‘Bel-Air’ Makes 1 Edgy Change From Will Smith ‘Fresh Prince’ Story

Ever since Will Smith announced a dramatic reboot of his sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, fans have been wondering how different the Peacock series would be. You could watch Morgan Cooper’s original short that landed him the deal, but Peacock has now released the full trailer introducing the new Banks family. Among many differences, there’s one drastic addition to the basketball court fight that prompts Will’s move from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the first place. 

'Bel-Air' Uncle Phil Adrian Holmes holds a basketball and speaks to Jabari Banks as Will
L-R: Jabari Banks and Adrian Holmes | Greg Gayne/Peacock

Will pulls a gun in the basketball court fight in ‘Bel-Air’

Just shootin’ some B-ball outside of the school when a couple of guys, they were up to no good, started making trouble in my neighborhood,” Smith’s original Fresh Prince of Bel-Air lyrics state. “I got in one little fight and my mom got scared. She said, ‘You’re moving with your auntie and uncle in Bel-Air.’”

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Peacock’s Bel-Air dramatizes the fight on the basketball court that prompts the move. A stray ball hits a tough guy on the sidelines who starts the fight. But, Will (Jabari Banks) pulls a gun out of his backpack. That’s quite a bit more serious than the comedic roughhousing the sitcom portrayed in its opening titles. But, it gets more intense. 

Will has another secret

As the trailer continues, Will arrives in Bel-Air and meets his cousins. As they welcome will to Bel-Air, many of them allude to a bigger secret he’s keeping. Carlton (Olly Sholoton) says, “I hope one day we can talk about why you’re really here.” Even Uncle Phil (Adrian Holmes)’s first words are, “I’m glad you’re safe. We’ll talk later.” 

Geoffrey (Jimmy Akingbola), now referred to as house manager instead of butler, has Will’s file. He knows the whole story about the basketball court fight, but the antagonist isn’t going to let it go. 

“Now some bad man from Philly, he want to deal with you,” Geoffrey says. In the jail cell, this antagonist makes a gunshot gesture with his fingers. 

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Uncle Phil says to tell people Will came to Bel-Air for his education. Later, he expresses his frustrations to Aunt Viv (Cassandra Freeman). “Why are we working so hard to save a boy who doesn’t want to be saved?” Phil asks. Aunt Viv responds, “Because we owe it to him.”

A few more subtle differences enuse. Will and Carlton play lacrosse as their extra-curricular sport. Phil also leads a step team in one scene. 

How many episodes is ‘Bel-Air’ and where to watch

There will be 10 hour-long episodes in the first season of Bel-Air. The first three premiere on Peacock Feb. 13 after the Super Bowl. The other seven drop weekly. Peacock already committed to two seasons of Bel-Air so the plot will thicken in season 2.

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