‘Bel-Air’ trailer debuts a brand new fresh prince

Bel-Air Peacock
Jabari Banks in 'Bel-Air' (Image credit: Peacock)

Bel-Air is going to be a very different story than its predecessor, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, based on the first official trailer for the new Peacock series. The original ‘90s TV show starring Will Smith was a full-fledged comedy, but Bel-Air has reimagined the well-known story as a drama; a choice that looks to be quite promising from this first good look at the new show ahead of its Feb. 13 premiere on Peacock; it will debut in February on Sky/NOW in the U.K.

Will Smith famously rapped the concept of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in the sitcom’s theme song, but here’s the basics: A teenager from West Philadelphia gets into some trouble with a local gang and moves out to Bel-Air with his uncle, aunt and cousins for a chance at a better life. The culture clash of the street-wise Will and his wealthy relatives living among the California elite made for a lot of the original show’s comedy. That basic premise remains, but Bel-Air is exploring it from a dramatic angle.

Here is the official synopsis:

“Set in modern-day America, Bel-Air is a serialized one-hour dramatic analogue of the 90’s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air that leans into the original premise: Will’s complicated journey from the streets of West Philadelphia to the gated mansions of Bel-Air. With a reimagined vision, Bel-Air will dive deeper into the inherent conflicts, emotions and biases that were impossible to fully explore in a 30-minute sitcom format, while still delivering swagger and nods to the original show.”

The trailer captures the ambitious scope that Bel-Air is going for, how the show will mine some of its drama and, overall, is an exciting intro to the series reboot. Watch the full trailer below.

Bel-Air stars newcomer Jabari Banks as Will, Adrian Holmes as Phillip Banks, Cassandra Freeman as Vivian Banks, Olly Sholotan as Carlton Banks, Coco Jones as Hilary Banks, Akira Akbar as Ashley Banks, Jimmy Akingbola as Geoffrey and Jordan L. Jones as Jazz. Bel-Air was conceived by Morgan Cooper as a YouTube short film, with him now serving as a co-writer, director and executive producer on the show; working alongside co-showrunners T.J. Brady and Rasheed Newsome. Original star Will Smith is also on board as an executive producer.

This isn’t the first time that Peacock has tried to reboot a classic NBC property. The streaming service has released two seasons of a Saved by the Bell sequel series, has a series about popular SNL character MacGruber and an upcoming adaptation of Queer as Folk. However, with the fresh approach that Bel-Air is taking, it could be the marquee Peacock original series the streamer has been searching for.

If you’re going to want to watch Bel-Air, you will need a subscription to Peacock. As a Peacock original, Bel-Air will only be available to watch for Peacock Premium subscribers. Consumers can choose between either the $4.99 per month ad-supported plan or the $9.99 per month ad-free plan.

Again, Bel-Air will premiere on Feb. 13. The original The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air series, meanwhile, is available to stream on HBO Max

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.