It all started one special day in 2019 when a YouTube video caught Will Smith’s attention. It was Bel-Air, a trailer from director Morgan Cooper reimagining The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, the culture-shifting comedy series that gave us one of Smith’s best-known roles, as a gut-wrenching drama.
Fast forward to September 2020, Smith hops on a video chat with Cooper and screenwriter Chris Collins, the creators of the trailer that had since gone viral. Smith announces that Peacock has signed an unprecedented two-season deal for Bel-Air‘s innovative take on The Fresh Prince. Now, the highly-anticipated television series is coming to Peacock this Super Bowl Sunday, and trust us, it’ll make you have to pick your jaw up off the floor more than once.
What is Bel-Air all about?
It has been over 25 years since the OG Fresh Prince’s final season. Yet still, the theme song is still ingrained in everyone’s minds:
This is a story all about how
My life got flipped-turned upside down
And I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there
And tell you how I became the prince of a town called Bel-Air
Peacock’s Bel-Air takes the premise of this theme song to a whole new level. What exactly happened in that one little fight? What were Uncle Phil’s true motives for letting Will stay with him in Bel-Air? What if Carlton’s charm was concealing a dark, twisted past? All these questions and more are explored in Bel-Air’s powerful story that delves into the nuances of race, class, authenticity, Black excellence, and the pain that comes with the pursuit of greatness.
To quote Will’s mom in episode 1 of the new show, “Your crown is waiting as soon as you find the courage to wear it.”
Bel-Air was brought to life by Morgan Cooper, the filmmaker behind the reimagined Fresh Prince trailer that went viral on YouTube. Cooper went on to direct, co-write, and executive produce the series. T.J. Brady and Rasheed Newson are co-showrunners and executive producers. The original Fresh Prince, Will Smith, serves as the show’s executive producer. The new Will is played by young actor and Philly native Jabari Banks.
Other cast members include Adrian Holmes (At That Age) who plays Uncle Phil, Cassandra Freeman (Atlanta) as Aunt Viv, Olly Sholotan (Run Hide Fight) as Carlton Banks, Coco Jones (Vampires vs. The Bronx) as Hilary Banks, Akira Akbar (Captain Marvel) as Ashley Banks, Jimmy Akingbola (Most Dangerous Game) as Geoffrey, Jordan L. Jones (Rel) as Jazz, and Simone Joy Jones (The Chair) as Lisa.
To top it off, the show’s soundtrack slaps and will have you periodically bumping your head for some much-needed hip-hop dance breaks.
Where can I watch Bel-Air?
The first three episodes of Bel-Air premieres on Peacock on Sunday, Feb. 13. Subsequent episodes will be released weekly on Thursdays.
To unlock the dramatic excellence of this show, you will need a Peacock plan. Subscribe today for free with ads, $4.99 per month for Peacock Premium, or $9.99 per month for Peacock Premium Plus. You don’t want to miss the innovative reboot of a show that defined a generation.
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