Being such a huge Psycho fan, I was excited when I heard about the news that they were making a prequel into a TV show. As much as I wanted to see this happen, I was a little nervous on how it would go, based on Gus Van Sant's 1998 remake. But once I heard the cast list, I had my hopes up. I was hooked after the first episode, and have been ever since and there are some pretty good reasons why.
1. Freddie Highmore
Before Bates, we all knew young Freddie from films such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Finding Neverland, August Rush etc. Freddie in my opinion, was the by far, best choice for Norman Bates. In the film Psycho, Anthony Perkins (Norman) was a character that we felt was innocent, and friendly. We feel this up until the climax of the film. The presence he brings is calming. This is exactly what Freddie Highmore brings to the role. We see Norman being a teenager, on his phone, hanging out with girls, going to parties. Most of the time we see the 'good' side of Norman, which everyone loves. But in just seconds we can have a completely different perspective on who he is when gets upset or angry. To me, Anthony Perkins would have been the Norman that Freddie Highmore would turn into if this series went on until he was an adult. The fact that he loves old movies, old music, taxidermy, and his mother is perfect, and we thank the writers for that.
2. Vera Farmiga
Vera Farmiga is just one of the most underrated actresses in todays generation. Apart the fact that she is an incredible actress, the part of Norma Bates was made for her. Even though we didn't get to see Norma in the original Psycho, this is what she would be like. In Psycho, we hear 'Mother' yelling at Norman and being very dominant. In the show, Norma is the most commanding character. She is also one the most caring, well... towards Norman anyways. This is what the mother is supposed to be like. She is over protective, and controlling of Norman, in which we see during both seasons. Her performance is spectacular. One of my favorite things that she does is sit in the rocking chair in Norman's room, an obvious reference to Psycho.
3. Mr. Sandman
When Norma, and Norman are practicing for their community play tryouts, Norma has Norman sing 'Mr. Sandman'. The reason I love this scene is because not only is Freddie and Vera doing a duet, but Mr. Sandman is such an iconic song used in the horror genre. It's used in Halloween II, Halloween H20, Halloween (2007).
4. 'Dream Lover' and Taxidermy
This scene in the last episode of season 2 is one my favorites in the whole series. Why? Well first off there's a stuffed owl hanging in Bates' living room. In Psycho, Norman had his taxidermy work hung up in the motel office. Not only that, but he expressed his love for birds. This scene is just a huge foreshadow, like most of the show obviously is. Another reason this scene is great is because of the music choice. Norman puts on a record, 'Dream Lover' by Bobby Darin. Then he dances with Norma telling her he loves her more than his own life. This describes the unusual relationship between the two, while also showing his love for traditional/older things such as the song of choice which is from 1959.
5. Norman acting like Norma
Now for those of you who are familiar with Psycho, you know that Norman impersonates his mother. This is the second time that it really happens in Bates. When Norman goes to attack his uncle Caleb, he acts as if he was Norma. This is just awesome, and Freddie does it perfectly.
6. The Production & Costume Design
First of all, the setting of the motel and the house, spot on.
Even though this is set in the modern day, Norman, and Norma dress like it's the 50's-60's. Everything looks old school including the TV, the record player, the inside of the house, and even the car.
7. and this
The comparison is uncanny yet amazing.
There's obviously many more reasons why this is a great show, but these are the ones that stick out to me in every episode. I can't for until season 3!