SoHo Checks Into Bates Motel

Bates Motel will join a horror onslaught next month on SoHo that includes the final season of True Blood, the premiere of Penny Dreadful and the ongoing American Horror Story: Coven.

The Psycho spin-off was destined for Four through MediaWorks’ deal with NBC Universal before the in-receivership broadcaster restructured its studio output deal.

So while it’s taken more than a year for the modern Norman Bates prequel to debut here, at least it will be seen in HD.

And for those who don’t subscribe to SoHo, its scheduling will hasten its release on disc (season one came out on Blu-ray in the US eight months ago).

The series has just been renewed for a third season and stars Vera Famiga (Up in the Air) as the mother of a teenage Norman Bates (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’s Freddie Highmore) when the two are living in a sinister seaside town.

“The most believable character — and the real reason to check in to Bates Motel — is undoubtedly Farmiga’s Norma,” said Entertainment Weekly, which graded the pilot B+.

“Farmiga sells the hell out of Ma Bates, eschewing the temptation to go Mommie Dearest broad and instead gifting her possessive, resilient, sexy, and yes, possibly insane matriarch with the same subtle shading she has previously lent her big-screen work.”

Concurred the Los Angeles Times: “The A&E series has a lot to live up to, but it also has Vera Farmiga as Mama Bates.

“She’s reason enough to watch this gloriously insane prelude to Alfred Hitchcock’s classic film.”

Warned The Hollywood Reporter: “Expect a slow(ish) rollout for Bates Motel, as the first couple of episodes establish character and location, before things take an uptick during episode three.

“But there’s more than enough intrigue and entertainment–on top of Farmiga’s outstanding turn–to keep viewers wanting more of this new-style nonhomage to Psycho.”

But People Weekly thought the show “overworked and overthought” while Variety said “sustaining an ongoing franchise around the making of a monster — as opposed to, say, a limited run — looks fraught with peril“.

Bates Motel will air 9.30 Thursdays from June 12; Penny Dreadful will precede it at 8.30 from June 19; True Blood will screen 8.30 Tuesdays from June 24, with a 7.30 Thursday encore to create a three-hour block of horror to die for.

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6 Responses to “SoHo Checks Into Bates Motel”

  1. Don’t forget to watch and win courtesy of Sky/SoHo a night at the Bates Motel. If Norman and mother take a liking to you, your stay could be indefinite. Great shower amenities and ample car parking nearby!

  2. I wish they would have the new 24 on SoHo, then at least it would be in HD 🙂

  3. I bought the US Blu-pray version of Bates Motel a month ago. Haven’t started watching it yet but will do. Really looking forward to seeing Penny Dreadful and the final season of True Blood.

  4. I disagree with the above – the most believable character was the old Psycho house!

  5. The possibilities are endless for prequels or further chapters of classics. Some years ago a number of sequels of Psycho were made, Tony Perkins was involved. Shadow of a Doubt, a ’40s Hitchcock movie, has been made for TV twice. North by Northwest and Sabotuer are variations on The 39 Steps. Of course, they’re called reboots as well.

  6. Yet another quality drama gone to Sky. The only silver lining here is that Bates is finally airing in New Zealand. Hopefully Prime has free to air rights.

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