Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Bates Motel

Insisting that it's not remaking Psycho and promising to "challenge everything you think you know," here is the first full trailer for A&E's Bates Motel, which is both remaking Psycho and presenting you anew with everything you know you know. But still, even though there are plenty of winks and nods here to well-established territory—Norman Bates' unhealthy, incestuous relationship with his mother; glimpses of familiar windows, showers, taxidermied animals, and big knives—and we all know perfectly well how this story turns out, the update to a more contemporary setting (Cell phones! Raves!) technically makes Bates Motel a "reimagining," to paraphrase costar Nestor Carbonell.

And okay, if you can set aside the inherent sacrilege of that, there's some grudgingly admitted potential here. Both Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore seem strong, and former Lost showrunner Carlton Cuse—who's already compared Bates Motel to Twin Peaks—talks about a "dark and malevolent" force lurking beneath his setting's welcoming veneer, which could definitely lend itself to broader storytelling beyond the Bateseses. Though hopefully Cuse isn't just setting viewers up for some ridiculous, retcon reveal that Norman Bates was the way he was because he was possessed by some kind of supernatural demon that infected his entire hometown. He's not doing that, right? Please, don't do that.

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