Words by: Sentwali Holder
Beloved Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star, Alfonso Ribeiro, best known for playing none other than Carlton Banks, just dropped basically one of the first updates to Bel Air, the dramatic reimagining of the sitcom that put his famous dance on the map. Ribeiro said Bel Air, will be much more serious than the ’90s original and is “not even based on the show.” The series from Morgan Cooper has a two-season order at NBCU’s Peacock. NBC was the original home of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, back in the day.
According to Digital Spy, Ribeiro said “I like to call it a reimagining … We sometimes throw a lot of things into one word, one concept. A reboot would be taking the actual show and characters and bringing it back.” He added “This is a totally different show. It’s not even based on the show,” he said. “It’s based on the theme song. It’s a completely different thing. It’s drama, it’s not comedy.” Ribeiro noted he wasn’t involved with the project, but said he appreciates that the project is more than just a reboot. “Let’s take a concept and turn it into a different show. I’m like, roll the dice,” he said. “Go ahead and try it and see what happens.”
Back in 2019, the fan-made trailer went viral on social media showing the series was created by Cooper in 2019. The trailer recreated key moments from the original show’s opening song and dramatized them, creating a relevant but current 2020s story. After gaining the attention of Will Smith, he invited Cooper to his YouTube series in 2019 and talked about the prospects of creating a series around his idea. Talk about the Hollywood dream realized.
“As funny as the episodes are, there was a whole other layer that you couldn’t do. In a one-hour drama, you could do eight-episode arcs,” said Smith in the video. “The dramatic version of these ideas means you could use existing storylines but it’s not going to seem like you’re redoing an episode because the storyline is going to be brand new from the dramatic perspective …What’s exciting to me is the new media of it all,” he continued. “…I’m excited and inspired about that new way humans are interacting and ideas are getting created.”
Check out the original trailer made by Cooper that went viral: