Bel-Air, the dramatic reimagining of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, has just come out and I, for one, have been really excited to see how they reworked the iconic '90s series.
I always loved the originality and playfulness of TFPOB, and there were countless dramatic moments, so there's plenty of material for this new show. Here’s my internal monologue as I watched episode one:
1. The screen's still black but the music is starting, with a voiceover: "Now I want y'all to tell me something. What's a king without a crown?" Good question, disembodied voice.
2. What song is this? I wonder if it’ll become the show’s theme tune.
3. Oooh, they kept the throne and graffiti imagery from the original show's intro. This definitely has a cool dramatic vibe, I like how the graffiti lights up in time with the music. As TFPOB Will used to say, "Your prince is in effect."
4. Will’s mum is brilliant, mine probably wouldn’t know what I was on about if I said "G.O.A.T" or "hits different".
5. I'm assuming Tray is an adaptation of Ice Tray from TFPOB – I'm loving these parallels!
6. Good grades, good at basketball – Will really has it all. Is he as charming as OG Will though, because he was super endearing from the get-go.
7. “Your crown is waiting as soon as you find the courage to wear it.” Damn, Vy is a wordsmith, we love a supportive mum.
8. Who’s this rude guy? He looks like trouble… Okay, so his name's Darnell and he’s insulting Will and Tray for no reason, what's his problem??
9. "Are you trying to catch a gun charge?" I'm asking the same thing, Will.
10. Will is seriously good at basketball, which is really useful in this tense showdown.
11. Will, don’t taunt Darnell, he really doesn't look like the forgiving type!
12. Darnell is a coward for throwing the ball and running off like that. I guess this is another TFPOB reference – originally, Will's ball hit a guy by accident and that caused the fight.
13. Don’t punch Rashad when he's already angry! This is escalating quickly...
14. Surprise, surprise – now a full-on fight’s starting, this is gonna end badly.
15. I knew a gun wouldn't lead to anything good.
16. The police turned up so quickly, jeez.
17. And the officer yelling “stop resisting” when Will's already on the ground not moving... Sigh.
18. I’m glad they expanded on the fight and exactly why Will had to leave immediately. In the OG Fresh Prince, there was never much info on why his mum shipped him off to his aunt and uncle so suddenly.
19. Oh, here's the new logo! I like that they put a crown in the middle of Bel-Air in place of a hyphen!
20. Now Will's in a taxi on the way to Bel-Air. I never make this much conversation with taxi drivers lol, but I’m glad this guy is friendly.
21. That view is incredible, it was nice of the driver to stop so Will could look.
22. I’m loving the soundtrack so far, I need to look up some of these songs! I love the new theme, "Deja Vu (feat. TYuS)" by Easy McCoy!
23. That house is faaaaaancy. Damn indeed! It's no surprise, the Banks' mansion was always lush in The Fresh Prince.
24. Ahhh the driver is Jazz! I guess they switched up his role for the reboot. I wonder if Uncle Phil will ever throw him out of the front door?
25. Geoffrey is the house manager instead of the butler, which makes sense because barely anyone has butlers anymore (not that many houses have managers, either).
26. Aunt Viv was always one of the most iconic characters of the original, I bet she’ll be great here too.
27. Ooh, an OG theme song reference! Vivian asks if he's okay. Will's response? “I got into a little fight, my mom got scared.”
28. Uncle Phil is running for district attorney, he must be a hot-shot lawyer.
29. And Hilary’s an influencer, which is very fitting for her.
30. "Let's find you some clothes fit for a prince" – another royal reference!
31. “Carlton bought some suits for this growth spurt that never happened” RIP Carlton lol.
32. Will does scrub up well – I'm really feeling that suit!
33. The donors look so awkward talking to Will. Uncle Phil looks kind of tensed up too, is he resistant to Will being there?
34. Ayyyy it’s Ashley! She was always the least dramatic, but still one of the best characters in the original. I hope she gets some good storylines here.
35. “Aside from global warming and the polarised political climate in this country, fantastic.” What an absolute mood, Ashley.
36. Erm, wasn’t Lisa one of Will's girlfriends in the original? Why is she here in the first episode?
37. Oh yeah, they almost got married! I wonder what happened to her in TFPOB?
38. Oof there’s some serious tension between Lisa and Carlton... This is new!
39. Carlton is being so shady to Will man, chill out!
40. $500 cufflinks? Oh, they’re RICH rich.
41. That donor squeezing Will’s shoulder is seriously pushing boundaries.
42. Now some real talk with Uncle Phil, although I think he’s being way too harsh. He's assuming Will's a troublemaker without even getting to know him, and pretty forcefully implying he doesn't even want his nephew there.
43. Poor Tray, he sounds so panicked on this phone call. I hope Rashad doesn't hurt him.
44. Jazz is back! Although Will running away probably isn’t a good idea.
45. Well that didn’t go well…
46. I get that Phil is trying to keep Will out of trouble, but he’s being pretty hostile about it.
47. Good on Vivian for standing up for Will.
48. Phil really has to stop worrying about how Will might affect his precious campaign. I sense a storyline here...
49. Will’s mum really is lovely, she calls to check in and clearly wants what's best for him.
50. Ooh Hilary's a cook, I like that they rounded out her character so she’s not as ditzy as the OG.
51. More sibling shade from Carlton. There’s nothing wrong with Hilary taking a gap year!
52. Oh that’s why Lisa and Carlton had tension – she’s his ex.
53. Oh God, not the white kids singing the n-word…
54. Will and Carlton are definitely gonna be rivals in this show, probably even more so than in the original.
55. Vivian is definitely the voice of reason, although I don’t think people should have to change themselves a ton just to fit in.
56. Carlton’s snorting drugs?!
57. Which apparently is Xanax... Ummmm sure, Jan.
58. So all Will took from Vivian’s talk about adapting was “pretend to be cool with Carlton”?
59. Wiiiiiill stop flirting with your cousin’s ex, dude. They do seem to have a good bond though.
60. Wait, Carlton just said “let me do my drugs in peace”. So yeah, definitely not Xanax.
61. Connor is a crappy friend and a grade-A douchebag as far as I can tell.
62. Welp Carlton’s on the rampage, why did he push Will in the pool – his ex’s life is none of his business!
63. Ughhh he’s so self-centered, why would Lisa be flirting just to make him jealous?
64. Ooh the throne and crown from the beginning are in the pool, nice callback!
65. It's lucky Lisa was there to save Will from drowning. Her Olympic-level swimming skills came in handy.
66. Loooll Connor went down so quickly when Will punched him, and that’s called karma.
67. The song Will and his teammates were singing after their basketball game is playing in the credits! That's a cool detail, I love how they used music to punctuate what was happening throughout.
68. That was a lot! But I like what they’ve done with the show.
69. I was wary because adaptations and reboots don’t always hit the mark, but this one really captured the spirit of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, while adding depth to the plot and characters.
What do you think of Bel-Air so far? Let us know in the comments!
Bel-Air is now streaming on Peacock and exclusively on Sky/NOW every Friday.