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‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ is Being Rebooted as a Drama. God Save Us From Terrible Television

The worst thing in the world is a Very Special Episode of a network sitcom. No one wants to see Arnold Jackson getting a few Diff’rent Strokes from the bicycle shop owner or Roseanne’s sister getting smacked around by her boyfriend. These sorts of episodes of sitcoms became very popular in the 80s and 90s, but fell out of favor once sitcoms like Scrubs and How I Met Your Mother that were actually capable of balancing comedy and drama in a realistic, entertaining way came along.

Maybe one of the worst offenders of the Very Special Episode, in retrospect, was The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, which often dealt with social issues. The episodes themselves weren’t bad and Will Smith and the rest of the cast had the acting chops to pull them off, but they did a lot of them and they could get kind of preachy. Watch pretty much any episode of Black-ish after season 3 or so if you want an idea of what I mean.

Now there’s a Fresh Prince reboot in the works and every episode is going to be a Very Special episode, because for some reason Will Smith got it in his head that it would be a good idea.

Smith got the idea from this fan trailer that imagined the show as a CW-style teen drama like Riverdale.

Yeah, it’s cute, it reminded me of that R-rated Power Rangers fan film.

I don’t think that would be a good idea for an actual series, either, but THR reports Smith was really keen on it.

Bel-Air is described as a dramatic take on the beloved ’90s comedy that catapulted Smith to stardom over six seasons starring as the street-smart kid who moved from West Philly to the tony Los Angeles neighborhood. With a reimagined vision, Bel-Air will dive deeper into the inherent conflicts, emotions and biases of what it means to be a Black man in America today, while still delivering the swagger and fun nods to the original show.

Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the new Bel-Air has been in the works for more than a year after the four-minute clip went viral when it was posted in March 2019 and caught Smith’s attention. Cooper, a Fresh Prince superfan, created and directed the trailer that reimagined the series as if it were a drama. He will co-write the script, direct and be credited as a co-EP.

This might not even happen, it’s just being shopped around at the moment, but given all the big names involved it’s hard to imagine it doesn’t at least get an offer from Hulu. I mean, what else do they have going on?

I don’t think it’s going to be very good, but I also didn’t think Riverdale would be very good. Of course, Riverdale isn’t very good, but the actresses are super hot it’s just engrossing enough to keep me watching to see what happens next, which is probably the best we can hope for from Bel-Air.

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