Bates Motel - Season One
Both Anthony Perkins and Alfred Hitchcock may be spinning in their graves over the Blu-ray release of "Bates Motel: Season One". Yet they should be proud of one of the A&E channel's highest rated shows ever.
The 10-episode freshman season examining the lives of Norma and Norman Bates surprises with a gleefully fresh twist on the 1960 horror classic "Psycho."
In this modern prequel, Vera Farmiga is a revelation as Norma Bates, playing the iconic mother with insane tendencies and overprotective behavior toward her son Norman (Freddie Highmore), as they try to make a new life for themselves. Highmore slightly mimics Anthony Perkins' nervous twitches, but makes Norman just as sympathetic.
Some inconsistencies to the original film are inevitable: There was never a mention of another son in any "Psycho" film. But the inclusion of the character of Dylan gives "Bates Motel" the added conflict it needs. Played by sexy Max Thieriot, the transformation of Dylan from moody bad boy to protective son/brother is one of "Bates Motel's" highlights.
The 45-minute "Paley Center Panel Discussion" special feature is a panel featuring series creators and actors Farmiga and Highmore, among a few others. The creators admit to slightly ripping off the '90s series "Twin Peaks," and even though the series is set in present day, there is timelessness to certain aspects of the episodes. Farmiga does most of the talking while Highmore is more subdued, yet both have high respect for each other. An interactive question and answer session from the audience reveals there will be more back-story for Norma Bates in season 2.
Deleted scenes are included from most of the episodes, giving the total running time of all Blu-ray special features over an hour.