One of the great benefits working with Netflix is the opportunity to preview shows before they are released wide for streaming. So earlier this month, I jumped at the chance to screen the first six episodes of the new season of Orange is the New Black.
This is what I can tell you about the fourth season of the original series we love to binge watch.
The new season of OITNB premieres on June 17th and you can expect that’s what I’ll be talking about next month.
Now onto what I did watch during the month of May: Bates Motel. I didn’t expect to fall in love with this series as much as I have. I think about the characters and their motives and how incredibly broken their lives are all day long. A series hasn’t moved me this much in a long time.
Netflix is currently streaming the first three seasons of Bates Motel. The fourth season just concluded on A&E and the fifth and final season is slated to premiere in early 2017.
It’s not as scary as you think it will be.
Bates Motel is based on the characters from the novel Psycho by Robert Bloch and the Alfred Hitchcock film of the same name. Norma and her son Norman flee their troubled lives and relocate to White Pine Bay, Oregon where Norma has purchased a run down motel in hopes of starting over. I was surprised with the graphic nature of some scenes and the human trafficking storyline in the first season. These things certainly hooked me but what I love was the evolution of this series that moves past a murder mystery and into the complicated world of mental health.
How is Bates Motel not an Emmy winning drama?
Bates Motel is one of those shows that a lot of people love but hasn’t yet been recognized by the Emmy Awards. The incredible Vera Farmiga was nominated for her portrayal of Norma in 2013 but the series remains unnominated and it’s a damn shame because it brilliantly tackles topics like incest, rape and mental health with a sensitivity unseen in any other network or cable television show.
More than Characters
I can’t shake Norma because I can relate to her so immensely. She’s simply trying to protect her son but it’s her own childhood trauma that makes everything sort of messy. I cried my eyes out in season 3 during episodes 6 and 7 as Norma exposes some very big and raw emotions. These two episodes are my favorite in the first three seasons. Plus, Norma has some pretty great lines.
I read an excellent blog post called Let’s Talk About Norma which perfectly articulates my feelings. I wish I had written it. (Beware of spoilers!)
The show is more than Norma, though. Freddie Highmore plays Norman and even though he can slip in and out of his English accent, especially when he’s riled up, he is fantastically creepy. Wait until you see him wearing Norma’s robe. Olivia Cook portrays Norman’s friend Emma who is afflicted with CF. I big puffy heart Emma and praying she doesn’t end up a victim of Norman’s in later seasons. And I ship Emma and Dylan so hard that I actually yelled outloud “KISS!!” in one scene during season 3. Dylan is Norma’s son played by Max Thieriot and while I didn’t like him so much at the beginning of season 1, he has developed into one of my favorites to root for. His storyline is one of the most heartbreaking to watch. And then there is Sheriff Romero. Oh man, Nestor Carbonell does this character well. Romero certainly keeps you guessing if he’s dirty or not and talk about shipping a relationship. Will Norma and Romero ever get together?
Now to my favorite part of these Ultimate Guides! Here’s a list of my favorite things for any Bates Motel fan.
An Oregon shaped cutting board from Totally Bamboo. This custom Bates Motel throw pillow because I sort of love the opening when the switch is thrown on the old motel sign and the sound it makes as it lights up. These heat sensitive mugs that read Norma(n) are pretty neat. They also have No Vacancy mugs too but they are sold out! The only t-shirts I’ve found on Etsy have the motel placed in the California city portrayed in the movies. This is the only t-shirt I’ve found that reads White Pine Bay, Oregon. And this t-shirt features a classic line from Norman when he takes over as motel manager. And a #Normero phone case!!
Bates Motel gets an A+ from me. I’m just devastated that I’ve already finished the first three seasons available on Netflix. I need to see season 4 right now or else I’ll be forced to watching The West Wing.
I’m thrilled to be part of the Netflix #StreamTeam. This is a non-sponsored post however I did receive an account and device to stream Netflix. All opinions are my own.