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TV Review: A&E's 'Bates Motel'

A&E premieres its new drama Bates Motel, a prequel of Hitchcock’s Psycho, on Monday at 10 p.m. ET. The following are reviews from TV critics around the Web, compiled by B&C.

“The combined talents and pedigrees of executive producers Carlton Cuse (Lost)and Kerry Ehrin(Friday Night Lights) may be why Bates Motel got made despite the string of unsuccessful sequels to the original. And [Vera] Farmiga is the main reason it is so surprisingly good.”

Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times

“The show’s creators, Carlton Cuse (Lost) and Kerry Ehrin (Friday Night Lights), bring in what promises to be a chilling and dramatic origins story about exactly what preceded the movie. They’ve done a smart job of building a cryptic, threatening world around the disturbing relationship at its center.”

Matthew Gilbert, The Boston Globe

“The lead performances, and the way that relationship is written, are all excellent enough to stick around a little while longer in the hopes that “Bates Motel” as a whole becomes something more interesting. But a lot of that may also depend on what exactly Cuse and Ehrin want Norman Bates to turn into, and how quickly.”

Alan Sepinwall, HitFix

It could be problematic that we know almost no one here will live happily ever after. But while it could head down several wrong highways, it could also give us a nice creepy ride.”

David Hinckley, New York Daily News

“Hitchcock’s film explored the darkest, strangest regions of the human psyche with savage efficiency, and Bates Motel has some of the efficiency without much of the depth. It appears to want to stay more or less on the surface of things and to provide a certain number of scary scenes and bloody moments in every hour. There’s a brisk energy to what the show does — that can’t be denied — and the two actors at the center of it are enormously skilled.”

Maureen Ryan, The Huffington Post