‘Bel-Air’ creators admit they’re trying to pull off a delicate balancing act

Bel-Air Peacock Jabari Banks as Will
Image via Peacock

, the hit new Peacock series is going on strong and succeeding in shaping its own identity. A reimagined version of the hugely successful 90s sitcom, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, it is a modern and dramatized retelling of the classic, and while there are a couple of odes to the sitcom, the show succeeds in finding its own special voice. 

In a conversation with Deadline, co-showrunner Rasheed Newson revealed they had to strike a balance between taking inspiration from the sitcom and creating something original and worthwhile. 

“Everybody had the same reference point, and everybody on the show was a fan of the [original] Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air. We all took a lot of care with this material, but we knew we had to do something new. We knew we had to take bold swings because you can’t match what they did 30 years ago. You’re not going to you’re not going to do it better than they did that. We had to sort of take that as inspiration, but go in a new direction. I think that that permeated every single department and it was sort of our mission statement.”

The show follows the shift in protagonist Will Smith’s (Jabari Banks) life as he moves from West Philadelphia to live with his Aunt Viv’s wealthy family in Bel-Air and offers a lot more drama and grit than the original sitcom. Also, while many of the characters remain, they are much more different than how they were originally portrayed. 

Bel-Air’s ten-episode first season received favorable reviews from critics and concluded on March 31. The series was originally greenlit for two seasons, so you can expect the second season to enter production sometime in the future.