Peacock's New Series 'Bel-Air' Will Take A Much More Nuanced Look At Will Smith's Famous 'Fresh Prince'
What if moving straight from West Philadelphia to Bel-Air, California wasn't the cakewalk it sounds like it should be?
That's the question NBC and Peacock are looking to explore in their new series, Bel-Air. Bel-Air is billed as a dramatic re-telling of the story behind Will Smith's classic 90s sitcom, set in the modern day, "a celebration of the black experience through the perspective of a family."
That's not to say that the original sitcom wasn't dramatic - for all its humor, there was tons of heart, and the series did not shy away from dealing with difficult topics such as racial inequality, class differences, and family strife. But now, with the benefit of streaming as a platform, the concept has room to expand past the little comedic bits to really look at what happens when you take a young man out of one class experience and simply drop him into another. According to Morgan Cooper, the director of the series:
"We wanted to create a show that stands on its own while honoring the spirit and innovation of the original series. Because Bel-Air is a drama, we're able to really peel back the layers of these characters and themes in a way that you simply couldn't do 30 years ago in the half-hour sitcom format. We're able to go have tough conversations that challenge perspectives."
Of course, the biggest question that must be asked is that of who will take on the daunting role of Will Smith, the iconic character that launched the now-mega-celebrity to fame. Some might wonder if attempting to fill those shoes is a wise venture, but Cooper seems confident:
"Did we ever find him. His name is Jabari Banks and he won our hearts in the same way he won this role. Our creative team, including Will Smith, recognized that Jabari embodied the talent, charisma, and sheer swagger necessary to make this iconic role his own."
Fans can see Jibari Banks try his hand at the new Fresh Prince when the show makes its way to Peacock in 2022. Watch the trailer here: