Now this is a story all about how… my favorite sitcom is getting a drama remake right now. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reigns supreme for me as one of the best sitcoms of all time. Everything from its spin on a “fish out of water” premise to Will Smith’s impeccable comedic timing to the show’s themes and classic moments make for an awesome series. We found out some time ago that the show would get a reboot based on a dramatic fan trailer. Bel-Air has The Fresh Prince’s approval (along with his production company backing it) and a two-season order from Peacock. (I have surprisingly been on board with this as a superfan of the original series.) Now we have a Bel-Air teaser! It’s our first glimpse into this new kid trying to claim his throne as the Prince of Bel-Air.
The Bel-Air teaser focuses solely on our new Will, portrayed by rising actor Jabari Banks. He falls into a pool of water as Will Smith does a dramatic reading of the original show’s infamous theme song. He is immersed with Jordans on and I felt a pang in my stomach when those shoes got wet. Of course, his “fresh” gear pays homage to the original Will’s trendsetting style, including a leather vest and a yellow hat worn sideways. And yes to the hi-top fade! Today’s youth are dressing a lot like we did in the ’90s. So it wouldn’t be surprising if the new Will’s fashion sense is full of consistent throwback flair.
Young Will starts to sink as remnants of his previous life float past him: basketballs, a trophy, and even an ATV. Now, he’s trying to not only swim in this new “pool” but desiring something more: a crown and throne. A gateway to figuring out who he will be in this new world. Even if he has to craft a persona to initially get through it. But it seems he will find his way quickly. The Bel-Air teaser ends with him sitting on the throne as the crown gracefully lands on his head. He’s feelin’ like Will, he feels like a prince, he’s feelin’ himself! It is surely a different vibe but I am not mad at it.
Of course, there will be trailers and a closer look at Bel-Air in the near future. The show will drop its first three episodes on February 13, 2022 with a weekly release schedule after that. But, for now, executive producers and co-showrunners T.J. Brady and Rasheed Newson give a little context about what we can expect in a press release statement.
“At its heart, Bel-Air is a coming-of-age story that celebrates the strength and love of the Black family. We have stayed true to the original premise of the legacy series – Will’s life is turned upside down after he is forced to leave West Philly and lands in Bel-Air with its gated mansions and wealth, however, our new series brings Will and the Banks family into the world as we know it now. It’s been incredible to bring these iconic characters to life when you tap them into the cultural pulse of our time. The series was the fabric of so many of our upbringings, tied to memories and the joy of seeing ourselves represented on TV so it is important to us to pay respect to its legacy.”
Bel-Air is ready to reimagine the story of a Philly boy who discovers a new life in Cali. And I will certainly be watching it.
Originally published on November 23, 2021.