Fresh Prince reboot trailer has divided fans of the original show

Jabari Banks as Will Smith in Peacock's Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reboot trailer
(Image credit: Peacock TV)

The first trailer for Bel Air, the gritty reimagining of beloved 1990s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, has landed online – and fans can't agree about whether it looks good or not.

With the drama series just one month away from being released on Peacock, NBCUniversal's streaming platform, fans received their first look at the rebooted TV show on January 10. But, despite Will Smith – the award-winning actor, rapper and film producer who starred in the original series – co-developing the show, fan reaction to Bel Air's first footage has been decidedly mixed.

If you've not seen the trailer, you can check it out via Will Smith's YouTube channel below:

The Fresh Prince reboot is the brainchild of Morgan Cooper, whose short film – also titled Bel Air – reimagined the Will Smith-starring sitcom as a darker, more dramatic production in the vein of Black Panther director Ryan Coogler's movies. Cooper uploaded his Bel Air project to YouTube in March 2019 and, after it was praised by Smith and others, Cooper received the go-ahead to produce a full TV reboot based on his short movie.

Peacock won the race for the rights to Bel Air, seeing off competition from Netflix and HBO Max – the home of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. But, with the first trailer finally landing online, reception to the three-minute long video has been decidedly mixed. 

Fans took to Twitter, Reddit and the trailer's YouTube comment section to offer their opinions of the reboot, with many stating that the original didn't need to be reinvented for modern audiences. 

Twitter User BetterCallRaul believes Bel Air "should've been made back in 2014" when gritty reboots were popular, such as Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy and Daniel Craig's James Bond era.

Others, including Twitter user XxAshN7xX, were less diplomatic about Bel Air's footage reveal, while Reddit user Three_Froggy_Problem believes Bel Air's lead actor Jabari Banks, who will portray Will Smith in the reboot, lacks the charisma for the role. Over on YouTube, user Alteori said that, based on the series' first look, they weren't "too hopeful" about the series.

Some fans, such as Twitter Owlallowit user likened it to another serious drama in All American, while sports reporter Simone Scott thinks Bel Air has turned the original show "into the Black O.C."

Some Twitter users, like William B. West, have even said that they wouldn't be surprised if Bel Air is canceled after just one season. Given that Peacock gave it a two-season order upon winning the rights to the show, it would be a blow to the streamer if Bel Air isn't as successful as Peacock executives hope it'll be.

There are Will Smith and Fresh Prince fans, though, who are willing to give Bel Air a chance. Twitter user Nikynakynu argued that the original series was far from a straight comedy, with The Fresh Prince of Bel Air's exploration of tough topics including police brutality, racism, absent fathers and gun culture showing that sitcoms can be as emotionally hard-hitting as any drama.

Meanwhile, Twitter user Kanenums888 opined that "this is what a reboot should be", adding that reimagined movies and TV shows should offer something different to the properties that they're based on:

And that's a stance that other fans agreed with. Reddit user RespectThyHypnotoad said it was a "smart move" on Smith, Cooper and Peacock's parts not to copy the original show word for word. YouTube member Welyn, meanwhile, thinks Bel Air will be a welcome "fresh take on the original".

Finally, some Fresh Prince fans merely expressed their excitement over the reboot, with Twitter user Jazzdid saying they'd finally subscribe to Peacock just to watch Bel Air when it arrives.

Thankfully for Jazzdid, the wait won't be a long one. Bel Air is set to premiere exclusively on Peacock on Sunday, February 13.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across. Got a scoop, interesting story, or an intriguing angle on the latest news in entertainment? Feel free to drop him a line.