The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990–1996)

TV Series  -   -  Comedy
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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...

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Title: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990–1996)

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6   5   4   3   2   1  
1996   1995   1994   1993   … See all »
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 13 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 William 'Will' Smith / ... (148 episodes, 1990-1996)
...
 Philip Banks / ... (148 episodes, 1990-1996)
...
 Carlton Banks / ... (148 episodes, 1990-1996)
...
 Hilary Banks / ... (148 episodes, 1990-1996)
...
 Ashley Banks / ... (148 episodes, 1990-1996)
...
 Geoffrey Butler / ... (148 episodes, 1990-1996)
...
 Vivian Banks / ... (75 episodes, 1993-1996)
...
 Vivian Banks (74 episodes, 1990-1996)
...
 Nicky Banks / ... (50 episodes, 1994-1996)
...
 Jazz / ... (47 episodes, 1990-1996)
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Storyline

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 <sricher@sympatico.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

10 September 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El príncipe del rap  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(148 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Will Smith's future wife 'Jada Pinkett-Smith' auditioned for a role of his girlfriend, Lisa, on his show, but was told she was too short. See more »

Goofs

In the episode where Hilary poses for Playboy, Hilary's strap-on mic is visible on the back of her red dress when she, Will, and Carlton first enter the Playboy party. It is gone in subsequent scenes. See more »

Quotes

Philip Banks: When the press hears about this they're going to have a field day.
Judge Robertson: Oh, I hope so. This is just the beginning. You know, I was looking through your police file, and bingo! Up pops your nephew. Parking tickets up the ying-yang. So I busted his bony butt. Pretty good, eh?
Philip Banks: Excuse me?
Judge Robertson: Oh wake up, knucklehead. You're in the big leagues now. I may be old, I may be senile, and I haven't been able to find my car for the past half hour, but I can beat you in a political campaign any day. You're dead meat...
See more »

Crazy Credits

For a couple of episodes, the show was entitled 'The Fresh Prince of Philadelphia???' for when Will decided to stay in Philly. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Conan: Hooray for Scabies (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Written by Will Smith and Jeffrey A. Townes
Performed by Will Smith
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

My all-time favourite TV series
10 September 2003 | by (Ottawa, Ontario) – See all my reviews

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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