Fresh Outta '90s: Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

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[SING]“Now this is a story all about how
My life got flipped turned upside down
And I'd like to take a minute
Just sit right there
I'll tell you how I became the prince of a town called Bel-Air……”

Do those lyrics ring a bell? I just can’t get them out of my head. For those of us who enjoyed our childhood in the ‘90s, I bet you agree with me. That was the theme song for the show ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'. A comedy show that has stood the taste of time and has managed to live through all generations; from the baby boomers to the now Generation-Z. Yes, it is still cracking up my 12-year old cousin!

Honestly, I enjoy the ear consumption of this theme, it is quite pleasant and brings back the fond memories of the ‘90s. Everyone was addicted to this song back then.

Here is the full theme song, listen to it, and start your nostalgic journey to the ‘90s:


The Fresh stint of Nostalgia

I was just a kid then; I remember clearly watching this show with my parents late at night on Nickelodeon…ooh such nostalgia. I would watch and re-watch the episodes while playing my Game Boy.

What is it with the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air that makes it stick with people? Is it because Will Smith was starring in the show?

The show features, Will Smith, who is a street smart boy, born and raised in West Philadelphia. When playing basketball in the street, Will misses a shot and the ball hits a group of gang members, triggering a brawl that scares his mother, who sends him to stay with his wealthy aunt and uncle in the lavish Bel-Air neighborhood of Los Angeles.

The change of environment comes with a culture shock, where Will is seen style of living is seen to clash with the aunties in amusing ways. It is said that the concept of the show is based on the true story of the producer Benny Medina.

Real estate mogul Jeff Pollack partnered with Benny medina to make this show, which was based on Medina’s real-life experiences. Medina grew up in East LA, but his world changed when he became friends with a rich teenager whose family lived in Beverly Hills and invited Medina to live with them.

What made the show gut my emotions was the fact that Medina was speaking the story of his life in a comedic way. In order to enact Medina, they required a young music type, sweet, likable, funny, and good at heart character. Will Smith really was a perfect fit for that.

The first Prince of Bel-air début in 1990. The show was a massive success back in the ‘90s. Almost all the conflicts from the show were generated from Will’s young hip street-wise ways coming into conflict with the Banks family and their upper-class livelihood.

The show exited my interest because I could really relate to the storyline. Especially when Will was seen hitting on some girls, and the crafty money-making schemes of Will and Carlton that usually went awry. More than once the duo will try to fix the mess through dance.

I consider Uncle Phil (Philip Banks) as one of the crankiest o all TV dads. He is incredibly wealthy, and really fit the character with his aunty Vivian Banks.

The most interesting thing about the show was its ability to bring in some serious storyline, but sill makes you laugh while at it. Like the scene where Will took a bullet for Carlton. Will dealt with the issue of being shot in his humorous way, while Carlton takes it hard. The experience made Carlton start carrying a gun.

Another inspiring part of the show is when Will’s father shows up after 14 years. It was so touching and was rumored to have been inspired by Will Smith’s real-life experience. The scene was written by Will, it was very moving when will breaks down crying.

Carlton Banks on the other hand came when black nerds were becoming a thing. The phenomena of the black nerds were the in-thing at that time. Carlton was the geeky guy who always followed the rules, he was a complete opposite of Will and his urban gangster flavor. But after his interaction with Will, he changed and became more active.

I would compare the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air with the Cosby Show. They were both thrilling comedy shows. One line that has never got out of my head was by Will to Carlton, he said “Rosses are red, violets are blue, Jazz and I are black but Carlton what are you?! I can’t stop laughing at this. Well, the real gist of the show was the dynamics between Will and Carlton Banks. At the start of the season, Carlton is seen as an antagonist to Will, but towards the end of the show, they regard each other as brothers they never had.
Do you remember Carlton’s happy dance? There is a reason why this dance became a thing that people remember even 20 years down the line, it was just funny. The dance made rounds on YouTube with people trying to enact it, I wasn’t left behind, I took part in the dance back then! Carlton was like the yin and yang of Will. He was a dorky but likable character which was the opposite of Will's cool guy attitude. The contrast led them to spend some humorous time together.

There is a certain energy that Will Smith brings to every project he does. Even if you are watching a bad Will Smith movie, his presence in the film is always positive, look at After Earth! Will smith was always present in this show and brought his A-game from his music career. This rubbed off to other characters in the show and the combination just made the show awesome.

One of the characters I loved in the show was Jeffrey. He was not a regular, but he really played his role well. Especially on his many encounters with Uncle Phil, the two would crack me up even before they say a thing.

After season three, Daphne Maxwell-Reid replaced Janet Hubert on the role of aunty Viv. I like season four and five more. I am not a sitcom person, but this particular one was just on its level. It was one of the best sitcoms of my time.

The show was full of jokes after jokes, there were no episodes that made you feel out of place. No matter how serious, or goofy some episodes were, they never ceased to amaze. How the characters reacted to situations was always entertaining.

Every time I watch this show, it is like traveling through time. It makes me feel like a kid again. There is a certain magic. Will Smith was the kind of character that sticks with you forever.

What do you think about The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air?
 
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Grizzy{w}

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Aug 11, 2020
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