Poor Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore). He’s a teenager being forced to move to a new coastal town under the watch of his imperious, entrancing mother, Norma (Vera Farmiga).
Oh, and they’re buying a motel.
These are the bones of A&E’s Bates Motel, a 10-episode “prequel” of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho from Carlton Cuse (Lost) and Kerry Ehrin (Friday Night Lights) that fills in the boyhood details of Norman, long before he began wielding a knife. The result is a razor-edged psychological thriller powered by uncertainty: What’s the deal between Norman and Norma? What’s the deal with the town?
It was that quality that attracted Highmore to the project: “You’re trying to discover what goes on inside their minds, what makes these characters tick and what side of the line does Norman and Norma’s intimate relationship fall?” he says. “And I liked the way that things are kind of suggested and hinted at as opposed to being too explicit.”