Bates Motel wrapped up after another entertaining season for the second time. There was plenty of deception, blackmail, outbursts, revelations and deaths packed into the latest ten episodes. I enjoyed it all and am looking forward to season three and seeing what comes next.
But this isn’t a recap or review of season two so don’t be worried about spoilers. This is about me letting loose on the horrible Bates Motel: After Hours show A&E has started to use to keep Bates fans tuned in for another half hour. It is simply an awful show!
Bates Motel: After Hours was clearly inspired by AMC’s Walking Dead wrap up show Talking Dead. It’s basically a round table discussion of that nights episode by some guests, with some fan questions, ridiculous multimedia nonsense, behind-the-scenes trivia and an interview or two from cast members.
It’s painfully obvious that’s where this After Hours took its cue from. And I’m not even a fan of Talking Dead. The few times I’ve watched it I wanted to strangle host Chris Hardwick quite a few times. But at the very least the show offers up a few interesting tidbits of trivia about the locations, actors or zombie makeup that went into the making of that nights episode.
After Hours has none of that. It’s truly amazing! For a thirty minute long wrap-up show about Bates Motel, it really offers up zero worthwhile content in it’s two episodes that have aired. Each one was an awkward, slog of chit-chat with the actors about really nothing.
Let me provide some examples of what I’m talking about. In the most recent episode following Bates’ season finale all the main actors and producer Carlton Cuse were on hand to talk. What did they talk about, what did we learn from them?
Well, Vera Farmiga sometimes cooks meals for the cast. Max Thieriot is growing a beard for an acting job. Olivia Cooke doesn’t stay in her American accent while not on camera. And in one of the most uncomfortable moments of the show, Nestor Carbonell was asked to use a makeup remover wipe to prove he doesn’t wear mascara.
I felt embarrassed for all of them.
And I’m not even going to get into what Freddie Highmore showing up via satellite from England was put through. Oh maybe I will! He’s asked by host Dave Holmes to sing a few bars of some kind of song that he made up about co-star Thieriot. It was a really strange way to open up his segment. Not to mention Farminga’s offhand question she tossed to Highmore asking him if he was wearing lipstick! What is with the makeup fixation?
On top of all that Highmore’s satellite feed is on a delay. So there’s a few seconds of uncomfortable silence between the questions and Highmore being able to hear them. I’m surprised how in this technological wonderland we now live in that they have to deal with such a strange delay in satellite transmissions on this show. I don’t see satellites behaving so clunky on news broadcasts. Heck, even if they put him on his computer camera or his cellphone it should shorten the time gap!
This Highmore/England time delay is even more amusing when the lack of one in the studio caused another troublesome moment. At one point Thieriot is recounting a pointless story about an arm wrestling incident he had with guest-star Kenny Johnson and he accidentally dropped an ‘F-bomb’ on the live broadcast. Don’t think I didn’t catch it guys. I imagine afterwards there had to be a memo and a meeting about what went down.
All this sounds like a fun train wreck of a show doesn’t it? Well, it sort of is. After thinking back on it, it was all embarrassingly funny in a way. But that’s not the reason why I would be watching a wrap-up show about Bates Motel. I’m looking for further insight and discussion about the program. Granted, there were a few worthwhile comments from the actors that came sprinkling out, but it’s not worth watching the entire thirty-minute program for.
Really the main thing I took away from this latest episode of After Hours was how much Cooke resembles Rachael Leigh Cook in her Josie and the Pussycats period. Come on, can’t you see it?
I actually don’t even see the need of these wrap-up shows anyway. If fans want to discuss their favorite show they’ll just take to the internet and converse with fellow fans. It’s not like there’s any shortage of places to do that.
Plus, with DVRs, how much of the audience watches shows live anymore? I’m sure they probably have breakdowns of how and when television audiences watch programs, but the live audience has to be a lot less than it used to be. I know I never watch my shows live at the actual time their airing anymore. Crap, the only reason I happened to watch this After Hours was because my DVR accidentally recorded it and I figured why not check it out!
These wrap-up shows probably would have been a huge hit after nightly soaps in the 80s, like Dynasty and Falcon Crest. Way back during a time when fans of a show would be forced to wait until the next day to gossip about the events of last nights show at the watercooler with co-workers and friends. Could you imagine the ratings the Dallas wrap-up show after the ‘Who Shot J.R.’ episode would have gotten!
Today, unless these live wrap-up shows are going to offer up some unique content for fans than I don’t see the point in them. I understand these networks want to take advantage of the popular shows they have and want to milk them for all their worth, but at least give me a reason to want to tune into these wrap-ups.
It’s a bewilderingly feeling when I’m watching Bates Motel: After Hours and seeing the actors compete to see which one can favorite the most tweets. I mean….I know I’m not a big Twitter guy, but do people really give a crap about that??? Are people really anxious to see the results of that contest?
A&E must of knew the first time they tried After Hours that it was a disaster since they did a little revamping with this second episode. The first time After Hours aired was after the season two premiere with host Carrie Keagan. I have no idea who she was, only that she was a horrible host and the show was incredibly poorly produced.
They decided to drop Keagan for this guy Holmes as the host. Again I have no idea who this guy is. He is a tad bit better of a host, but the show is still amazingly still poorly produced. So not much has changed other than the sex of the host.
Both Keagan and Holmes try to bring that exciting high energy atmosphere to the program and it comes off so forced and artificial. There’s so many dead spots in the show with awkward silences, uncomfortable questions, the actors look like they would give anything to be somewhere else and its all accompanied by a smattering of applause now and then by I guess an audience they have siting there.
That’s really strange too. By the sounds of the amount of applause and excitement coming from the audience it sincerely sounds like there’s maybe six or seven people in the crowd. I kept waiting for the sound of crickets to pop in. The entire program plays like some low-rent, cheap cable access show that’s being filmed in the basement of a town hall.
I feel somewhat silly spending so much time ranting about After Hours rather than talking about the actual Bates Motel program. It’s just a forgettable half hour program that probably no one cares about and I’m not even sure if anyone even bothered to watch other than some hardcore Bates lovers and those Tweeting fans. But both episodes were such a mindblowingly, surreal, embarrassing, hypnotic experience it was just hard to wrap my head around it.
It’s a terrible companion piece to the terrific Bates show. I’m curious to see if they try to continue this. If they do they really have to find a format that works better rather than trying to replicate Talking Dead. Bates Motel is not The Walking Dead, so its wrap-up show doesn’t have to try to be exactly the same as that one. It shouldn’t be the same. Besides maybe not every television program needs a wrap-up show.
I am definitely going to be sure to tune into After Hours now if it ever rears its ugly head again. Not because it’s so good, but the exact opposite.