“We all go a little mad sometimes.” – Norman Bates
Ain’t that the truth? I was so mad when I heard they were making a show called Bates Motel. I figured it was A&E jumping on the success train of hour-long horror dramas ignited by Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story, as Hollywood is cannibalistic. If a fresh idea is successful, they must suck dry the last ire of moisture from the creative marrow. Although over-the-top and eye roll worthy at times, Fox’s The Following is a welcome addition to the horror trend tip. It’s a knock off of Silence of the Lambs meets Sister Wives, but intriguing nonetheless. So, I figured, what the heck? I’ll give Bates Motel a shot. It’s a great concept. If they do it right, it could be killer!
Psycho, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, is a cinematic legend not to be mucked with, although they did make a lot of crappy sequels in the ’80s. With beloved source material, it’s always a slippery slope of paying proper homage while bringing enough to the table to warrant further exploration.
A&E’s Bates Motel focuses on the relationship between teenaged Norman and his mother just after she purchases the Bates Motel from foreclosure and just after she murders Norman’s father and makes it look like a cover up. It’s like casting Jeffrey Dahmer in Shakespeare meets The O.C.
Norma and Norman have a hard time adjusting due to the fact that she had to murder the previous owner after he raped her and enlists Norman’s help burying the body. What a good son!
The pressures of a domineering mother are getting to Norman as we see the mask begin to crack, and we see exactly why Freddie Highmore was cast as young Norman. When you realize his psychotic break in the third episode, it’s downright chilling and certainly a game changer. Vera Farmiga does a great job as Norma (It cracks me up that he is Norma Bates, Jr. – didn’t have a chance in hell!), a strong but almost sympathetic character. But, don’t cry for her, Argentina, she gets to shidazzle the hot, young cop who vows to protect her and Norman’s little secret.
Since it is from the producers of Lost, I shouldn’t have worried as much that it would be utter crap, but I’m a sucker for the worst case scenario. All in all, an interesting psychological study of the relationship between a teenaged boy and his mother. Barf.
Check out Bates Motel on Monday nights on A&E.
Michael Troy is a deeply superficial person. Born in the midwest in the ’70s, Michael came to Los Angeles to pursue his bi-polar career path as an actor and artist. 2005 saw the release of Michael’s first published book, Homo-Hero’s Big Book of Fun and Adventure (www.greencandypress.com). Michael has contributed to the Lady Gaga comic book from Bluewater Productions and has his hand in various other upcoming projects. Michael has performed stand-up comedy at all of the major comedy clubs in Los Angeles and is making his triumphant return to the main stage of The Comedy Store in September. Michael offers an off-beat sense of humor as the star of such youtube cult classics As The Gays on Film (www.youtube.com/fullfrontaltv), A Minute With Margot, a loving tribute to Superman legend Margot Kidder (http://www.youtube.com/user/rktcommander), and currently hosts a vlog style series Lethally Blonde over at www.monsterburg.com. Sitting alongside industry heavyweight Phil Jimenez at the “Divas and Lassoes” panel for the 2010 San Diego comic-con, Michael maintains and cherishes his “underground” status. A staunch believer in Blonde Ambition, Michael hopes his new comic about shallow blonde super heroes in Los Angeles, The Blonde Squad, will set the world on fire (or at least brighten it a bit). Check out Michael Troy and Lethally Blonde updates here!!!