Will Smith has dropped the first trailer for the upcoming dramatic reboot of his classic comedy The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

90s nostalgia is in at the moment, and there’s no better target for it than the decade’s golden crop of classic comedies. With hundreds of episodes apiece and easily accessible storylines, it’s no wonder that shows like Friends, Seinfeld and Cheers have flourished on streaming services – and, in the case of shows like Frasier – received reboots to squeeze even more content out of the property.


What’s slightly more unusual is the idea of taking one of those beloved sitcoms and suddenly taking it very, very seriously. That’s the idea behind Bel-Air, the dark and gritty dramatic reboot of classic Will Smith vehicle Fresh Prince of Bel Air raised some eyebrows when it was announced a couple of years back. The concept actually has its roots in a fan video uploaded to YouTube in 2019 by Morgan Cooper which reimagined the sitcom as a drama. Will Smith saw the video and loved it, and hey presto, Cooper is now an executive producer on this revival alongside Smith.

Streaming service Peacock (the NBC channel that grabbed all of the episodes of The Office in America) will air the show starting on February 13 (that’s Super Bowl day), and it’s just dropped a three-minute trailer providing a first look at what Bel Air will look like with a gritty coat of paint.


Love it? Hate it? Both? Neither? You’ll have company in any case. People are capital-D divided on this one. If you’re not a Fresh Prince stan, then try a thought experiment: how would you feel about your favourite comedy suddenly becoming a drama? What if Michael Scott was actually a terrible boss who harassed his employees and created an unstable working environment? What if the cops of the 99th precinct in Brooklyn were part of the institutional policing problem in America?


Hmm. Bit too close to the bone there. This gritty reboot business is tough.


Bel-Air has yet to confirm a UK broadcaster, since Peacock hasn’t expanded internationally yet.