Television viewers get ready, one of the most disturbing mothers of all time is coming to a small screen near you. Norma Bates, the mother of the famous Psycho franchise, will come to life in a new drama series called Bates Motel on A&E. And this time, Mother Bates won’t just be the voice in Norman’s head. The entire show is said to revolve around the relationship between mother and son.
So who is attempting to take on one of the creepiest mommas of all time? Actress Vera Farmiga, whose well known for her roles in The Departed and Up in the Air has agreed to play Norma. The shows writers and executive producers, Carlton Cuse from Lost and Kerry Ehrin from Parenthood, have expressed their excitement at having this bi name star join their show. They put out a statement saying, “We are delighted to welcome Vera Farmiga to Bates Motel. She is a phenomenal talent who has demonstrated incredible range and intelligence in a number of landmark film roles, and we couldn’t be more excited to have her join our project.”
It’ll be interesting to see how the famously horrible mother is portrayed in the flesh. In the original Psycho the cruel matriarch taught her son that all females were whores, except for her of course. I’m wondering how Norma will operate when she has to deal with actual guests, instead of just seeing the pain she inflicts on her son.
In the original Alfred Hitchcock work, Norma was really only seen through her son’s eyes. It will be interesting to see if they change the character in her new form, demonstrating that the psychosis was in Norman’s head and not fully created by his horrible mother. Of course, with every retelling of the “cruel mother who destroys her poor son” trope, there’s a real possibility that all of the responsibility will be placed on the awful mother and the son will simply be another victim of her selfishness and psychosis. It’s a stereotype that often leads people to believe that mothers are solely responsible for their children’s mental illness or horrible crimes.
I’m obviously not saying that mothers are never responsible for hurting the emotional and mental development of their kids. That would completely ignore plenty of terrible examples. But it will be interesting to see how A&E portray this truly dynamic and dysfunctional relationship.
I have to admit, even while I’m cringing at the idea of this show, I’m also completely intrigued. And I’m curious about the reasons that Farmiga is interested in tackling such a mysterious and possibly horrible human being. According to Deadline, “”Farmiga will play Norma Louise Bates who is described as passionate, and compelling, a smart, multidimensional character who is always capable of surprising us.” It makes me wonder how the relationship will change from what we already know about the Bates’. One thing is for sure, we’ll all be waiting to see what this legendary mother actually looks like, aside from Norman’s delusions.
(Photo: Andres Otero/ WENN.com)