“Bel-Air” Season One


Graphic created using Canva.com

The “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” spin-off series, “Bel-Air”, had its first season end on March 31. The first season included 10, hour-long episodes.

Unexpected changes

“Bel-Air” completely shocked fans at the start of season one. A show that was known as a silly sitcom turned into a serious drama that included drug use, cussing, and politics. Many people at the start were skeptical of “Bel-Air” because it was nothing like the show they grew up loving.

“Bel-Air” took many risks with changes to some of the iconic characters from the original “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” series. Carlton, who was Will’s nerdy cousin, became a popular jock who struggled with a severe anxiety disorder and pressure of impressing his dad, which led him to abusing drugs. Carlton is still pretty nerdy in “Bel-Air”, but there is definitely another layer to the character that was not previously there.

The characters are more modern, but their core characteristics from the original show remain.

The show’s intensity is the least expected change. In the first episode of the season, Will was arrested for an altercation that happened in a basketball game, which led him to move to Bel-Air. More serious moments happen throughout the season, such as Carlton’s drug use and Uncle Phil talking about defunding the police in an event for his campaign.

“Bel-Air” features many changes that make it more than a “Fresh Prince”reboot. In only the first season, “Bel-Air” presents its own unique story.

Season One Overview

In the beginning of the season, Will gets in an altercation that escalates to the point a gun is involved, and Uncle Phil uses his connections to get Will out of trouble. Following the incident, Will was forced to move to Bel-Air with Uncle Phil and Aunt Vivian. In the first few episodes, the main plot covers Will adjusting to not only his new home, but his new school full of people he has a hard time relating to.

Carlton and Will’s relationship did not start off very well, as they would frequently bump heads. Will also got together with Lisa, Carlton’s ex-girlfriend, but throughout the season, their relationship slowly improved as they made an effort to better understand each other.

Will starts to settle into his new life, and his friend Trey from Philadelphia visits him. By the end of the visit, Will and Trey had a fight because Will chose to stay in Bel-Air which made Trey feel betrayed.

In the episodes leading up to the finale, Will’s father was a mystery that was constantly foreshadowed. It was first mentioned when Vy, Will’s mother, visited Will in Bel-Air. She thought he was old enough to know about his father, but when the idea was brought to Uncle Phil and Aunt Vivian, they thought it was a terrible idea, which made viewers curious.

Will was curious himself and asked Geoffrey, the family’s butler and protector, to look into his father. Geoffrey disobeyed Uncle Phil’s orders and gave Will the information. Will gave the information to Uncle Phil out of fear of how it would affect the family. Geoffrey was fired after Uncle Phil found out he disobeyed him.

In the final episode, Lou, Will’s father, visited Aunt Vivian and Uncle Phil’s house to see Will. They originally weren’t going to let Lou see Will, but after talking to him they could tell his intentions were honest. Will already knew the truth about his father, since Carlton had gone in Uncle Phil’s office and found the relevant information and showed it to Will. Will did not hold back his anger and yelled at Lou during their conversation.

The scene cuts back to their conversation, and things seem to be going well. Lou told Will stories about the places he took him as a little boy, but things went awry when Lou mentions Will’s mother. Things got heated to the point where Will and Lou got physical and had to be separated. Following this, Will packed a suitcase and vanished.

Everybody went into a panic, and Carlton went out to find Will. He was not successful, but it cuts to Will and Jazz, Will’s driver from episode one, on the same hill from episode one. Will asks Jazz if he should stay in Bel-air or go back to Philadelphia, and the episode ends.

Final Thoughts

“Bel-Air” season one brought its own unique twist to the “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” story, so it’s safe to say it delivered despite the many risks that were taken. Season one of Bel-Air left viewers with something to look forward to for the future of the series.