The Banks family, a respectable Californian family, take in a relative - Will Smith, a street-smart teenager from Philadelphia. The idea is to make him respectable, responsible and mature, but Will has got other plans...
A teenaged genius deals with the usual problems of growing up: having a girlfriend, going to parties, hanging out with his best friend, all this on top of being a licensed physician in a ... See full summary »
Neil Patrick Harris,
When Will, an inner-city teenager from Philly is sent by his mother to live with his relatives (the Banks') in Bel-Air, everybody is in for a surprise. It is funny how influence can go both ways... Written by
Steve Richer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
May have been the first TV series saved from cancellation by pleas from TV-station managers. The show aired its 1990-1994 episodes in syndication after the fourth season while running the fifth season on network. At the end of that season, NBC wanted to pull the plug because the new episodes were getting a mediocre 8.6 rating. But the reruns were drawing a 7.4, extremely good for an ad-hoc collection of shows you've seen three or four times, and the managers of the local stations thought they might have one of those "phenom" series where people religiously watch their favorite episodes and a lot of them. To avoid over-running the shows they already had (about a hundred, already run three times), the station managers agreed to buy the fifth and sixth seasons at a greatly inflated price (adding 50 more shows to their libraries and helping avoid burning out the audiences) - meaning NBC would NOT lose money by picking up the show after all. See more »
When Carlton spends the weekend in Compton, Will tells Vivian and she becomes very upset. In one shot she takes an earring out of her ear but a few shots later Phil tells her to put her earring back in and the missing earring has switched sides. See more »
Of all the shows, I believe that "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" is the one with which I can most identify with, since I have surely seen every single episode at least a dozen times - and yet it STILL never gets tired! I cannot get sick of this show, and it's making me a bit disturbed! Just what is it that makes this show so continually appealing, even around seven years since its final episode? I'm not sure...it's certainly not just one element. Every part of this show is magic: the wonderful acting from all involved; the witty (and often painfully hysterical) one-liners and banter between characters; the hip, cool atmosphere; the music...it all perfectly fits into what has to be one of the most remarkable and well-made sitcoms of the '90s.
I find myself shocked sometimes at the number of people who have totally forgotten about this show. Granted, it DID end in 1996, and obviously a lot has happened since then (most notably the skyrocketing music & film career of a certain lead star), but I mean, come on! This show is an undisputed classic! Who can forget the wild, crazy, and just plain amusing adventures we've had with Will Smith and the Banks family?
There were times when I was just addicted to this show, I remember...it was a while back when the episodes were running in syndication every evening on TBS SuperStation...I can't believe how this show can always manage to crack me up. It's incredible. I've grown to love all these characters so much, and even now, I still wouldn't pass up an opportunity to watch yet another priceless rerun.
I agree, though, that yes, a lot of the late, LATE episodes (around the second-last and final season) had their fair share of groans, and showed some glaring signs of tedium, but thankfully, the overwhelming positive qualities of the series tower over such minor flaws - including the mysterious re-casting of Aunt Vivian's role from Janet Hubert-Whitten to Daphne Maxwell Reid; the increasingly old-hat shtick of using the same stock footage whenever Jazz gets thrown out of the Banks residence for the umpteenth time; the cursed addition of a new cast member - little Nicky Banks (Ross Bagley), etc....
It's not an entirely perfect show, certainly (but then - what show is?), and it has had its fair share of ups and downs in its moderately impressive run of six years. However, when all is said and done, in the end, this show can proudly stand on its own as a pop culture treasure. It has evolved from what seemed initially to be an awkward, cheesy, quaint little '80s/'90s Cosby rip-off to a mature, slick, and fabulously written/produced/directed program. Pure gold is what this show is.
A truly underrated, and always entertaining, gem. "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" is one for the ages.
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