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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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 13 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Will Smith / ... (148 episodes, 1990-1996)
...
 Philip Banks / ... (148 episodes, 1990-1996)
...
 Carlton Banks / ... (148 episodes, 1990-1996)
...
 Ashley Banks / ... (148 episodes, 1990-1996)
...
 Hilary 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 (49 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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Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 September 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Prinz von Bel-Air  »

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

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: Papa's Got a Brand New Excuse (1994) is claimed to be the most emotional episode, due to the fact of how Will Smith felt about his relationship with his father, both in the show and in reality. Although his real-life father was there for him growing up, Will had a lot of friends who never knew their fathers, and his emotions in the final scene came from thinking of all his friends who never had a father in their lives. His hug with James Avery was known to be a hug from man to man, and not them being in character. It is the highest rated episode of the entire series and to have a rating higher than 9. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Phillip Banks: [about Will] Did you see the way he was dressed?
Vivian Banks: What's wrong with it?
Phillip Banks: You hear that language?
Vivian Banks: We used slang when we were kids! Do you remember our first date? You took one look at me and said, "That is a *bad* dress!" You could've just said it was a good dress.
Phillip Banks: I could have, if I liked it. Actually, it *was* a *bad* dress!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown as graffiti. See more »


Soundtracks

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Written by Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff
Performed by Will Smith
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Still fresh after all these years
5 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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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