Tuesday, March 25, 2014

"Bates Motel" on AE presents the troubled Norman convincingly; the problems of local zoning politics

I checked out the series “Bates Motel” on A&E, which started Season 2 on March 3. The series is created by Antony Cipriano and the pilot for season 2 is called “Gone but not Forgotten”, directed by Tucker Gates.  The series is a prequel to Alfred Hitchcock’s famous 1960 thriller “Psycho” and the novel by Alfred Bloch.  Freddie Highmore plays a late teen Norman Bates, who likes to dissect carcasses in the basement but plays momma’s boy in running the motel for Mom, Vera Farmiga.
Mom is trying to teach Norman to drive, and encourages aggressive driving, crossing a double line to pass a truck.  They reach an area where a new bypass is being constructed early, and mom realizes this will ruin her motel’s business, which is already underwater.  She goes to a city council meeting to complain, quite selfishly, why the school board debates violent novels in their high school literature classes (Dostoyevsky’s “Crime and Punishment”).
Norman is also upset over the recent murder of a female teacher.
Also settling in the plot is a local marijuana business, with the younger Dylan (Max Thieriot, with his external trappings of manhood back). And at the end of the episode, there’s a murder when Bradley (Nicola Peltz) confronts (and even unbuttons first) a man she thinks is her father’s killer.
The storyline is straightforward and somewhat draws the viewer in. A&E has also held a show March 3 interviewing Highmore and Thieriot.
The A&E link is here

Online viewing requires logging on to your cable provider. 

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