As far as horror staples go, ‘Psycho’ is one of the best.
The movie has managed to stand the test of time, and Norman
Bates is one of the best psychos in movie history (bad pun intended).
As an aficionado of all things horror, I was naturally
curious when the announcement was made that A&E would be taking on a horror
project called ‘Bates Motel’ for their spring lineup.
A&E is home to a lot of quality television – and if they
hit it right, it could be a tremendous show. If they hit it wrong, though, it
could be a big old dud.
Still, I decided to hold back my judgement until I knew a
little bit about the show.
When casting started to leak out, I started to let my
anticipation take over. Obviously, the casting of Norman and his mother, Norma,
would be key.
The first bit of casting I heard about was Freddie Highmore
as Norman. Like anyone else, I know Highmore as a child actor. I think the last
thing I saw him in was ‘Willly Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.’
As child actors go, Highmore was spectacular. He was also
Yes, I know, it’s not like British actors can’t pretend to
be Americans – and wonderfully so (just ask Andrew Lincoln – I just thought the
pick was curious.
After seeing the previews, though, I have to say that
Highmore does a great job of showcasing Norman’s awkwardness and exile. I’ll
keep my final judgement until I see the pilot, but Highmore seems to be a good
pick if the previews are any indication.
The second bit of casting I was interested in was Vera
Farmiga as Norma Bates. Farmiga is probably best known for ‘Up in the Air’ with
George Clooney. I really started to notice her in the underrated ‘Orphan.’
Either way, Farmiga is a powerhouse of an actress – and Norma Bates looks to be
a meaty role.
The supporting cast includes Mike Vogel, Max Thieriot and
Nestor Carbonell, among others.
The show is a prequel to Hitchcock’s film, and the first
season consists of 10 episodes.
I know horror isn’t a lot of people’s forte, but I happen to
love the genre. When horror is done right, it can have a lasting impact. When
it’s done wrong, it can be a travesty of epic proportions.
The networks have been trying to perfect the horror formula
for years. Some have done it right (‘The Walking Dead’), some have done it
wrong (‘666 Park Avenue’) and some keep trying even though they’re muddying the
waters (‘American Horror Story’).
I have high hopes for ‘Bates Motel’ – and it’s not because
the cast is stellar. I have faith in the network, and a belief that this show
could actually enhance the original source material.
Let’s hope my hopes don’t end up shredded in the shower.
‘Bates Motel’ premieres at 10 p.m. Monday on A&E.