Simon Fern’s Netflix Pick: Fresh Prince of Bel Air

Fresh Prince of Bel Air has recently popped up on Netflix and, despite reaching its 27th anniversary this year, it remains fresh as ever.

For anyone unfortunate enough not to have grown up watching endless re-runs of this classic, Fresh Prince is a family comedy centred on a 17-year-old who has been sent to live with his wealthy aunt and uncle after getting into too much trouble in his native West Philadelphia.

The series explores class, age, race and how these tensions play out in modern America. Despite much of the humour stemming from Will Smith’s teenage hijinks, several episodes confront hard-hitting and still relevant themes of racial profiling, police violence and the ongoing nature of a Civil Rights movement. In one episode from the first season, Will’s highly strung cousin Calton insists that the police have only ever been good to him and struggles to understand why they presume the expensive car he is driving must be stolen.

Fresh Prince is heart warming, intelligently written, and a good bit of nostalgia – even if some of the costume choices might make you cringe at the 90s.

Image: Global Panorama @ Flickr

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