03/19/2013 05:52 am ET Updated Mar 19, 2013

'Bates Motel' Premiere: Death Comes Almost Immediately To The Bates Motel (VIDEO)

A&E's modern-day prequel to the classic film "Psycho" kicked off with the series premiere of "Bates Motel." The story picked up with the death of Norman's father and the subsequent relocation by his mother, Norma, of the family to a sleepy town and what will become an infamous motel.

She'd bought the house on a foreclosure, and the man whose family had owned the property came by with threats and intimidation. He then came back with even worse, brutally attacking and raping Norma. Norman arrived home from a night out partying -- he had snuck out -- just in time to knock the man off of his mother. It was Norma, who in a fit of rage, stabbed and killed the man.

When Norman wanted to call the police, she stopped him. "Who is going to book a room in the rape/murder motel?" she asked him. "It will ruin us."

The uncomfortable relationship between this mother and son is at the heart of the Bates story. The LA Times praised the lead actors, saying that Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore's near-perfect peformances make the show worth watching.

Executive producer Carlton Cuse told HuffPost TV that Farmiga was their dream choice for the role of Norma, while Highmore was literally the first person they saw for Norman. He was just so right for the part right away, they felt.

The twisted family dynamics continue on "Bates Motel," Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on A&E.

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