The answer, in short, is NO. Now, this response might make me evil, or anti-American, or at the very least bitter – and that’s something I’ve come to terms with. Like it or not, Will Smith will be rebooting/remaking the iconic Fresh Prince of Bel-Air on NBC.
I’ll start by saying that nobody is a bigger Fresh Prince fan than I am. The show revolutionized “after-school” specials by bridging the gap between mainstream America and black America, which at that time might as well have been on separate continents. Here were a family of black people, as educated as the Huxtables, but as cool as Martin’s crew. All walks of life were represented, and Will was constantly trying to find his identity as a man, and having his eyes opened to how the world really works. Plus, the show was laugh-out-loud hilarious, and still holds up today as one of the funniest sitcoms of all time (I’d put maybe Community and Arrested Development above it).
Now that Will Smith is a household name (and not just the House of Scientology) and Big Willy Weekends are a thing of the past, Hollywood is all about remakes, relaunches, and adaptations.
This won’t be any better because Will Smith is helming the project. Even if the Fresh Prince himself gets to head it, what makes you think that the dweebs at NBC will let him have creative control of the show? And even if they do (they won’t), this is a day and age when the market is over-stuffed with regurgitated bullshit. This is a time when Training Day and Red get their own television adaptations – the latter being a TV show based off a couple of movies based off a couple of comic book – and the most original show on television right now is Jane the Virgin. Unfortunately, nobody gives a damn about a new Fresh Prince, and all it will do is show just how dated we are as middle-aged consumers are.
The most hurtful part of it for me is that the original Fresh Prince is incredibly relatable to this new generation. What will trying to relive the magic do to help? It’s like trying to sleep with your high school sweetheart at the ten-year reunion and rekindle the magic. That being said, Girl Meets World has found relative success by capitalizing off the same fan base it had 20 years ago. However, I don’t know anybody outside of the original Boy Meets World club who has yet to see an episode of GMW. Plus, GMW is on the Disney Channel, a network known for its affinity to legacy programs.
Part of me would love to see a Fresh Prince reboot. It’s the same part of me that wants to see a Public Enemy reunion concert. It’s not something that could ever be what it used to be, but it’s a pretty great consolation prize. And to be fair, part of it is bitterness at NBC for canceling Community, where I fear Will Smith’s new pet project will be cast aside after two episodes of bad ratings – if it even makes it to the pilot phase.
There’s no official statement from NBC about whether or not this show will be greenlit, but with Will Smith and company (Overbrook Entertainment) leading the charge on this and considering the state of shambles that sitcoms is in right now, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it become a reality soon enough.
Source: TV Line