THROWBACK THURSDAY: ‘Fresh Prince’ not quite refreshing

1990 staff had a bone to pick with now-classic comedy, which was an NBC staple lasting six seasons, 148 episodes


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The cast of “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” proved this Shield review wrong, enjoying a long run of six years on NBC and even longer in syndication. The 138,000 reviewers who ranked the show on the Internet Movie Database give the show an average rating of 7.9 out of 10. A reunion special debuted on HBO Max in November 2020. A dramatic reboot of the series, titled Bel-Air and based on the fan film of the same name, has enjoyed two seasons on Peacock after its initial release on Feb. 13, 2022. It has been renewed for a third season. Photo accessed on Sally Flickr Account. Reposted here with permission under a creative commons license.

unknown student, staff writer

NBC recently launched the sitcom, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. It stars a rapper (Will Smith) who is sent to Bel Air, Calif. to live with his aunt who is married to a rich attorney.

This sad premiere is just a warning of what this show has to offer, which is a slight chuckle per episode.

Fresh Prince walks into his new home and is astonished by its size. Immediately, he unloads a stream of slang words evidently trying to strike the audience’s funny bone.

Coincidentally, the aunt’s husband (James Avery) is having his partners from his firm over for dinner that night. As all sitcom plots proceed, he expects too much from Fresh Prince.

During the party, the step-uncle and Fresh Prince have a battle of wits in which the uncle claims he knows where Fresh Prince is coming from. However, the uncle has the feeling that Fresh Prince is an uncultured clod.

Suddenly, Fresh Prince burst into singing “For Eloise” as if he knew the piece by heart, but someone probably taught him the song just before that take. Leaving with the idea that there is hope for Fresh Prince, the uncle proceeds to bed.

This sad premiere is just a warning of what this show has to offer, which is a slight chuckle per episode. This is just NBC’s way of getting in on the Black sitcom shows. Fresh Prince received the part only because it was evident to NBC that the show would be a total loss if not for the rapper popularity.

This story was originally published in the Shield on Oct. 5, 1990.