, most notably moving Norman Bates and his mother into the 21st century. But if you can get past the fact that Norman listens to moody indie pop tunes and texts his friends on an iPhone (yes, really), you'll find a gripping series that -- at least in terms of art direction and costume design -- stays surprisingly reverent to its roots with thoughtful references to the film that inspired it.
You'll also find a series that pushes the envelope with iffy content, not so much with blood, but with some disturbing scenes involving violence against women and veiled allusions to incest -- not quite at the level of, say, American Horror Story, yet still shocking enough to give parents pause. But never fear: Families whose kids aren't quite ready for the TV-MA thrills of Bates Motel will have better luck with Hitchcock's version.
The curtain is about to come to a close for the Bates Motel TV show on A&E. There’s no need to worry that this series will be cancelled any longer and the series’ creators have been allowed to bring the story to a conclusion. The ratings have been dropping for awhile. Will Bates Motel go out with a ratings rebound or, will they drop even lower? Stay tuned.
Set in the small town of White Pine Bay in Oregon, Bates Motel tells the story of a troubled young man, Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore), and his unique relationship with mother, Norma (Vera Farmiga). The A&E series also stars Max Thieriot, Nestor Carbonell, and Olivia Cooke. Recurring players include Kenny Johnson, Ryan Hurst, Rihanna, Brooke Smith, Isabelle McNally, and Austin Nichols.
The ratings are typically the best indication of a show’s likelihood of staying on the air. The higher the ratings, the better the chances for survival. This chart will be updated as new ratings data becomes available.
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Note: The season premiere also aired on Lifetime which attracted a 0.11 in the demo with 291,000 viewers.
For comparisons: The fourth season of Bates Motel averaged a 0.55 rating in the 18-49 demographic with 1.45 million total viewers.
What do you think? Do you like the Bates Motel TV series? Would you have watched a sixth season?
More about: A&E TV show ratings, Bates Motel, Bates Motel: canceled or renewed?, Bates Motel: ratings
Bates Motel (TV series)
Not to be confused with Bates Motel (film).
American drama thriller television series
Bates Motel is an American psychological horrordramatelevision series that aired from March 18, 2013, to April 24, 2017. It was developed by Carlton Cuse, Kerry Ehrin, and Anthony Cipriano, and is produced by Universal Television and American Genre for the cable network A&E.
A contemporary prequel to Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 film Psycho (based on Robert Bloch's 1959 novel of the same name), it depicts the lives of Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) and his mother Norma (Vera Farmiga) prior to the events portrayed in the film, albeit in a different fictional town (White Pine Bay, Oregon, as opposed to Fairvale, California) and in a modern-day setting. However, the final season loosely adapts the plot of Psycho. Max Thieriot and Olivia Cooke both starred as part of the main cast throughout the series' run. After recurring in the first season, Néstor Carbonell was added to the main cast from season two onward.
The series begins in Arizona with the death of Norma's husband, after which Norma purchases the Seafairer motel located in a coastal Oregon town so that she and Norman can start a new life. Subsequent seasons follow Norman as his mental illness becomes dangerous, and Norma as she struggles to protect her son, and those around him, from himself. The series was filmed outside Vancouver in Aldergrove, British Columbia, along with other locations within the Fraser Valley of British Columbia.
A&E chose to skip a pilot of the series, opting to go straight-to-series by ordering a 10-episode first season. On June 15, 2015, the series was renewed for a fourth and fifth season, making Bates Motel A&E's longest-running original scripted drama series in the channel's history. The series' lead actors, Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore, received particular praise for their performances in the series, with the former receiving a Primetime Emmy Award nomination and winning a Saturn Award for Best Actress on Television. Bates Motel also won three People's Choice Awards for Favorite Cable TV Drama, and for Favorite Cable TV Actress (Farmiga) and Actor (Highmore).
Main article: List of Bates Motel episodes
Main article: Bates Motel (season 1)
The first season follows Norma and Norman Bates as they buy a motel after Norman's father dies. On one of the first nights of the two owning the motel, the former owner breaks in and rapes Norma. Norman knocks the attacker out, and Norma stabs him to death. She decides it is best not to call the police and to cover up the murder. She and Norman dispose of the body. He complicates the cover-up by keeping a belt that belonged to the victim. When the town sheriff and his deputy notice that a man has gone missing, Norma and Norman must keep them from digging too far.
Main article: Bates Motel (season 2)
The second season follows the aftermath of Norman's teacher's murder, as her mysterious past comes to light. Meanwhile, Norma finds herself making dangerous decisions in order to keep the motel running and preventing the impending bypass. Bradley's search for her father's killer leads to the extremes, and Dylan learns the disturbing truth about his parentage.
Main article: Bates Motel (season 3)
The third season focuses on Norman's waning deniability about what is happening to him, and the lengths he will go to, to gain control of his fragile psyche. The dramatic events of last season leave Norma more aware of her son's mental fragility and fearful of what he is capable of. Meanwhile, Sheriff Romero begins to distance himself from the Bates family after he suspects Norma is lying to him about her husband's death.
Main article: Bates Motel (season 4)
The fourth season follows Norma as she becomes increasingly fearful of Norman, going to great lengths to find him the professional help he needs. This complicates their once unbreakable trust as Norman struggles to maintain his grip on reality. Meanwhile, Sheriff Romero once again finds himself drawn into Norma and Norman's lives. He agrees to marry Norma because his insurance will enable her to place Norman in an expensive psychiatric hospital.
Main article: Bates Motel (season 5)
The fifth season begins two years after the death of Norma. Publicly happy and well-adjusted, Norman struggles at home, where his blackouts are increasing and "Mother" threatens to take him over completely. Meanwhile, Dylan and Emma find themselves drawn back into Norman's world, and Romero hungers for revenge against his stepson.
Cast and characters
Main article: List of Bates Motel characters
On January 12, 2012, it was reported that A&E were developing a television series titled Bates Motel that would serve as a prequel to the Alfred Hitchcock film Psycho. The first script was written by Anthony Cipriano. In March 2012, Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin joined the project as executive producers and head writers. Cuse has cited the drama series Twin Peaks as a key inspiration for Bates Motel, stating, "We pretty much ripped off Twin Peaks... If you wanted to get that confession, the answer is yes. I loved that show. They only did 30 episodes. Kerry [Ehrin] and I thought we'd do the 70 that are missing." On July 2, 2012, A&E gave Bates Motel a straight-to-series order.Chris Bacon was hired to score the music for the series in January 2013.
On August 27, 2012, Vera Farmiga was the first to be cast in the leading role of Norma Louise Bates. On September 14, 2012, Freddie Highmore was cast as Norman Bates. That same day, Max Thieriot was cast as Norman's half-brother, Dylan Massett. Shortly after, on September 19, 2012, Nicola Peltz was cast as Bradley Martin, a possible love interest for Norman. Finally, on September 20, 2012, Olivia Cooke was the final main cast member to join the series, in the role of Emma Decody, Norman's best friend.Nestor Carbonell was cast in a recurring role as Sheriff Alex Romero in the first season, but was upgraded to the main cast at the beginning of the second season. In July 2014, Kenny Johnson, who recurred as Norma's brother Caleb Calhoun in the second season, was promoted to a series regular for the third season. It was announced on July 22, 2016 at San Diego Comic-Con International that Rihanna would appear in the iconic role of Marion Crane for the fifth and final season.
A replica of the original Bates Motel set from the film Psycho was built on location at approximately 1054 272nd Street in Aldergrove, British Columbia, where portions of the series were filmed. The original house and motel are located in Universal Studios, Hollywood, Los Angeles. Additional filming for the series took place in multiple areas in Metro Vancouver, including Steveston, Coquitlam, Horseshoe Bay, West Vancouver and Fort Langley. In February 2017, after filming was completed for the series, the Bates Motel exterior set in Aldergrove was demolished.
The first season received positive reviews from critics. On Metacritic, the season holds a score of 66 out of 100, based on 34 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the season has an 84% "certified fresh" rating with an average score of 7.11/10, based on 43 reviews. The site's critical consensus reads, "Bates Motel utilizes mind manipulation and suspenseful fear tactics, on top of consistently sharp character work and wonderfully uncomfortable familial relationships."
The second season also received positive reviews from critics. On Metacritic the season had a score of 67 out of 100, based on 11 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". On Rotten Tomatoes, the season has a 90% "certified fresh" rating with an average score of 8.02/10, based on 21 reviews. The site's consensus reads, "Bates Motel reinvents a classic thriller with believable performances and distinguished writing."
The third season of Bates Motel received a score of 72 out of 100 on Metacritic, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Rotten Tomatoes reported a 95% rating from 21 reviews. The site's consensus reads, "Bates Motel further blurs lines around TV's creepiest taboo mother/son relationship, uncomfortably darkening its already fascinating tone."
The fourth season of Bates Motel was met with critical acclaim. Rotten Tomatoes reported a 100% positive rating from 17 reviews. The site's consensus reads, "Bates Motel fulfills its menacing potential in a fourth season that confidently careens toward the mother-son duo's ghastly destiny."Alan Sepinwall of Uproxx considered Bates Motel to have only become a good series midway through season four due to obtaining a better narrative purpose and "tragic grandeur" with the season's latter episodes.
The fifth and final season of Bates Motel received a score of 81 out of 100 on Metacritic, indicating "universal acclaim". Rotten Tomatoes reported a 100% rating from 21 reviews. The site's consensus reads, "Bates Motel's final season brings the franchise full circle, with a satisfyingly creepy conclusion to the trials and tribulations of Norman Bates."
|Season||Time slot (ET)||Eps||Premiered||Ended||Average viewers|
|1||Monday 10 p.m.||10||March 18, 2013||3.04||May 20, 2013||2.70||2.70|
|2||10||March 3, 2014||3.07||May 5, 2014||2.30||2.30|
|3||Monday 9 p.m.||10||March 9, 2015||2.14||May 11, 2015||1.67||1.80|
|4||10||March 7, 2016||1.55||May 16, 2016||1.50||1.45|
|5||Monday 10 p.m.||10||February 20, 2017||1.34||April 24, 2017||1.41||1.29|
Awards and nominations
Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Bates Motel
|Season||Episodes||Release date||Special features||Ref.|
|1||10||September 17, 2013|||
|2||10||October 7, 2014|||
|3||10||October 13, 2015|||
|4||10||October 18, 2016|||
|5||10||September 19, 2017|||
|1, 2, 3, 4, and 5|
The Complete Series
|50||September 19, 2017|||
In Canada, the series airs only on the U.S. network A&E, which is available through most Canadian cable and satellite companies. In Australia, the series premiered on Fox8 on May 26, 2013. In the UK and Ireland, it premiered on Universal Channel on April 2, 2014 and then on BBC One on February 23, 2021. In Jamaica, it premiered on CVM TV on August 11, 2014. In the Middle East, it premiered on OSN First HD in mid-2014. The second season premiered on January 5, 2015. In the Philippines, Bates Motel began airing on Jack TV on August 12, 2013. In South Africa, the series premiered on MNet on June 21, 2013. The series premiered in India on Colors Infinity on November 6, 2015. As of May 2019 Netflix has licensed worldwide distribution for at least 30 countries.
NBCUniversal partnered with Hot Topic, the American retailer of pop culture merchandise, to introduce a collection of clothing and accessories inspired by Bates Motel. The merchandise, including items such as bathrobes and bloody shower curtains, became available at Hot Topic's website and select stores on March 18, 2014. As of 2018, the merchandise is no longer available through Hot Topic.
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Rating bates motel
Bates Motel – box set review
On paper, Bates Motel doesn't sound too promising. Billed as a "contemporary prequel" to Psycho, it elects to tell the origin story of Norman Bates in the modern day. Thankfully, the series works far better than this curious setup suggests. It explores the events that lead to Norman (spoiler alert for anyone unfamiliar with Alfred Hitchcock's classic movie) dressing up as his mother and stabbing motel guests, but at the same time the story is allowed to go its own way.
The 10-episode first season – now out on box set, with the second following in October – opens with a tragic family "accident". Deciding to start over, Norman and his mother Norma move to a small coastal town to assume ownership of a rundown motel. Unfortunately, the town isn't quite as sleepy or idyllic as it seems, and the Bateses soon have blood on their hands – before the end of the very first episode, in fact.
While you might be expecting a tiresome victim-of-the-week format, the show, which aired in the UK on Universal, plays out as a twisty mystery drama instead. It has a similar tone and feel to Lost, but the key influence is Twin Peaks. Admittedly, Bates Motel isn't quirky or surreal, but the town is visually comparable and – in similar fashion to the cult 90s favourite – hides a malevolent underbelly. When Norman finds a mysterious sketchbook, it leads to the discovery of a sex-trafficking ring. A few episodes later, we learn that the town is financed by expansive cannabis fields. On top of this, the Bates family also has to deal with corrupt police, depraved locals and a sinister motel guest who doesn't take kindly to having his privacy disturbed.
Although the show is well written, its main selling point is that it revolves around two standout performances. As Norman, Freddie Highmore does a terrific job of foreshadowing the monster he will eventually become (taxidermy, anyone?) while remaining sweet and sympathetic throughout. He brings a classmate flowers when her father ends up in hospital, but he is also becoming aware that there is something wrong with him. "Sometimes you hear and you see things that aren't there," explains Norma. "It's like some kind of trance or something."
As impressive as Highmore is, Vera Farmiga is arguably better, selling every nuance of this emotionally unstable, controlling matriarch. Erratic and changeable, Norma is oppressive, impulsive and unreasonable – she kicks Norman out of the car moments after he bails her out of prison. But, at the same time, she is protective, caring and deeply vulnerable. She clearly loves her son, but their relationship is unhealthy and there are incestuous undertones. In one scene, she prepares a candlelit dinner for the two of them. In another, she casually undresses in front of Norman. "I'm your mother," she says. "It's not like it's weird or anything."
Still, their messed-up goings-on are fascinating to watch, especially when the balance is upset by the arrival of Norman's older half-brother, Dylan, an edgy bad boy who finds work in the town's criminal underbelly – though he is also the one who tries to steer Norman towards normality.
We all know where the story is heading, of course, so it's testament to everyone involved that we still find ourselves hoping for a happy ending. The show isn't perfect, but if you can get past the idea of Norman Bates texting girls on an iPhone, then Bates Motel is definitely worth checking into.
Bates Motel Series Review: 5 Reasons to Watch
With a strong script, complex characters, and outstanding performances, Bates Motel is a must watch for fans of both horror and great television.
As Norman, Freddie Highmore does a masterful job presenting the monster he will ultimately become, while still remaining charming and sympathetic. He does thoughtful and caring things, like carrying a classmate flowers when her father dies, but he is also becoming conscious that something isn’t right with him.
As impressive as Highmore is, Vera Farmiga is arguably better, selling every shade of this sensitively unbalanced, controlling matriarch.
Irregular and unstable, Norma is cruel, reckless and unreasonable. She kicks Norman out of the car moments after he bails her out of jail. But, at the same time, she is caring, helpful and genuinely vulnerable. She loves her son, but their relationship is unhealthy, and there are incestuous undertones. In one scene, she prepares a candlelit dinner for the two of them. In another, she casually undresses in front of Norman. “I’m your mother,” she says.
Still, their messed-up goings-on are mesmerizing to watch, especially when the balance is upset by the arrival of Norman’s older half-brother, Dylan (Max Thieriot), an anxious boy who finds work in the town’s rude underbelly — though he is also the one who tries to steer Norman towards regularity.
We all know where the story is heading, of course. But it’s a testament to everyone involved that we can’t help but still hope for a happy ending for these characters.
BATES MOTEL should be your new passion. Norman is one of the most notorious, insane villains in cinematic history, which should be enough of a reason to watch. But just in case you need more reasons to check in to this criminally underrated show, here are five more great reasons to watch (one for every season of the show) .
Five Reasons to Check In To Bates Motel
1. A NORMAN WORTHY OF ANTHONY PERKINS’ LEGACY
Freddie Highmore is such a great actor, and I can’t think of one other person who would be better suited to play this complex role. It’s not an easy job to make a psychopath compassionate, but Highmore does it episode after episode. Regardless of all evidence that you should fear Norman instead of feel for him, Highmore makes you do both equally. He and Vera Farmiga as NormaBates are great independently — and terrifying brilliant together.
2. COMPLICATED, MULTI-DIMENSIONAL CHARACTERS
As difficult as it is to make a character like Norman compassionate, that difficulty is magnified with Caleb, the sibling who raped Norma when they were teenagers (resulting in the birth of Norman’s older brother Dylan). Caleb’s arrival in White Pine Bay — and his attempts to reconnect with his sister and his son — opened a door on just how difficult conditions were for Caleb and Norma when they were teenagers…and just how depressed Caleb has been ever since. Norma pushed it all down someplace so she could run, but Caleb wears his blame and embarrassment like a raw nerve. Kenny Johnson does a marvelous job adding depth to a challenging character.
Sheriff Alex Romero (Nestor Carbonell) is another example of a wonderful three-dimensional character we become quite invested in, along with Norma and Norman. He went from possible opponent to the Bates family to uneasy ally, to finally falling in love with Norma.
3. GREAT SUSPENSE AND LOTS OF SURPRISES
I love shows that keep me on the edge of my chair, desperate to watch the next episode. If you do too, then you can’t get much better than Bates Motel. There’s always a new plot twist and a surprise around every turn. Without giving too much away, the suspense continually builds up so that, once you start watching, you literally cannot stop!
Even if I’m not feeling a particular sub plot, there’s always enough great performances and story lines to keep me hooked. From the first season to the last, the show just kept getting better.
4. A BRILLIANT BALANCE OF HORROR AND HUMAN DRAMA
Given the nature of the show, of course there is plenty of darkness. But, where the show really shines is how it handles the delicate interpersonal relationships between the characters. There are the wonderfully surprising connections you don’t see coming, like when Emma (Olivia Cooke) and Dylan (Max Thieriot) bond over their mutual love for Norman and their desire to protect him. These two sell the hell out of their unlikely relationship.
Then there’s the tangled relationship between Norma and Sheriff Romero. Farmiga and Carbonell are so good together and have such chemistry — whether they’re raging at each other or trying the best that two extremely damaged people can to retain a tiny bit of normalcy. Also compelling is the doomed relationship between Norman and Bradley (Nicola Peltz), which helps fuel Norman’s inevitable descent into madness.
5. THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS
It’s not just the incredible performances that make Bates Motel so compelling. Every detail is perfect, and it all works together to create an authentic and utterly engaging viewing experience. It starts with a great setting. White Pine Bay is a “Twin Peaks” like small town of diners, drug deals gone bad, town meetings and local politics, and a seemingly never ending tide of mysterious events and intrigue. The influence of the evil Bates house and its accompanying motel goes without saying.
The show uses its beautiful Vancouver setting to maximum effect. There’s also that iconic Mercedes belonging to Norma Bates that becomes an important plot point. Equally iconic is Farmiga’s wardrobe as Norma.
The True Power of “Bates Motel”
As important as all those five reasons are, the true power of Bates Motel lies with that core relationship of Norman and Norma Bates, mainly through two remarkable performances by Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga. Vera lifts up every scene she’s in, chewing scenery in the best possible way to create a character that is so many things: understanding, scary, physically powerful, susceptible, comical, and scheming.
Highmore had perhaps the ultimate job, taking on one of cinema’s most iconic characters.
But he’s established himself to be more than up to the task, providing that same anxious power Perkins did approximately 50 years before. Watching Norman’s awkward, even sweet social interactions followed by a volatile outburst that hints at his dangerous darkness is completely captivating.
That mother-son relationship has been convincing from the start, ranging from controlling, rough and unhealthy to loving, happy, and intense. This concluded in the dreadful climax of Season 4, the most positive run yet. Norman ultimately did the act of matricide the show had been building towards all along. But by this point, the boy and his mother had already become the same. They are together forever. It was stirring — an epic season that took an already strong series to another level entirely.
I first heard of Bates Motel back in 2012, around the time it was announced as a series by A&E. I can frankly say my response was nothing short of flip. A television show serving as a prequel to one of the greatest horror films ever made sounded like a terrible idea. But I was wrong…and quite pleasantly so!
The show ended up being a huge success with both audiences and critics, with more great reviews as the series went on. The show has been so successful that it was even been turned into one of the more popular online casino games called “Psycho Slot Machine”.
If you missed it during its original run on A&E (from March 18, 2013 to April 24, 2017), you can now catch all 5 seasons on Netflix. And, lucky for you, there won’t be any painful week-long wait between episodes. I promise you’ll be hooked from the first episode, and it really does just keep getting better and better.
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Perhaps, in such an unusual way, spring that day affected not only me alone. This could explain subsequent events. The queue moved one person forward, I was one person closer to the checkout window. A lady of retirement age, who had just been talking with a neighbor, came up to the window, proceeding to legally receive her.