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The A&T Register

The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register


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“Bel-Air” takes a new spin on The Fresh Prince


The Peacock original series, “Bel-Air” has gained a lot of attention after the show’s premiere this past February. 

The show stars Jabari Banks as the main character, Will Smith, and is a modern spin-off of the original series “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” starring Will Smith.

Bel-Air was developed by Morgan Cooper, Malcolm Spellman, TJ Brady and Rashad Newsom after Cooper’s short fan film of the same name was published on YouTube in 2019.

The premise of the series remains true to the original show as Will is forced to move from West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Bel-Air, California with his Aunt Vivian and Uncle Philip Banks. The difference is, Bel-Air is not a comedy in the same fashion as “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”

The story is more developed as the show covers more dramatic and current themes such as teenage drug abuse, social media platforms and political ideas like defunding the police.

“It’s what really made sense to me,” said Bel-Air’s creator Morgan Cooper in an interview with Indiwire. “And you think of Will’s origin story… the question I asked was, ‘What would that real-life scenario look like?’”

The cast includes Hollywood names such as “Let It Shine” actress Coco Jones as Hillary and “Captain Marvel” actress Akira Akbar as Ashley. Other names include Adrian Holmes, Cassandra Freeman and Olly Sholotan.

“So far my favorite character would have to be Hillary,” sophomore kinesiology student Sanaa Rushing said. “I love her style and how determined she is when it comes to getting her goals accomplished.”

The series has received mixed reviews and has been given a 66% rating on Rotten Tomatoes from critic ratings and a 74% rating from user ratings.

“Growing up, I always watched the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air with my siblings so when I heard there was going to be a reboot, I was very excited to watch,” Rushing said. “I’m so glad they did not ruin the concept of the show. Most of the time when there is a reboot, it’s not that good; however, this new ‘Bel-Air’ is a great revamp of the original.”

Because of the more serious spin on the show, some viewers miss the comedic relief the old series had to offer. 

“The show is suspenseful and the storyline is very intriguing and is written so well,” junior kinesiology student Malachi Smithen said. “I do enjoy the show, but I also miss the comedy aspect of the show.”

The last episode of the season will be available on Thursday, March 31, on the streaming service Peacock.


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