Bel-Air, Peacock’s The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reboot, premiered on Superbowl Sunday (Feb. 13). The first three episodes of the series quickly introduces viewers to the re-imagined tale of a young basketball phenom who’s forced to live with his aunt and uncle after a life-threatening altercation in his hometown of West Philadelphia.
Will enters a world entirely different from his own when he moves to California. Good-natured and bright, it’s his quick temper in the wrong situation that landed him miles away from home and starting over.
Bel-Air transforms its comedic source material into a dramatic take on Will’s life that includes humor but is clearly the kind of coming-of-age family drama that TV viewers are used to reboots of beloved shows turning into. As such the series has been bumped up to a TV-MA rating considering its darker approach to Will’s story.
Here’s why the show isn’t TV-PG like the OG sitcom!
Why is Bel-Air rated TV-MA?
Spoilers ahead of the first three episodes of Bel-Air
While parental guidance was advised for The Fresh Prince that’s typical of sitcoms especially ones with teenage leads. Bel-Air doesn’t simply dabble in innuendos that may go over the heads of younger children or thematic elements that might trouble some viewers.
The Peacock original includes strong language, drug and alcohol use by minors, and violence. Rashad Denton, the local drug dealer who put a hit on Will, is presented as a real threat to Will’s life and safety. Due to his interactions with the police, our young lead is dealing with post-traumatic stress. He’s also carrying the burden of leaving his best friend behind whose is in danger as well.
Carlton has a drug problem and is shown multiple times getting high. There’s also discussions of mental health issues as well as casual and blatant racism, police brutality, cultural use of slurs/reclamation of the n-word, and bullying.