March 10, 2013 at 8:27 am #270960
First 6 minutes:March 18, 2013 at 1:11 am #270962
Barring Farmiga’s performance, everything else about the pilot was meh for me.March 19, 2013 at 10:12 am #270963
The premise of a young Norman Bates and how he came to be who we know him as today is promising enough (blame the mother!), and Vera Farmiga radiated star charisma all through this. Freddie Highmore made me feel fairly old, considering that I remember him vividly as the little kid on the bench in “Finding Neverland” with Johnny Depp (and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” with Depp too for that matter), and now he’s this gawky teen Bates proxy. Making this a modern-day set drama seems misguided. There’s 60s-era flourishes sprinkled in the production design (especially the mansion), and then there’s Norman listening to an I-Pod. I think if this had been a period piece, I could have bought into things more. Norman’s school scenes didn’t read like any high school I remember where the “weird new kid” is treated this well from so many young hot girls, a possible rival guy, and his teacher/advisor (who gave off some weirdly inappropriate vibes toward Norman too). Those scenes felt weak and out-of-touch. I should give some credit to A&E for their obvious rebranding efforts and the talent/production values to this show. There’s more profanity than I thought would be here, some requisite suspense/gore element, and even an unsettling rape scene. It looks like the course they’re going to take is that young Norman’s always been a bit withdrawn and off, but coming from a troubled family (his mom is uber-clingy and troubled, the dad dies under unclear circumstances, and an older rebel brother is circling around in later episodes) and living in this weird town/hotel is what turns him psycho, or as many external factors are at play as internal factors. Not sure about the strength of the supporting cast beyond Nestor Carbonell, and the previews have things going to some questionable directions. I’m sort of curious to see where things go, and then I’m not at all.
Grade for “First You Dream, Then You Die (Pilot)”: B-March 19, 2013 at 1:44 pm #270964
A&E’S “BATES MOTEL” OPENS FOR BUSINESS WITH 4.6 MILLION VIEWERS ON PREMIERE NIGHT
NEW DRAMA SERIES STARRING VERA FARMIGA AND FREDDIE HIGHMORE BECOMES THE MOST-WATCHED DRAMA SERIES PREMIERE
AMONG ADULTS 18-49 AND 25-54 IN NETWORK HISTORY
New York, NY – March 19, 2013 – The premiere of A&E
Network’s new original scripted drama series, “Bates Motel,” was watched
by 4.6 million total viewers, 2.5 million adults 25-54 and 2.4 million
adults 18-49 on premiere night. The 10PM premiere episode was watched by
3.0 million total viewers as well as 1.6 million adults 18-49 and
25-54, becoming the networks most-watched original drama series debut
among the key 18-49 and 25-54 demos.March 21, 2013 at 8:00 pm #270965
Came to Gold Derby and surprised to find this thread midway through the second page of posts. I wonder if it’s due to it being on A&E. (It can be watched/streamed on Amazon).
With that said, I agree with an above poster. This absolutely should have been a period piece. I loved the idea of a prequel to Psycho with the upbringing of Norman raised by his deranged mother, Norma. Speaking of, Vera Farmiga’s portrayal of Norma is that of a loving, caring, and nurturing mother. I can’t imagine the arc her character will take if she becomes the Norma that Hitchcock made us think she is.
With few contenders, I think this could be an easy Globe win in Drama TV Actress for Vera Farmiga (who else is there so far? Keri Russell for The Americans? Claire Danes for a three-peat?). Mmmmaybe Farmiga can garner an Emmy nom, as it too is a massively weak field. They better be glad Ryan Murphy stupidly moved AHS to the Miniseries categories. None of these ladies would have a chance against the likes of Jessica Lange and, most especially after season two, Sarah Paulson.
I’ll keep up with the series. Farmiga is far more engaging than Highmore, and I can’t tell if it’s because of the actors or the way the way the characters are written. Based on the pilot, Freddie Highmore could easily be placed in Supporting. Wouldn’t give the pilot a Writing or Directing nom, but I loved the cinematography (not that anything will hold a candle to the cinematography of Breaking Bad‘s “Fifty-One”).
Grade: B-March 21, 2013 at 8:16 pm #270966
Just caught up with this pilot today. Stylish, interesting, a little campy in places and a too on-the-nose in its depiction of the unhealthy closeness of Norman and Norma’s relationship.
That said, Vera Farmiga is very good in the pilot. I’ll stick with this for another week or two to see if it grabs me.March 22, 2013 at 7:59 am #270967
**1/2 out of **** for the pilot
This is an intriguing premise, but the show does not seem to have any handle on the tone or style it wants. Is it horror? Is it suspense? Is it tongue-in-cheek? Is it S&M? It’s kind of like the identity crisis American Horror Story has, except this has far better acting. The show is blessed to have Freddy Highmore (doing an uncanny version of young Tony Perkins) as teenaged Norman Bates and the spectacular Vera Farmiga (probably the best actress working today that most people have never heard of) playing Mother. Highmore is great at showing you the budding cray-cray underneath Norman’s meek, sensitive exterior. Farmiga adds another stunning, rich characterization to her growing portfolio. Every line of dialogue is like a simultaneous stroke and slap as she uses guilt to manipulate and control young Norman.
Now if only the concept were as rock-solid as the acting. There doesn’t seem to be any sense of story direction, and everything seems to be either too on-the-nose or just a little bit divorced from reality. Where else would a gaggle of attractive teenage girls immediately latch on to the shy, awkward Norman? Plus the series is set in the present day, so temporal anomalies like young Norman texting on a Blackberry are things the show just glosses over.
There are intriguing possibilities here, and the leads are compelling enough to give it a few episodes to see if the creatives catch up to the cast.March 22, 2013 at 8:55 am #270968
I think Vera Farmiga is great as usual. Highmore on the other hand was terrible; no nuances, just wooden, dull, and boring.
I’ll keep watching for Farmiga, but this seems like it wants to cash in on the success of American Horror Story. The fact that one of the LOST writers is involved doesn’t sound promising, either.March 22, 2013 at 9:52 pm #270969
Very good pilot. Loved the pacing, score and imagery used throughout. Freddie Highmore was really good. Believable in the role and conveying an array of emotions. He just needs to cover the Bristish accent that slipped a couple times. Vera was alright i guess. I wasnt wowed by her like most everyone who have posted in this thread. But with that said i really liked what i saw and will continue to watch.March 24, 2013 at 12:46 am #270970
I thought the pilot was shaky, but has extreme potential
Firstly, it was so inspired to do a prequel series for such a beloved movie and NOT have it on the CW. It was also nice that they cast the brilliant Freddie Highmore instead of someone from the cast of Gossip Girl or Glee. I know he seemed wooden and dull, but I’m sure thats on purpose – Norman Bates is a complex character. Vera Farmiga was excellent and I really hope she gets an Emmy nomination.
The writing was a bit poor at times, but no unbearable. My one complaint is that it is set in modern times – if it had been set at the time of the film, it would be a lock for a handful of Emmy nominations
Right now, the show doesn’t seem to be on the Emmy radar yet, but hopefully it will improve to that level. However, its a lock for a Drama Series Globe nomination, along for nods for Farmiga and hopefully HighmoreMarch 31, 2013 at 10:10 am #270971
I don’t have the luxury of having “turn off yo brain television”, but this for sure fits that mold and I am in. I feel w/this how I did when I watch the first “Batman” film. There’s a clash of time periods happening that quickly leaves by the second episode. I think they could’ve launched it w/the “Psycho” angle, but it’s whatever. I have to, blind irrational b/c if I didn’t it would be just bad performances, believe that the motivation for the leads are to play it camp in the intense moments b/c if not it’s comically bad melodrama.March 31, 2013 at 12:35 pm #270972
Do you think it will be likely this show will run for 4 or 5 seasons and then end with a TV film of Psycho? By then Highmore would be old enough (26) and it could rectify the shameful remake in 1998.March 31, 2013 at 3:52 pm #270973
TBH, I don’t see the series lasting more than a season.April 1, 2013 at 12:05 am #270974
Much better second episode than first. Nice homage to the original film with where the taxidermy came in. So many bizarre happenings though, almost as if the show is taking on an unnecessary supernatural twist. The sheriff and the older son look eerily similar (just an observation). If this series falls onto Emmy’s radar, I think this would make a good submission for Highmore. Farmiga has the pilot. So now the two leads already have a competitive/respectable submission.April 1, 2013 at 8:19 am #270975
I didn’t like Freddie Highmore in the first episode, but in the second, when his dark side started to come out more, I really enjoyed his performance. He displays the vulnerability and the hidden, budding aggresiveness of the character well.
I think him and Vera Farmiga are making a great team thus far and I’m excited to see where it goes from here.