It has to be either the best or the worst idea in television. Though the concept of a Hitchcock prequel starring that kid from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” conjures an image of a slow-motion train wreck, for those who like their characters nutty and their storylines nuttier (a.k.a. the “Twin Peaks” brigade) a first-look clip released for new series “Bates Motel” should satiate any post-“Twilight” bloodlust.
Executive produced by Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin, the backstory of the creepiest mother-son dynamic since Oedipus will be serialised from March 18th on A&E. The promo material, which channels the claustrophobia of “Lost” – appropriately enough, given Cuse’s background on the show – follows Bates, the antihero of Hitchcock’s psychoanalytic nightmare, “Psycho”, in his early, pre-shower slashing, years. Freddie Highmore is the young malcontent (think Edward Cullen minus the porcelain cheekbones and James Dean attitude) who relocates with his unhinged mother (Vera Farmiga) to the kind of scary-ass residence one learned to avoid after a few instalments of the “Hostel” franchise.
Also featuring Nestor Carbonell, Max Thieriot and Olivia Cooke, serials of this ilk have been known to have legs in the past. The trouble is, we already know how the Bates’ story ends. “A boy’s best friend is his mother”, said the original Norman Bates — and look where that got him. [Bleeding Cool]