As the original Fresh Prince, Will Smith tries to put his Oscar night sleeper in the rearview mirror as Peacock moves on to Season 2 of Belairthe bubbly fish-out-of-water drama based on the classic ’90s sitcom. NBCUniversal’s streaming service unveiled a teaser trailer for the show’s second year, a day after Apple TV+ released the latest look at Smith’s Oscar contender revealed, Emancipation. While the Oscar-winning King Richard star isn’t mentioned at the 45 second spot, it’s clear that season 2 hasn’t broken ties with the earlier show. (Watch the teaser above.)
BelairWill (Jabari Banks), who finished his top-rated freshman season with a West Philly-to-Bel Air transplant, meets 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 to play Will’s father himself in a bit of full-on casting. “It would be interesting to see him as my father,” the young actor noted.
Based on Peacock’s season 2 synopsis, it sounds like Lou might be hanging around in Bel-Air for a while, and his presence seems likely to spoil the good Will has with Aunt Viv and Uncle Phil (Cassandra Freeman and Adrian Holmes). “Last season was mostly about getting to know the world of the Banks family, and this season we’re delving deeper into some of the themes we touched on,” incoming Belair showrunner, Carla Banks Waddles, noted in a statement. “We’ll also explore Will’s character, except that he feels like a fish out of water. He’s now struggling to find a balance between maintaining his independence and his West Philly identity while also being open to new opportunities for themselves in Bel-Air.”
And just as season 1 dealt with current real-world issues — including colorism and code-switching — season 2 also speaks to the moment. In the background of one shot, Will stands on the roof of his school over a banner reading “Black Teachers Matter,” while Banks’ voiceover refers to what it means to “disrupt the system.”
“We all have to make choices,” Will concludes. “But this time no one chooses me.”
Pre-speak with Yahoo Entertainment BelairSpeaking at the February freshman season premiere, creator Morgan Cooper — who directed the 2019 viral short that caught Smith’s attention and inspired the series — said the previous Fresh Prince was a sounding board during the show’s first year. “He was always one text away for advice,” Cooper said. “He really let us do our own thing and gave us confidence on the creative side. I can’t say enough about our collaboration. He’s brilliant and I’m thankful to know him.”
Season 2 of Belair premieres February 23 on Peacock.