In honor of the renewal of “Bates Motel” for two more seasons, I want to give a shout-out to the art direction team. First of all, if you don’t already know, the TV show “Bates Motel” is a prequel to the famous Alfred Hitchcock movie “Psycho.” I cannot say enough good things about the details that make this show effective despite a fifty-five year gap after the original film.
As if the off-the-charts weird relationship between Norma and Norman Bates isn’t enough to make them stand out, their wardrobe alludes to the 1960s, the decade in which the original film took place. Norman is quiet and reserved; the majority of his wardrobe are slacks, button-down shirts, and sweaters in neutral, earth-tone colors. Norma is emotional and needy, but the layers of solids and patterns that she wears reflect the life of a happy, content housewife; the color palette consists of neutrals and light, faded hues with occasional pops of vibrant color. Norma and Norman both possess a subtle humor that pairs well with their quirky wardrobes.
More Information From Costume Designer Monique Prudhomme: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/fash-track/bates-motel-costume-designer-monique-429488
The family house is a direct link to”Psycho” because it is a replica.
– Original –
– Present –
– Post-Production Roof –
The costuming mixed with an old, deteriorating Victorian house makes the series feel like a time period show even though it isn’t. The atmosphere and characters feel like they dropped out of a time machine, and yet it is normal to see cellphones and computers and hear Katy Perry music playing in the background.
Bonus fact: The Bates live in a small city in Oregon, a town that does not scream modern.
The last detail I want to highlight is the lighting. The style used for nighttime scenes is what I would label “Film Noir”; it amps up the drama and keeps me on the edge of my seat.
If you are interested in watching this series, I recommend it as a five-star show. It has a horror background so I would suggest that you proceed only if you are familiar and comfortable with the horror genre. Also, it is not gory, but there are scenes meant only for the eyes of older teens and adults. For a complete breakdown of the content, here is a Common Sense Media Review: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/tv-reviews/bates-motel
Here are the trailers for seasons 1-3:
• Season 1
• Season 2
• Season 3
Stay alert readers; you never know who is lurking about!
– Lauren Michele ❤
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