As the original Fresh Prince, Will Smith tries to put his Oscar night slap in the rearview as Peacock moves on to Season 2 of Bel-Air, the buzzy fish-out-of-water drama based on the classic ’90s sitcom. Streaming service NBCUniversal revealed a teaser trailer for the show’s sophomore one year after Apple TV+ revealed the latest look at Oscar contender Smith, Emancipation. Although the Oscar-winning King Richard A star is not mentioned in the 45-second spot, it’s clear that Season 2 hasn’t severed its connection to the earlier show. (Watch the teaser above.)
Bel-AirA well-reviewed freshman season concluded with West Philly-to-Bel Air transplant Will (Jabari Banks) meeting his long-absent father Lou, played by Marlon Wayans – a role played by Ben Vereen in the ’90s version . Funnily enough, Banks told Yahoo Entertainment earlier this year that he wanted Smith himself to play Will’s father in a bit of a full-circle solution. “It would be interesting to see him as my father,” said the young actor.
Based on Peacock’s recap of Season 2, he realizes that Lou may be sticking around in Bel-Air for a while, and her presence will likely spoil the good thing Will has going on with Aunt Viv and Uncle Phil (Cassandra Freeman and Adrian Holmes). “Last season was very much about introducing the Banks family into the world, and this season we get to go deeper with some of the themes we were in touch with,” coming in Bel-Air Carla Banks Waddles, exhibition director, said in a statement. “We’ll also explore Will’s character beyond feeling like a fish-out-of-water. He’s now struggling to find a balance between maintaining his independence and his West Philly identity and being open to new opportunities for himself in Bel-Air .”
And just as Season 1 tackled topical real-world issues—including colorism and code-switching—Season 2 will also speak to the present. In the background of one shot, Will is standing on the roof of his school above “Black Teachers Matter” banners while Banks’ voiceover references what it means to “disrupt the system”.
“We all have choices to make,” Will concludes. “But this time, no one choose for me.”
Talking to Yahoo Entertainment ahead of Bel-AirIn the freshman season premiere in February, creator Morgan Cooper — who directed the viral 2019 short film that caught Smith’s eye and inspired the series — said that the Fresh Prince previously served as the soundtrack during the show’s first year. “He was always one text away for advice,” Cooper said. “He gave us a chance to do our own thing, and he gave us confidence from the creative side. I can’t say enough about our collaboration. It’s great, and I’m grateful to know him.”
Season 2 of Bel-Air premieres February 23 on Peacock.