It was the popular 90s sitcom that launched Will Smith’s extremely successful acting career; The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air followed a fictionalised version of Smith as his life got “flipped turned upside down” and moved from West Philadelphia to live with his wealthy aunt and uncle in Los Angeles’ silver-spooned suburb, Bel-Air.
The show ran for six seasons, earning Emmy and Golden Globe nominations along the way, and was beloved by viewers so much that when NBC cancelled the show after Season 4, they received so many outraged letters that the network decided to grant the show a further two seasons.
While The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air still draws in new viewers over thirty years later, thanks to streaming services now prolonging the longevity of older series, the story of Will Smith (the fictional one) moving to Bel-Air is getting a dramatic reboot in 2022.
Bel-Air, launching on February 13, will follow the same storyline and feature the same characters as the 90s sitcom but there will be no live studio audience and from the looks of the trailer that just dropped, there won’t be too many side-splitting jokes in the dialogue either. Instead, Bel-Air looks dark and gritty; similar to how Riverdale revamped the light and playful Archie comics into a sinister (albeit now ridiculous) show.
The Bel-Air trailer highlights that Will, now played by Jabari Banks in his first acting role, hasn’t moved to LA because of a simple playground bullying incident like the original; instead, we see a tense confrontation that moves to violence, a gun being pulled, and Will being arrested by police officers. The trailer also reveals that “some bad man from Philly” wants to “deal with” Will, showing a rather menacing man staring Will down from a jail cell while he mimics a gunshot to the head.
It’s not all doom and gloom though; we see Will attend a swanky private school complete with overly preppy uniforms, an awesome DJ’d alcohol-fuelled pool party – the kind that makes you think ‘boy, my high school experience sucked’ – and Will gets to suit up in a fresh (pun intended) cool look. Will Smith has signed on to executive-produce the Bel-Air reboot and the series will be available to stream here in Australia on Stan.
And, if you missed the Bel-Air trailer, you can check it out below: