TV: Fresh Prince of Bel-Air S1 – (3/4)

My wife and I started revisiting this beloved series and we just completed the first season.

Will Smith can probably be considered one of the most charismatic actors of all time, and here he found a strong start with a show and supporting cast that mirrors his on-stage energy.

Typical of laugh-track sitcoms, a lot of the comedy comes from reaction. You have the common fish-out-of-water theme with Will coming into Bel-Air and the comedy comes from his adaptation to that culture/lifestyle.

Will (the character) may not be in the most unfamiliar territory. They write him as smart and compassionate despite his consistent wit and sarcastic nature. I found myself wondering why his mother thought he needed to be sent to Bel-Air in the first place if his grades had always been consistently good. Was “one little fight” really the last straw?

Anyway, just like many great sitcoms a lot is dependent on chemistry and the supporting cast. Phil, Carlton, Vivianne, Hilary, Ashley, Geoffrey all develop their own unique schticks. They’re so unique and bombastic in their personalities. This allows the interactions between each of them to become unique in the shadow of conflict.

“Fresh Prince” is such a fun and enjoyable show, and from my previous viewings I know it just gets better.

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