The new show Bel-Air is a masterpiece

Addy Cousins

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The cover for the show Bel-Air with main character Will Smith

I have only ever watched a few episodes of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, but when the first ad for the remake, Bel-Air, came across my screen, I was compelled to watch at least the first episode—I am thrilled I did.

I didn’t pause to look into the show. I randomly decided to turn it on, and I was ready for a darker take on the old show. I was pleasantly surprised that the new Will Smith, Jabari Banks, kept the loving and funny character I had in mind alive amidst the darker messages the show portrays. 

The first episode alone deals with the heavy subject matter of drug use, gangs, prison, and racism. They show the real reason Will was sent to live with his aunt and uncle. The show gets real very quickly, and I was enthralled in the drama for the full hour the first episode was on. 

Though I can’t relate to the show, the characters are still very relatable. Carlton Banks—played by Olly Sholotan—fits the stereotype of a middle child more than I have ever seen prior in Hollywood. I also found Lisa, portrayed by Simone Joy Jones, to be an intriguing character. She is a strong female character I can see myself looking up to. I also loved the older sister, Hilary Banks—played by Coco Jones—because she is another clear female icon. I was invested in almost every character in this show. 

Additionally, I appreciate the connections the characters share. Will and his best friend, Tray Melbert— Stevonte Hart—are the definition of friendship goals; they live miles apart but check in on one another regularly. I was also in awe of the companionship between Will and Jazz (Jordan L. Jones). They connect over the car ride home from the airport, and they keep in touch throughout the show. He is Will’s first friend in L.A., and they are so real with one another, it makes me one hundred percent support their growing friendship. I was enthralled by every connection the characters make in the show because they are so real. Hilary and her mother, portrayed by Cassandra Freeman, have very common and relatable mother-daughter arguments and still show they love each other. 

I await the chance to watch more of Will Smith as he learns how to grab his crown and become the prince of Bel-Air.”

The characters and their relationships are a great aspect of the show, but another key factor is the plot. I was invested in the story arc from the very beginning, and I found myself clinging to my blanket at every suspenseful moment. I appreciate how faithful the story is to the plot and characters. There are many integral parts of the show I wholeheartedly enjoyed. 

I am also absolutely obsessed with the background music as it fits the teen audience and Will’s character so perfectly. I am hoping to make an entire Spotify playlist dedicated to Bel-Air. The rap music beat is perfect for creating suspense or for hyping up the viewers. I couldn’t be more impressed with a soundtrack.

With the characters, the relationships, the plot, and the music, Bel-Air was an astounding addition to the growing list of Peacock TV shows. I await the chance to watch more of Will Smith as he learns how to grab his crown and become the Prince of Bel-Air.