Bates Motel on A&E is doing a great job of reintroducing the Psycho franchise to a new audience while also sating the appetite of the Alfred Hitchcock lovers in that crowd who still cannot get enough of Hitch's 1960 thriller.
This week we found out that the cable channel has renewed the series for a second season ten-episode run.
Since its debut weeks back, the show has gotten better and creepier with each episode. I admit that the first time I met Norma and Norma Bates, I wasn't too terribly hooked, but as the creators showed us more of the Oregon town that the mother and son moved (or escaped) to, it has become highly enjoyable.
A man being burned upside down in the town square seems to be no big deal in White Pine Bay. That's not the only thing wrong with White Pine Bay, not by a long shot. The town seems tailor-made for the new family, plus their wayward son Dylan Massett.
The Bateses are played by Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga, with Farmiga making a compelling turn as a mother who loves too much, and Highmore has taken to the Norman character eerily well while not turning him into an emo caricature. The prettiest girls in town, one of whom has cystic fibrosis, all seem enamored of him.
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Highmore is a long way from the chocolate factory, and Farmiga's scenes with her love interest, Deputy Zack Shelby, smolder, though Shelby is slimy as hell.
Series executive producer Carlton Cuse previously worked on Lost, Nash Bridges and beloved cult hit The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. with Bruce Campbell, so there is some camp involved in Bates Motel, but we don't stray too far from Hitch territory.
Frankly, I am waiting to see what Nestor Carbonell's Sheriff Alex Romero has to do this season. Hopefully he is not wasted by the plot or the producers.