bates model

Given the abysmal Bates Motel television pilot from 1987, one might question the wisdom of dredging up the old motel and the house on the hill for another shot at the small screen. While the former was a cheaply done attempt to cash in on the Psycho phenomenon, the latter takes the material we’re familiar with from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 film Psycho and reinvents the backstory of Norman Bates in the same way Smallville did for Superman.

The first of ten episodes of Bates Motel aired March 18 on A&E. “First You Dream and Then You Die” introduces audiences to Norma Bates, who, after the death of her husband, leaves Arizona with her son Norman and takes up residence at in an old house above a dilapidated motel. Everything is at once familiar and new as audiences begin to explore the complex relationship between mother and son.

Combining elements of teen angst, family drama, grief, starting over, and, yes, horror, Bates Motel is an original series worth checking out.

Here are five reasons why:

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This article was first posted on March 23, 2013