Sunday, March 31, 2013

Round Two: Bates Motel

Bates Motel: Season 1, Episode 2 “Nice Town You Picked, Norma” (C)

I was hardly enamored with the first installment of this show, and episode two sealed the deal for me in terms of whether I’ll be tuning in again as more and more shows begin to return next week. After an intriguingly hypnotic start with Norman looking through his book of drawings, the episode got too wrapped up in the eeriness of the town and its people to be truly focused on creating a compelling story arc. Max Thieriot’s Dylan sure is trouble, but it seems a bit much that he and Norman would already come to blows about the treatment of their mothers, demonstrating such violent impulses in Norman at this early stage. “Stop calling me Norma, I am your mother” is yet another obnoxious quote that serves to signal that Norma should always be referred to by her maternal status rather than by her name, whereas she actually has just as much of a starring role as Norman does. Flirting with one cop while the other has it out for her should work to her advantage, but the law has already come far too close to discovering her role in the death of the motel’s former owner to make an episodic format sustainable. To her credit, Emma is somewhat of an interesting character, going on about sex slaves when she sees Norman’s book, but things turned violent and real all too quickly when they were chased away by men with guns, prompting the episode’s most embarrassing moment, which was when Norman told Emma not to breathe. I understand this show may have potential, but I was bored within the first few minutes of this second hour.

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