John Ary's Video Review Of A&E's BATES MOTEL!!
John Ary here with an early look at the new Psycho prequel series from A&E.
I had the chance to catch the pilot at SXSW and was fairly underwhelmed. The story takes place in modern day, with a seventeen year old Norman and his mother purchasing a foreclosed property on the outskirts of a small California town. Bates Motel tries to take on a sinister vibe, with characters giving unexplained creepy nods to each other, a b-story possibly involving the motel's connection to drugs and human trafficking, and uncomfortable embraces between a mother and son that tend to feel a bit incestuous. We've seen most of this done better before in shows like Twin Peaks and Dexter.
On the plus side, the production design feels faithful to the original Psycho. Our first steps inside the Bates house as the camera peers down on Norman and his mother from the top of the staircase gave me a brief geekgasm.
Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore do their best with a troubled script that tends to play coy with the dread while overstating practically every character trait and motivation. Also the action feels a bit forced. One of the two big moments of tension involve three characters standing around inside a small motel room while another urinates in a bathroom. It's a big motel. Did he HAVE to use that particular bathroom? Did the other three character HAVE to stand around making small talk while he loudly hit the head? Not really.
The pilot left me with a feeling of wanting more, but not in a good way. I want more characters, more action, more showing and less telling. Will the discovery of a mysterious hand-drawn manga torture porn notebook inside one of the motel rooms be enough to lure me back from episode 2? Probably not.
Readers Talkbackcomments powered by Disqus
- Fox has hired a pair of writers to get a FLASH GORDON movie off the ground! -- 313 total posts 234 posts
- Today's STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Status Report: Casting "Almost Complete", Second Unit Shooting Underway! -- 333 total posts 77 posts
- IT'S A SMALL WORLD: THE MOVIE directed by Jon Turteltaub is a real thing Disney wants to make! -- 86 total posts 66 posts
- There Will Soon Be No More Orci / Kurtzman Movies!?!? + One Of Them Is Pushing To Direct The Third JJVerse STAR TREK Film!! -- 311 total posts 63 posts
- 100 Lucky Ones will see AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 here in Austin on April 30th! -- 416 total posts 59 posts
- BARBIE. The Movie. -- 48 total posts 48 posts
- ‘So Who Wants To Go First??’ Amy Acker Is The Cellist In Joss Whedon’s AGENTS OF SHIELD!! ELSEWHERE & ER On PIONEERS OF TELEVISION!! New AWKWARD, SWAP, BOY, STORAGE, SCHUMER, TOSH, GLEE, FIRE, MINDY, DUSK, ORIGINALS, SUPERNATURAL, FARGO, FISHER & VOICE!! CONTAINER Finale!! Don Rickles On KIMMEL!! Natalie Dormer On SETH!! Stephen Colbert On LETTERMAN!! Elizabeth Warren On THE DAILY SHOW!! Herc’s Tuesday TV Talkback!! -- 168 total posts 40 posts
- Robert Downey Jr. seems to be tweeting a picture a day from the set of Avengers: Age of Ultron... -- 39 total posts 39 posts
Learn What’s Ahead
For GAME OF THRONES!! -- 60 total posts 38 posts
- The First Official BTS Shots From JURASSIC WORLD Are Here!! -- 28 total posts 28 posts