So, a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reboot has been confirmed by the man himself, Will Smith. This time, the show will be a darker and dramatic take on the sitcom classic, though the story beats will remain similar. Expect characters such as Will, Uncle Philip, Aunt Viv, and Carlton to be a part of the dramatic take of the 1990’s series. Thus far, Jabari Banks – who’s confirmed to play Will on the show – is the only actor confirmed for the remake thus far. Here’s the thing, being a big fan of the original Fresh Prince of Bel-Air show in the 90s, I’m not too thrilled about the unnecessary dramatic remake. However, I’ll hold my judgment on the remake until it’s officially released. I do call the reboot unnecessary due to the fact that the 90s classic is still rewatchable today. All the important topics and themes from the original series remain timely in today’s society. There’s no denying that writer/director Morgan Cooper made a fantastic fan film teaser, thus sparking the remake. Instead of my continued whining about the Peacock original, let’s get dive deeper into what the reshoot should AVOID in order to properly separate itself from the 1990s sitcom.
Be Careful Of The Way The Reboot Characters Are Written
It’s going to be hard for the new cast to live up to the original characters from the 90s. In fact, the reason the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is so beloved is due to the colorful cast of characters. From the stern, strict, but loving Uncle Philip portrayed by the late (and great) James Avery to the know-it-all, but dorky Carlton Banks, who happens to be a huge Tom Jones fan; There’s no way that the series can replicate the magic of the original 90s cast. The dynamic and chemistry between the Bel-Air cast are off the charts good.
Comparisons will be drawn from the 90s reboot. With the remake reportedly recasting the same characters, that’s going to be very hard to ignore; however, it would be wise if the writers don’t try to replicate everything that the 90’s characters were. Obviously, the core traits of these characters will remain intact, but trying to duplicate the popular Carlton Banks dance will only spell doom for the remake. The show needs to carve its own path instead of playing the greatest hits. While many original fans won’t be a keen of the dramatic reboot, at least the goofy antics that made the show so popular in the 90s won’t be replicated here.
The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air Shouldn’t Be Too Serious
Part of the reason that the Fresh Prince of Belair was so beloved is due to how fun the series was. Yes, the show wasn’t afraid to tackle a difficult subject, but the 90s classic never lost its humor and heart. I understand wanting to differentiate from the original, but the series shouldn’t be clouded in too much darkness. It’s okay to have some humor peppered throughout the episodes while still maintaining its dramatic tone. This could end up being a fantastic television show like The Wire or Snowfall; If that’s the case then I’ll proudly apologize for trying to tell the showrunners what they should AVOID (because they’re definitely listening to a nobody from the internet); however, given the roots of the brand, The Fresh of Bel-Air should manage to maintain some sense of fun that made the original such a big hit.
The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air Reboot Shouldn’t Go Too “Woke”
I appreciate Will’s desire to dive deeper into the issues that plague the black culture. While the original did touch upon subjects such as racism, the show never truly explored these angles because it was a sitcom first. However, there are only so many times you can touch on the topics of racism, police brutality, or the experience that African Americans have to deal with. As a black man myself, I understand plenty of these experiences, but I do get tired of the repeated telling of these stories. These topics are extremely important and should be told, but this subject has been tackled countless times in regards to movies and television. Perhaps there’s a new angle that the writers will focus on. However, it’s there’s nothing new that the show can bring to the table when addressing these issues then perhaps the focus shouldn’t be on these dramatic experiences. Trying to get too “woke” can easily be a turnoff. Again, these topics are a very important subject matter but The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air shouldn’t just be about the struggles that most black men and women go through in their everyday lives.