A modern re-imagining and prequel to the movie Psycho. This story begins with the earlier years of a teenage Norman Bates and his mother Norma who live in an old house overlooking the adjoining motel which they are renovating. The house and hotel both come with secrets of their own as does the new town which the Bates’ now call home.
First off, let’s start with the basics for those who happen to not yet be aware of this series in any way. ‘Bates Motel’ serves a sort of combined reimagining and prequel series to the ‘Psycho’ films. The series focuses on Norma and Norman Bates who following a tragic accident move to a new town to start over and buy an old local hotel that has been taken possession of by the bank. This is a small quiet community, but as is quite often the case, little is what it seems. Now, Norma and Norman have moved in and opened Bates Motel but they are about to get far more than they bargained for as problems arise within the town as well as their own family once Normans brother shows up in town.
‘Bates Motel’ is simply fantastic. It brings the perfect amount of emotional depth and creativity, while maintaining an unnerving vibe throughout. Just the atmosphere and scenery of the show is gloomy and it helps tremendously into providing the viewer with an amazingly perfect setting for this show. The relationship between Norman and his mother is as unnerving and disturbing as should be expected at times as well.
All of the performances are outstanding. I cannot think of a single cast member that doesn’t do an exceptional job in their role. Vera Farmiga is absolutely perfect in the role of Norma Bates and I can’t even begin to imagine a more competent actress that could possibly do better. Freddie Highmore is also fantastic in the role of Norman Bates and he will certainly be a name to keep an eye on in the future.
‘Bates Motel’ is riveting and unnerving Television at its best and fans of the genre will certainly not want to miss out on it. If you are already a fan of the show, you will certainly want to add a copy of the first season to your collection. If you haven’t had the privilege of checking out ‘Bates Motel’ yet, I suggest you check in as soon as possible and see just what an amazing series you are missing out on.
The video on the Blu-Ray release of ‘Bates Motel: The Complete First Season’ is a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the show’s original 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation here looks phenomenal. This was my second time viewing the season, and the difference between the High Definition television broadcast and this Blu-Ray release is night and day. Fans of the series will be thrilled to have the opportunity to enjoy this series again and again in such brilliant quality.
The Blu-Ray release features an uncompressed English 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on all 10 episodes of the first season and it really packs a punch. The eerie noises and wonderful score are put on amazing display here. Everything sounds clear, discrete and spot on. Audiophiles such as me will be quite thrilled with this lossless soundtrack.
While the Blu-Ray release is not overflowing with special features, it does have a couple of interesting extras. Included are a number of Deleted Scenes from the season in addition to a Paley Center Panel Discussion with the Cast and Creative Team.
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
‘Bates Motel: The Complete First Season’ is now available to own on Blu-Ray & DVD from Universal Home Entertainment.