Home » ‘Bel-Air’ Finds An Identity Far Beyond Its Beloved Predecessor

‘Bel-Air’ Finds An Identity Far Beyond Its Beloved Predecessor

by Black America Web

At its core, Bel-Air is about two things: identity and community. Initially developed by Morgan Cooper from a fan film and uploaded to YouTube, the series decided to lose much of the brevity that made the original Fresh Prince a hit and elevated Will Smith into sitcom royalty. With an entire season under its belt, Bel-Air tackled major elements of the original series, remixed a few others and asked its audience to accept it as a modern tale closer to what Benny Medina, the actual Fresh Prince saw his life turn upside down and into. It also made for weekly chatter on Twitter and Facebook even as fans questioned one unique storyline and wanted to thirst over the new Hilary and two main characters, Uncle Phil and Geoffrey.

When Bel-Air premiered last February, minor aspects of the real world emerged regarding racism, the interplay of Black “cool” and acceptance among white peers. It may have been life imitating art for the real Smith when he endured Hollywood backlash following what happened before he accepted the Oscar for Best Actor for King Richard. But, like Smith, Bel-Air operates in handling human moments, not washing them away and shrugging things off.

RELATED: Watch: Peacock’s Hit Drama Series ‘Bel-Air’ Returns With The OG Ashley Banks As A Recurring Guest Star

RELATED: ‘Bel-Air’ Shatters Peacock’s Records; Crowned Most Streamed Original Series

When we last left the Banks family with Bel-Air, doubt, and aspersion had cast a significant shadow. Philip (Adrian Holmes) had not only made an outcast out of devoted house manager Geoffrey (Jimmy Akingbola) but also of Will (Jabari Banks) due to a belief in what could ultimately be considered “right”…

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