Adapting a movie into a TV show is a challenge. For every Friday Night Lights, there is a 10 Things I Hate About You. That's why some reviewers are a little worried about Bates Motel, a show that is using Psycho as inspiration.
As Bryan Lowry at Variety writes: "The challenge, obviously, is to begin boring in on the pathological aspects of the mother-son relationship with which we’re familiar from the original movie without making them so over the top as to send the program skidding off the rails."
A prequel (or sequel) has so many preconceived notions and expectations. Bates Motel has extremely high expectations, but it may help that Psycho came out so long ago. It may also help that the show is only using the same themes: the show is not filmed in black and white and Norman even has a smartphone.
Bates Motel should feel confident about its chances: it has been done before. Some extremely successful shows worked from a movie as a source material, and did so almost flawlessly.
Bates Motel premieres on A&E on Monday March, 18 at 10p.m. EST. Very Farmiga and Freddie Highmore star. Check out the promo below before reliving three shows that more than lived up to their movie predecessors.
1. Friday Night Lights
Clear eyes. Full Hearts. Can't Lose. One of those critical darlings who couldn't get a big audience, Friday Night Lights is one of the greatest dramas of all time. The original movie, based on the book and starring Billy Bob Thornton, was fantastic, but the show was able to capture that small town football love over five brilliant seasons. And luckily for Bates Motel, producer Kerry Ehrin was also on board for FNL before working on Bates.
2. M*A*S*H (Warning: foul language)
One of the most adored television shows ever, M*A*S*H changed the way we watch TV. It attacked a very sensitive subject and did so with class and humor. It mixed drama and comedy flawlessly.
3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
No longer would the blonde who dies in a horror movie be killed, but instead she'd be a vampire slayer. This was before Twilight, and it was much better than Twilight. Even though it was on the WB, Buffy is one of the best high school dramas of all time.
These shows lived up to, or maybe even surpassed their movie predecessor. Here's to hoping that Bates Motel will hold up.