(This post is spoiler FREE — all photos are from the first episode.)
This week marked two important dates: Valentine's Day and Freddie Highmore's birthday. If you were unaware, Highmore plays the lead role of Norman Bates in the TV series #BatesMotel, and it seemed like a perfectly fitting time to discuss the show and why you should be watching it.
Bates Motel is a psychological #horror and mystery drama, and is a prequel to the movie #Psycho. The fifth and final season returns to televisions in the US on February 20th. If you haven't gotten around to watching the series yet, here are five reasons as to why you should give it a shot:
5. It's Almost Finished And It's Easily Watchable
As I stated above, the final season is airing soon and it only consists of 10 episodes. With each season following suit, the current series total is 40 episodes, and will culminate with a grand total of 50 episodes once the final season has finished.
Each episode is generally between 40–50 minutes. Filler episodes are pretty rare, and with every episode there always seems to be something going on that will no doubt keep your interest the entire time.
4. It's Dark, But Does It So Well
Bates Motel has some pretty dark themes, and if you have any knowledge of Psycho, this won't be surprising. However, there are a surprising amount of times that you find yourself laughing out loud, either because it's genuinely funny or because even though you know what's happening is horrific, you just can't help yourself.
Considering how much it steps into the horror genre, it never feels overused. The show has the perfect balance of finding just the right tone. It never falls into this trap of taking things too far, but it also never shies away. It can be pretty extreme at times, so perhaps be weary (and even do some research) if you shy away from shows like this.
3. It Doesn't Matter If You've Seen 'Psycho'
As someone who saw Psycho a very long time ago, I found going into Bates Motel wasn't a problem. It helps a lot that it's a prequel. Although, I can imagine how fun it is to go into the show armed with prior knowledge. There are Easter Egg throughout and the final season teases a new take on the original Psycho film. Although at this point it's unclear how similar they want it to be.
Speaking of which, because it is a prequel there are a lot of characters who you didn't get to know very well in the movie, and there are a load of characters who aren't in the movie. The show adds a lot of background and depth, which makes it all the more painful when things start to go downhill for some of them.
2. The Creators Have A Coherent Plan
If you've ever seen Breaking Bad or even Better Call Saul, then you'll appreciate what having a coherent plan can do for a show. It's very clear — and has even been spoken about — that the show creators had a plan for Breaking Bad, knowing where the show was going and how it was going to end. That paid off in the best way. There was never a point where it felt like that show had lost itself or was just taking each season as it came; it really felt like it all went together seamlessly.
It seems very much that way with Bates Motel, too. The fact that they've got the final season adapting the Psycho storyline only seems to further this. From the four seasons we've seen you can definitely see a clear and coherent path that's led us to this final season.
1. The Cast Is Perfect And The Acting Is Phenomenal
The entire cast in general is just phenomenal, even those who aren't in it for every long. Some the cast thus far includes: Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Max Thieriot, Olivia Cooke, and Nestor Carbonell. They all play off each other incredibly well and are all able to hold an entire scene by themselves if need be.
Freddie Highmore's portrayal of Norman Bates is incredible. He manages to make the role his own while still paying homage. Every season he seems to get better and better, and after pretty much every episode I find myself in awe. There are some episodes that display his acting better than others (Season 4 was definitely a big opportunity for that), but he (along with the rest of the cast) help to bring the show to life and make it such a genuine pleasure to watch.
Bates Motel is definitely a show I would recommend everyone watch. It has a clear plan and has so far achieved everything that it has set out to do. Everything it has attempted has paid off and there is very little in which to find fault.