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Opening Arguments

Nutjob, the series

This may not be the stupidest idea for a TV series I've seen lately, but it comes darn close:

A&E has ordered a drama series inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece Psycho.

[. . .]

Bates Motel is a present-day telling of the “formative years of Norman Bates, [his] relationship with his mother, Norma, and the world they inhabit.” Continues the release: “Viewers will have access to the dark, twisted backstory and learn first-hand how Norma helped forge the most famous serial killer of them all.”

"Psycho" was a masterpiece of understated horror because it had a coherent story leading to a shocking (for the time) climax. Now that we all know the ending -- Norman was a nutjob who actually thought he was his mother when he dressed up like her and killed people -- how interesting will it really be to see the "backstory" of how he became such a twisted freak?

I'd feel better about the chances of a good series if it were on AMC, which has produced some of the best stuff on TV lately -- the dangerous "Breaking Bad," the awesome "Mad Men," the creepy "Walking Dead." But one good sign is that one of the executive producers was involved with "Lost," which managed to pull a pretty good story out of a time-worn premise.