"Bates Motel" is now in its fourth season (as most surely know) and this hit retelling of Norman's early years (a concept presented first in "Psycho IV") has gained a following that few series can match, with Freddie Highmore embodying Anthony Perkins' most celebrated role and Vera Farmiga as his dear, domineering mother, Norma. (Nestor Carbonell is also engaging as the diligent Sheriff Romero.)
As a lifelong "Psycho" fan (which includes all the Perkins films, the ill-fated "Bates Motel '87" pilot, and Robert Bloch's superb, literary submissions), I find A&E's excursion a splendid, demented diversion. This season promises to push Norman deeper into his psychotic depths, and I'm most anxious to embrace the oncoming depravity.
On the "Omen-ous" side, Bradley ("Merlin") James enters as a thirty-year-old, war photographer version of Damien Thorn. This Damien has a fuzzy memory, having supposedly tossed his devilish urges to the side, but for how long can the Son of Satan stay stable, especially with his faithful guardian, Ann Rutledge (Barbara Hershey), encouraging the evil along? (Say, isn't Ann Rutledge the name of Abe Lincoln's first love? Ah, no matter; what's in a name?)
How this extension will measure up to the film franchise is anyone guess, but as an "Omen" fan, I'm intrigued to see what diabolical paths it may travel. (And hey, for sentiment's sake, Gregory Peck and Lee Remick will make flashback cameos. Can't beat that.)
There's no doubt A&E has a strong set-up here. Too bad the executives were unable to throw "Hannibal" into the mix, but I guess when it comes to horror team-ups, one can't have everything...well, at least not yet.