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...
As members of the Banks family and Geoffrey prepare for their moves, Will tries to pretend that he also has big plans for moving forward. After admitting the truth, Will makes a decision to stay in ...
Will is run down with work, school, and his girlfriend, and has trouble staying awake. He decides to take amphetamines to help him. Carlton asks will for vitamins and Will accidentally gives him the ...
Al Bundy is a misanthropic women's shoe salesman with a miserable life. He hates his job, his wife is lazy, his son is dysfunctional (especially with women), and his daughter is dim-witted and promiscuous.
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>
Real-life game show host Bob Eubanks appeared in an episode as a game show host on the fictitious game show titled 'Double Trouble' where Will, Carlton, and Jazz were all contestants trying to win a Corvette. See more »
In many of the early episodes you can see Will Smith mouthing the words of his co-stars before his lines come up. See more »
[after being scolded by Will for being selfish]
You know what your problem is?
No, I don't...
You're a slacker. You say you want things but you're never willing to work for it! You never make the sacrifice. You think you're just gonna charm your way through; just like your father!
Let me tell you something. I am *nothing* like my father, all right?
See more »
Janet Hubert-Whitten was credited simply as Janet Hubert during the first three episodes. During that time, the theme song was its full uncut version. From episode 4 onward the theme song was reduced by one verse and the "-Whitten" was added to Janet's credit. See more »
I like to think of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" as a memorable rap song from a time when it wasn't afraid to be creative or witty. Think of a song by Public Enemy, De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, or hell, even The Fresh Prince's duo with DJ Jazzy Jeff (who guest stars frequently as Jazz), as the two were known back in rap's Golden Age as DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince.
Of course, this show flourished during a time when rap was still good, and I can't help but make comparisons to the hip-hop community. There is no question that Will Smith is a born entertainer, and he got his break in stardom outside of hip-hop with "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." In it, Will Smith pretty much plays Will Smith (I bet creators Andy and Susan Borowitz had a lot of difficulty thinking up that name), a Philadelphia ghetto youth who gets shipped out by his mother to the posh excess of Bel-Air to live with relatives - The Banks.
Once out there, he finds rivalry with cousins - the preppy Carlton and airheaded would-be blonde Hilary Banks (Alfonso Ribiero and Karyn Parsons), young cousin Ashley (Tatyana M. Ali) emulates Will's hip-hop attitude, and Aunt Vivian (alternately played by actresses Janet Hubert-Whitten and Daphne Maxwell Reid) keeps husband and successful lawyer Uncle Phil's (James Avery) head cool when Will gets into trouble. To keep everything tidy and in order, their loyal, sarcastic British butler Geoffrey (Joseph Marcell) is there too.
It's still fresh after all these years. It never fails to stir up careful, thoughtful, moving, and intelligent laughs from the viewer and I'm surprised I avoided it for so long. (Why do I do this to myself all the time?)
The acting is cool and fresh by all, especially from Smith, and the ladies of the house, Karyn and Tatyana, are both pretty cute to look at too.
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