Film, TV, and Popular Culture

From the blog

Now, this is a story all about how…

Warning, contains spoilers

…I watched the Fresh Prince of Bel Air Reunion (sorry if you were expecting a decent rap there!). I loved watching the Fresh Prince of Bel Air when I was younger and I still enjoy re-watching it now. It’s silly, fun, and sometimes poignant, and no one can dance quite like Carlton. Watching the cast get back together after 30 years (wow, was it really that long ago), was like welcoming back old friends. Sure they’ve all matured somewhat but they’ve all aged well.

Will Smith headed the show and did most of the talking which is kind of fitting as he was the main star. Joining him on the recreation of the living room set (from the later seasons), were: Tatyana Ali (who played Ashley), Ross Bagley (who played Nicky), DJ Jazzy Jeff, Joseph Marcell (who played Geoffrey), Karyn Parsons (who played Hilary), Daphne Reid (who played Vivian #2), and Alfonso Ribeiro (who played Carlton). Sadly and sorely missed was James Avery who played Uncle Phil and passed away in 2013.

The actors sat and shared memories and we were also treated to lots of clips and behind the scenes extras. It was a great nostalgia trip and it’s clear to see that they all had fun filming and really were like one big happy family.

Will took a break from the couch to also have a reunion with Janet Hubert (who played Vivian #1). Now, I remember watching season 4 and being confused as to why there was a different actress playing Vivian and then learning of a feud where Will Smith claimed that Janet was difficult to work with.

In this reunion, we learn that Janet’s salary was cut, she was pregnant and also experiencing difficulties in her personal life. She felt little choice but to leave. We also learn that Will was young and felt threatened by the world and we can infer that he felt threatened by Janet’s presence on the show, threatening to detract from him. Janet was certainly sassy as Vivian, something that we didn’t see with Daphne Reid’s portrayal. But they hug, make up, shed a few tears and it seems that all is good again.

If like me, watching the Fresh Prince of Bel Air was part of your growing up, then you’ll want to watch this reunion show. If you’ve never watched the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, or have never seen the Carlton dance, then you are missing out. And now, it is only fitting that I leave you with Uncle Phil. ‘Geoffrey, break out Lucille!’

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