With ’90s cultural nostalgia in full swing, the potential of a “Fresh Prince” reboot was was not a matter of if, but when. However, in the age of endless TV reboots, remakes, and long-awaited continuations, not many projects have completely shifted the tone of the original. That unique twist, aided by some much beloved intellectual property, should propel “Bel-Air” to garner some early eyeballs — even if they come with raised eyebrows. Based on the viral trailer that reimagined the iconic ’90s sitcom as if it were an edgy contemporary drama, “Bel-Air” takes the story of a charismatic kid from West Philadelphia dropped into the upper echelons of Los Angeles and dials up the stakes.
The brand new trailer below teases some surprising casting choices for the familiar characters (Carlton is still short, but much more suave), and it definitely sparks intrigue.
Here’s the official synopsis: “Set in modern-day America, Peacock’s new one-hour drama series ‘Bel-Air’ imagines the beloved sitcom ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ through a new, dramatic take on Will’s complicated journey from the streets of West Philadelphia to the gated mansions of Bel-Air. As these two worlds collide, Will reckons with the power of second chances while navigating the conflicts, emotions, and biases of a world far different from the only one he’s ever known. ‘Bel-Air’ takes a fresh and raw approach to this world of swagger, style, and aspiration, while exploring Will’s complex journey through a current lens.”
Released in March 2019, the three-and-a-half-minute trailer caused an online fervor that inspired Will Smith to order two seasons from creator Morgan Cooper practically on the spot. (It has now been viewed over 7 million times.) Smith posted a reaction video praising the concept, and the next year ordered the series from Cooper.
“As funny as the episodes are, there was a whole other layer that you couldn’t do. In a one-hour drama, you could do 8-episode arcs,” Smith said at the time. “The dramatic version of these ideas means that you can use existing storylines, but it’s not going to seem like you are redoing an episode because the storyline’s going to be brand-new from a dramatic perspective.”
“Bel-Air” will premiere on Peacock on February 13 (Super Bowl Sunday) with the first three episodes at launch and new episodes released weekly. Check out the trailer below.