Wednesday, April 17, 2013
TV REVIEW: BATES MOTEL - SEASON 1 EPISODE 5 - "Ocean View"
After last week's dismally disappointing excuse for an episode, I had hoped that Norma's arrest would help bring some focus to this week. I need to stop hoping when it comes to Bates Motel and just expect at least three or four plots an episode, laughably unrealistic dialogue (practically every scene between Norman and Emma is unintentional comedy gold) and characters ripped out of The Young and the Restless. I thought I could deal with the soapy melodrama and fluctuating character motivation, but after these last two episodes I'm ready to check out.
And for the second week in a row, even though things technically do progress, why does it feel like nothing happens? The only exciting bits come from Dylan's storyline, and they are so random and ridiculous that it's impossible to feel any dramatic impact from them at all. Why should I be shocked or concerned that some skeevy guy (who we've never even seen or heard of before!) shoots Dylan's partner-in-crime randomly? What does it matter that Dylan finds him and runs him over? Sure, on a purely visceral level it is entertaining, but there's no compelling narrative behind those actions that make them enjoyable. Maybe if Dylan was a more likable and provocative character, things would be better. But, he's not and neither is his relationship with his "Someone just gave me a new throat hole" buddy. At least we got to see some blood this week. Remember what movie this show is based off of? Me neither.
Also, I'm officially over iPhone text message screens in this show. Not only are they tiny and tough to read (that might just be my eyes' stupid fault) but they are so frequent that they become a lazy form of character interaction. It is incredibly difficult to make a text message dramatic, and this show isn't proving to be the exception to that statement.
I also can't believe how quickly (and stupidly) Norma's arrest is swept under the plot rug. Norma was the one character that really hooked me in when the season started, and now she's one of the reasons I want to tune out. Her screaming and childish behavior is just silly now, and any hints at her being a Machiavellian schemer have been thrown out the window in favor of her playing second fiddle to her deputy boyfriend. And looks like next week will just be a whole episode of her in denial about said boyfriend's serial killing tendencies. Greeeaaat.
The only way Bates Motel can possibly save itself is if all its plotlines get resolved by season's end and the show turns into what it's supposed to be: two crazy people running a motel. Get a focus on your main characters and let us see what makes their cuckoo clocks tick. No one cares about Bradley and if she updated her relationship status on Facebook (that line made me pause for an actual facepalm) or about drop dead gorgeous Deputy Sexfiend. The show is called Bates Motel. "Bates" should be the operative word.