BATES MOTEL, A&E
A&E Network premieres its new series Bates Motel tonight, Monday, March 18 at 10 PM ET/PT. The series stars Academy Award nominee Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air, The Departed), Freddie Highmore (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Finding Neverland), Max Thieriot (Disconnect), Olivia Cooke (Blackout) and Nicola Peltz (The Last Airbender). Season one also co-stars Nestor Carbonell ("Lost," The Dark Knight Rises) and Mike Vogel ("Pan Am").
From executive producers Carlton Cuse ("Lost") and Kerry Ehrin ("Friday Night Lights"), "Bates Motel" is a contemporary prequel to Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. Following the tragic death of her husband, Norma Bates buys a motel on the outskirts of the idyllic coastal town of White Pine Bay, seeking a fresh start. As Norma and Norman get ensconced in their new home, they discover this town isn't quite what it seems, and the locals aren't so quick to let them in on their secrets. But the Bates' are done being pushed around and will do whatever it takes to survive - and will do whatever it takes to protect their own secrets.
Let's see what the critics have to say!
Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times: It is a strange beginning, overly dramatic, intentionally open to interpretation, but that's the point. And all Farmiga needs to do is fix the camera with that riptide stare - azure loveliness masking a deadly undertow of ... what? Madness? Deception? Maternal heroism? - and it's impossible to look away.
Alessandra Stanley, The New York Times: The creators made "Bates Motel" less an exercise in "what if" than an "if only" - keeping viewers wondering whether, with some Intervention or lucky break, the ultimate mama's boy could come to a different end. But the series has to keep the narrative going and needs to add surprise turns that could affect Norman's destiny. It does so by introducing layers of invented subplots that weave into Norman's life, for good and evil.