Bates Motel…. Not What You Think! – TV TALK WITH BILL CUSHING


By: Bill Cushing – June, 2013

Bates Motel: Great performances and smart writing make this mysterious and fun show worth watching.

I’ll admit, when I first heard that a TV series prequel to 1960’s ‘Psycho’ was being developed, I was extremely skeptical. But I decided I would give it a chance. I’m really glad I did. Not only is this drama filled with great acting performances, but the writing is very sharp and smart. The series was created by Anthony Cipriano, and comes from Executive Producers Carlton Cuse (Lost), and Kerry Ehrin (Friday Night Lights), quite an impressive resume.

The series chronicles the life of Norman Bates and his mother Norma, prior to the events portrayed in Alfred Hitchcock’s big screen adaptation, but adapted to modern day. Norma purchases the rundown motel located in the coastal Oregon town of White Pine Bay so the family can start a new life after the death of her husband.

As the series unfolds, we learn that the town of White Pine Bay has many secrets, and many strange and intriguing characters. The creepy goings-on in the lives of the Bates family aren’t the only weird things in this town.

Now, you would think that the character of Norman Bates would be the focal point of the series, but Norman’s mother is the real star of this show. Played so brilliantly by actress Vera Fermiga (The Departed, Up In The Air). Norma steals virtually every scene she appears in. Fermiga really deserves an Emmy nomination for her work here.

Freddie Highmore (Finding Neverland, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory), plays Norman. He’s perfect in the role. He’s exactly as you would imagine Norman Bates to be as a teenager, teetering on the brink between sanity and insanity.

From Nestor Carbonell (Lost) as the very mysterious Sherriff Romero, to Max Theriot (House at the End of the Street) as Norman’s stepbrother, Dylan, the show boasts a great cast of supporting characters as well.

Not a horror fan? Don’t be scared off. This is hardly horror. While there are some creepy aspects to it, the show is much more in the mystery/suspense genre than in the horror category.

‘Bates Motel’ just finished its first season on A&E, airing Monday nights at 10pm, and it has been renewed for a 2nd season. Do yourself a favor and try and catch up with it in rebroadcasts or On Demand. You won’t be disappointed.

TV Notebook

TNT has cancelled ‘Southland’ after 5 seasons. Very disappointed with this news. Excellent show……

26 year old John Cochran became the Sole Survivor and walked away with the $1 million dollar prize on Survivor: Caramoan……

‘Veep,’ starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, has been renewed by HBO for a 3rd season…..

FOX has announced that ‘24’ starring Kiefer Sutherland will return to TV in May 2014 for a 12 episode season……

Speaking of returns … ‘Arrested Development’ returned to Netflix on May 26 for a 4th season. 7 years after season 3 aired on FOX.

CBS has cancelled CSI: NY after 9 seasons, and Rules of Engagement after 7 seasons…..

Actress Jean Stapleton from ‘All In The Family’ died on May 31st at the age of 90….

Bill CushingDo you have any questions about TV? Email me at I will answer all of your questions and will feature some of the questions I receive in a future column.

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