Binge & Purge: Bates Motel (2 Seasons)

Regarding the title: This is the first in (hopefully) an ongoing blog series. We spend countless hours binge watching shows, and what better way to finish a series off by ranting my feelings about the entire thing (purging)?

Bates Motel

Prelude: We started this series off right. We ran through the original Psycho movies (1-4) and even the Vince Vaughn 90’s reboot. If I was to introduce someone to the series I’d leave them with Pyscho 1-3, forgetting about the 4th movie and the re-imagination; even though it’s the exact same movie. Vaughn is just nowhere near as creepy as Anthony Perkins who should be viewed as the only Norman Bates prior to Bates Motel. Regarding the 4th movie; it’s set as a pre-sequel which kind of steps on the toes of the television prequel and is full of a bunch of loopholes in itself. Besides the loopholes, if you haven’t seen it, the “radio show life story” was over played in the 90’s even more than it was now. Seriously, I’d recommend Joe Dirt’s radio confessions well before Norman’s, which is saying a lot considering Joe Dirt’s reputation.

After falling in love with the Alfred Hitchcocks’ film again, I started to get excited for the modern prequel television adaptation. Although we had a butchered idea of how Norman Bates got his come-up-ins it was riveting to see it in a new dramatic perspective that hopefully featured less loopholes than the 4th movie.

My initial thought of the series was how it felt almost like Supernatural and was far too obviously a basic cable show afraid to take risks. It felt like it wasn’t pushing any boundaries with the FCC as most cable shows do nowadays (Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Hannibal, ect). Obviously, being set in a world pre-murderish rampage, there was bound to be some serious “high school drama” which was introduced as expected.

What I did not expect was the story of Norman’s brother, Dylan Masset. I could not recall any mention of a sibling and I found myself rooting for an early death. Dylan found himself in a bad crowd instantly after moving to White Pine Bay (which, yes is a different town from the original movies). While I started the show to see Norman and his mother’s twisted relationship, I was a little mislead and disappointed to be taken on a roller-coaster ride that is Oregon’s pot mafia.

Besides the underground drug ring and crooked cops (yeah, the whole town has gone to shit) the story is how I expected and I found myself appreciating what was the original center stage; which at this point has only been about 40% of the show’s plot. Norman’s high school friends are almost just as twisted as him, and his hobby of taxidermy stayed true the original story.

My number one problem with this show is the brother’s story but their conflicts are a close second. When the Bates’ family is fitted with a true issue it barely lasts an episode as the main protagonist doesn’t seem to live a long or prosperous life. I guess it should be expected as Norman’s provoked antics are well know but I still I never found myself on edge once I realized the pattern of their easily solved problems.

I know, I’m basically here listing problems of the show but I do see some serious potential in the upcoming seasons. I’m assuming Dylan’s demise; either fatal or something as stupid as a disappearance is inevitable which will leave nothing left except for Norma’s chance to disturb her son either farther pushing him over the edge.

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