‘Fresh Prince’ Returns to Bel Air in Dramatic Reboot

Gabriella Tapia' 25, Staff Reporter

“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” was a show that allowed viewers to see into the life of a young man named Will who is from the streets of Philadelphia and is sent to live in the rich neighborhood of Bel-Air, located in Southern California.

Will moves in with his Uncle Phil and Aunt Viv and their children: Hilary, Carlton, and Ashley, after his mother begins to worry about him getting involved with “the wrong crowd.”

The show starred Will Smith as Will, Alfonso Riberio as Carlton, Tatyana Ali as Hilary, James Avery as Uncle Phil, and Karyn Parsons and Jane Hubert as Aunt Viv. The show impacted a whole generation of people who are still fans to this day, including our Dean of Academics, Nate Simon ’99.

The new cast for the highly anticipated reboot series. (PeacockTV.com)

Simon cited how it gave city kids a new perspective on life by saying, “As kids, it was fun to talk about it, and it gave a group of people a different perspective on a collision of the rich and inner-city life.”

As of September of 2020, the reboot was announced. The official synopsis, according to Peacock TV, is, “Set in modern- day America, ‘Bel-Air’ is described as a serialized one-hour dramatic analogue of the sitcom version that leans into the original premise: Will’s complicated journey from the streets of West Philadelphia to the gated mansions of Bel-Air.”

Rather than having the original actors in the reboot, Peacock decided on a new cast: Jabari Banks as Will, Adrian Holmes as Uncle Phil, Cassandra Freeman as Aunt Viv, Coco Jones as Hilary, Olly Sholotan as Carlton, and Akira Akbar as Ashley. Will Smith, Chris Collins, and Morgan Cooper will be executive producers. Additionally, Collins and Cooper will be co-writers, with Cooper being the director, too.

Simon commented on if he thought the reboot would live up to the original show and confidently said, “No, nothing can be as good
as it.”

“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” was and is a time capsule of the
aesthetic of the 90s and it was so prevalent that it still has an impact on the generation that grew up with the show. It was so prevalent, that even Simon knows the show’s signature dance move, The Carlton Dance. More importantly, does he know how to do it? He responded, “Yes, I do, but I won’t do it right here!”