Even if you’re not a ’90s kid, it’s unlikely you haven’t heard of the’ The Prince of Bel-Air ‘sitcom that revealed star Will Smith. The youngest will however have the opportunity to catch up with his reboot entitled “Bel-Air”, whose first teaser has been released.
The prince of Bel-Air : cult series with Will Smith
In 1990, musical manager Benny Medina presented the famous Quincy Jones (the legendary producer of Michael Jackson) with a TV series project inspired by his own life. Indeed, Medina lived in great poverty in the difficult districts of Los Angeles, until the day when he befriended a rich teenager in the suburbs of Beverly Hills. Subsequently, he came to live with them, and his entire existence was turned upside down. However, for this series, Medina absolutely wanted to change certain things, in particular the fact that a poor black man was going to live with a white and rich family. Concept that he considered overused and already used in the past (cf. Arnold & Willy), he therefore wished that the rich white family be replaced by a rich black family. Thus was born the project The prince of Bel-Air.
For his headliner, Quincy Jones calls on a promising young rapper named Will Smith, and nicknamed The Fresh Prince. Until now, the artist had never shot in front of a camera. However, he obtains the confidence of Jones and Medina following his hearing. Thus The prince of Bel-Air begins in 1990, with the incredible success that we know him. A triumph that even leads NBC to change its mind about its possible cancellation at the end of season 3, following a huge petition from fans who put pressure on the channel.
I have to say that The prince of Bel-Air is probably one of the most representative sitcoms of the 90s: an essential credits, a hilarious humor embodied by Will Smith and questionable clothing.
The news of a reboot was therefore surprising, as the original series is totally anchored in its time. However, in view of the teaser, this new show is keen to move away from its basic material.
The Dark Prince?
As a reminder, Bel-Air is produced by Will Smith himself. This idea came to him after watching a short film that offered a much darker and more modern reinterpretation of the series in which he played for 6 years. Therefore, the teaser is perfectly consistent with the attempt of its producer to operate a much darker version of the Prince.
We thus see the new Will Smith (played here by Jabari Banks) who finds himself immersed in the bottom of a swimming pool, on a voice-over which recites the verses of the old credits. At the bottom of the water floats around him trophies, sneaker balls and other objects that we had already seen throughout the original series. The young man then lingers on a throne that lies in the depths of the water. He sits there, while that a crown is placed on his head.
In view of the voice-over and references to the show of the 90s (the cap and the yellow sneakers, his seat, a throne like Will Smith in the cult credits), this new series will try to put something new, while respecting this that has been done in the past. However, the tone of this Bel-Air new version will be more dramatic than ever, exploring more deeply prejudices and existential conflicts that the sitcom could not reasonably address. The approach may put off die-hard fans of the early hours, but it is devilishly interesting to follow.
Bel-Air will be broadcast on Peacock, a streaming service that has gotten used to resuscitating old shows in recent years, as we have seen with Punky brewster and Saved by Gong. We must wait until the year 2022 to discover the result.