It’s time for an update on A&E’s “Bates Motel.” What’s that, you ask? It’s a television series prequel to Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. Oh yeah, you say? Yeah. Someone is making that series. That someone is actually Carlton Cuse, the other guy on “Lost,” that’s not Damon Lindelof (poor Lindelof: Half the credit, but all the blame). It’s more of a re-imagining, it turns out, than an actual prequel. How do we know that? Because in the prequel, the formerly only-child Norman Bates will have a “motorcycle-riding, rebellious, James Dean-like brother Dylan.” He will be played by Max Thieriott.
Norman Bates has been cast, too. It’s a familiar face: Freddie Highmore. He should be familiar, anyway, from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Finding Neverland, albeit he is older now. Stupid aging.
Spot-on casting. Poor Highmore: He’s got a gawky serial killer look about him. But the best part? That the series will explore Norman’s relationship with his mother, Norma, and offer a look at his backstory that helped forge the infamous serial killer. His mother? Academy Award nominee Vera Farmiga.
That’s a heavy-weight cast for an A&E cable show, which has recently found success with original scripted drama Longmire. I don’t know if “Bates Motel” will ultimately be any good, but it’s good to see that A&E is making an effort to compete somewhat with the likes of FX and AMC instead of filling their entire schedule with “Storage Wars” and “Hoarders.”