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PSYCHO
February 3, 2018  | By David Bianculli

Encore, 8:09 p.m. ET

 

For four years, from 2013 to 2017, A&E presented the series Bates Motel, which was called a “contemporary prequel” to Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 movie classic, Psycho. It starred Freddie Highmore, now starring on ABC’s The Good Doctor, as a young Norman Bates, a boy tiptoeing tentatively into both adulthood and serial-killer tendencies while being both protected and tormented by his clingy mother, Norma (played to unhinged perfection by Vera Farmiga). It was a prequel because it predated, then eventually collided with and continued, the events dramatized in Psycho – and it was contemporary because it had cell phones and modern cars and was set in today’s world, despite remaining true to the Psycho story line of old. And it was a very good series, with excellent performances, that not enough people watched. Bates Motel is available on Netflix now, and I recommend it – but first, I highly recommend you watch this 1960 Hitchcock original, which features Anthony Perkins as Norman and Janet Leigh as a bank robber who crosses his path, -- and also features the original Bates Motel road sign (pictured)…

 
 
 
 
 
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