TV Club: Family is a necessary tragedy on an inspired Bates Motel

Family is both the best and worst thing that could ever happen to people. In his thought experiment about the perfect society, Socrates imagines a world in which children are taken from their parents and raised collectively, by an entire group of adults, so as to (hopefully) avoid the faults and failings of the individual men and women who gave birth to them. True, Socrates didn’t know a damn thing about genetics, but he knew about familial bonds. They can lift us up or hold us back—or more often, a little bit of both, in ways that make us frustrated beyond measure even as we find it difficult to imagine life without them. For Norman Bates, family is his achilles heel and his only hope. Now that Norma is dead, Dylan is arguably his only chance to reconnect with some semblance of normalcy. His brother loves him, and …

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