The shot above is from Entertainment Weekly (if it wasn’t clear by the watermark), and is our first good look at Norman (Freddie Highmore), and his loving mother (Vera Farmiga) in the spring 2013 series “Bates Motel.” It’s from showrunners Carlton Cuse (“Lost”) and Kerry Ehrin (“Friday Night Lights”) and will look at the early days of the eventual classic cinematic killer.
It’s unclear how deep A&E feels we need to plumb the depths of Norman Bates’ psychoses, but according to Cuse and Ehrin, “Bates Motel” will be as much about the town as it will about its two most famous residents. The 1990 “Psycho IV: The Beginning” (made for TV, if I recall) covered some of the same territory, with E.T.’s Henry Thomas playing young Norman, dealing with a heaping helping of psychosexual issues as his modern-day self called in to a radio talk show in the hopes of chatting the murder out of himself.
An interesting tidbit: this isn’t the first original TV program to carry the title “Bates Motel”: back in the mid-80’s, for some reason NBC thought it would be cool to have a Halloween special featuring a young man who once roomed with Bates in a mental institution inherit that particular piece of property, which he attempts to fix up, but not before encountering some of the restless spirits that dwell there. Also, it has a heartwarming ending, and Jason Bateman.