A Question About A&E’s Psycho prequel Bates Motel
Alfred Hitchcock has been getting a lot of attention lately. He was trying to get it on with Sienna Miller in The Girl. Was shown how he got his masterpiece film Psycho made via a portrayal by Sir Anthony Hopkins in Hitchcock. And now A&E is about to unveil its Psycho prequel television series Bates Motel.
I was mildly interested in Bates Motel. Anything Psycho-related or Hitchcock-related will make me perk up my ears. Not too long ago I was rewatching those Psycho sequel Anthony Perkins starred in. I guess Hitchcock trending lately got me to watch them again.
Anyway, I guess I’ll give Bates Motel a chance. I’ll at least check out the first episode. All I know about it is that is supposed to take place before the events of Psycho. It’s before Norman Bates went ‘a little mad’ and his mother was able to move all by herself.
So here’s the question to my fellow Psycho-fans. The original Psycho took place in 1960. So I assumed Bates Motel was going to be a period series, meaning it would be taking place the latest in the 1950’s.
THIS BLOG POST WAS WRITTEN BEFORE I ACTUALLY READ A BIT ABOUT BATES MOTEL AND THE APPROACH IT WILL TAKE TO THE PSYCHO STORY AND THAT IT WOULD INDEED BE SET IN MODERN DAY.
Makes sense right? In order to have a story about a young Norman Bates it would have to be set before 1960.
I was looking at this ad for the series and noticed something I thought was strange. Psycho. Young Norman Bates. Period series. Has to be set in the 1950’s the latest. Why is there a digital alarm clock on the night table in this picture?
I am by no means an expert on the history of the digital alarm clock, but this just looks out of place to see in a 1950’s motel. Especially at the Bates Motel. Just having the Bates stationary was a real luxury. A digital alarm clock would seem to be the reserved for only the high rollers who are stopping in.
I don’t know what’s going on here. I’m not sure if I just picked out a faux pas by A&E’s marketing department or am I just reading too much into this. Plus, they really missed a subtle ominous Hitchcockian touch by not having the digits add up to thirteen. I’m always on the lookout for that when I see room numbers or times flashing in movies.
Now maybe I’m completely off with this observation. I suppose it’s possible that digital alarm clocks were being used in the 50’s. Or could it be that the makers of Bates are forgoing keeping any kind of timeframe continuity with the original film.
I will say that Freedie Highmore looks to be a much better choice to play Norman Bates than Vince Vaughn ever was.
Apparently I was wrong. The series is not taking place in 1950’s, but in modern day. So me feeling so proud I spotted that digital alarm clock was all for nothing and now I sit here completely red-faced. This also explains why a cellphone appears in a coming attraction.
Didn’t Texas Chainsaw 3D play around with the accuracy of the timeframe of its story also? I guess it’s just too hard to maintain the period detail and the makers don’t want to feel painted in a corner by it. Plus, they may also be thinking audiences today may respond more favorably to a contemporary story.
Either way, I still think I may give Bates Motel a chance.