Sunday, February 5, 2023

The Fresh Prince’s Fresh Start in ‘Bel-Air’

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Jabari Banks, left, as Will and Jordan L. Jones as Jazz in “Bel-Air.” Photo/Peacock/TNS

By: Christopher Machine, Reporter

Will Smith returns to a familiar scene this year with the re-imagining of a show he previously starred in, “Bel-Air.” This time, Smith’s place is behind the camera as one of the show’s executive producers. It is a reboot of the original sitcom from 1990.

Taking place in current time, “Bel-Air” follows the story of Will Smith, played by Jabari Banks, transitioning from the streets of West Philadelphia into the Banks household. “Bel-Air” strives to give a more realistic retelling of Will’s adventure compared to their original show in the 90’s, changing the tone from sitcom comedy to a more serious one. 

No longer do we hear the laughing track and studio audience because the viewers now watch it themselves with their own laughs. Taking a nostalgic audio track away from the show.

The reboot does not have the same feel as the original because it was made to be a drama instead of a comedy sitcom. A good representation of the change from comedy to drama is Will’s cousin, Carlton. In “Bel-Air,” Carlton is popular and the star player of the lacrosse team as opposed to his more geeky demeanor in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. 

The show starts off with sixteen-year-old Will Smith playing basketball. A conflict happens at the court, which leads to Will grabbing someone’s gun and firing it into the air. Will gets arrested, but escapes the situation because he is given the opportunity to go to Bel-Air.

When I watched this it was not something I could really laugh about because it is so serious. The drama does make it a little interesting to watch and it keeps me on the edge of my seat, though the comedy from its predecessor will be missed.  “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” kept the show engaging with dramatic scenes in a comedical series, whereas BelAir will try to do the opposite.

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