Analysis: ‘Bel-Air’ gives us a new Will Smith, thanks to Will Smith


And I’d like to take a minute just to write here, and tell you how we ended up with a reboot called “Bel-Air.”

No, the lyrics don’t exactly match, but I’ve never claimed to be a rapper like Will Smith, who wrote the original lyrics (along with his musical partner and BFF DJ Jazzy Jeff) for the theme song for his NBC sitcom ’90s. 1990, “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.”

Thanks to Smith, we now have a spectacular reboot of this show, which debuts on the newsletter this week.

‘Bel Air’

A viral 2019 video of filmmaker Morgan Cooper reimagining “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” as a modern drama caught the eye of the Fresh Prince himself, and with the backing of Will Smith, it’s now an ongoing series. streaming on Peacock.

It’s been eagerly awaited since Smith announced it in 2020, and it all feels as much like a fairy tale as it does the comedy premise about an inner-city Philadelphia teenager transplanted to live the good life in the wealthy neighborhood of Los Angeles.
“Bel-Air” is definitely darker, and having a new “Will” (played by Jabari Banks) takes some getting used to for those who loved the original.
To lighten things up, watch Smith pass the torch to Banks in the coolest way possible here.

‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ Season 4

Rachel Brosnahan as Miriam "Midge"  Maisel is shown in a scene from Season 4 of

Midge is back!

Our favorite comedian (Rachel Brosnahan) of the 1950s was fresh off a career high when drama struck at the end of last season.

Season four is set in 1960, which begs the question: what will a new decade bring to the character whose life changed completely when she set out to pursue her dreams?

And let’s not forget his quick-talking manager, Susie Myerson (Alex Borstein).

There’s a reason Brosnahan and Borstein have won awards for their performances on this show.

The new season begins streaming on Amazon Prime on Friday.

“Jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy”

Kanye "Yes"  West is shown in a scene from "Jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy."

Old Kanye or new Kanye?

This has always been the struggle of longtime Kanye West fans.

Now, a docuseries trilogy will offer some of both.

“Jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy” documents his career from the start.

West, who now goes by the name “Ye,” started out as a producer before becoming a celebrity rapper, fashion mogul and ultimately a lightning rod for controversy.

These days, his personal life is getting as much attention as his career, but for those interested in his background, there’s plenty of material here.

The first episode of “Jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy” premieres Wednesday on Netflix, with the next two releasing over the next two Wednesdays.

Two things to listen to

Joe Nichols, “Good Day to Live”

Joe Nichols performs at the Country Thunder Music Festival in Florence, Arizona on April 8, 2017.

New album, new tour.

Country artist Joe Nichols has released his 10th studio album and first full-length project in four years.

“Good Day for Living” features 13 tracks of classic Nichols country songs, including “I Got Friends That Do,” featuring fellow country artist and “The Voice” coach Blake Shelton.

The new album is now out and the tour kicked off last week in Jackson, Mississippi.

Del McCoury, “almost proud”

Del McCoury of the Del McCoury Band performs at the Big Barrel Country Music Festival in Dover, Delaware on June 28, 2015.

After more than six decades in the music industry, Del McCoury, 82, still feels like she has a lot to say.

“Almost proud” is the result.

He and his band have produced another country album that celebrates all the men and women who make up his fanbase.

And McCoury still loves what he does.

“I’m as excited to listen to new music today as I was the day I started — finding a new track or a story that tickles my fancy,” he told Glide magazine. “This album is the best I’ve heard while the world was on hiatus.”

The new album comes out on Friday.

Something to talk about

Jamie-Lynn Sigler appears in the Chevrolet Silverado commercial that debuted in Super Bowl LVI on February 13.

Dear David Chase, could we please get a “Sopranos” reboot with Meadow running the family business?

I can’t be the only person who thought that after watching the Super Bowl ad with Jamie-Lynn Sigler.
Sigler recreated the opening credits sequence from his old show to promote the first all-electric Chevy Silverado.

Seeing her drive down the road that James Gandolfini took as his TV dad, Tony Soprano, and then meeting Robert Iler, who played his on-screen brother, AJ Soprano, hit me in the feels.

Reboots were built on less, that’s all I’m saying.

something to sip

Matt Damon (center) and his wife, Luciana Barroso (left), attend Super Bowl LVI between the LA Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California on February 13.

Speaking of the Super Bowl on Sunday, it wasn’t without controversy.

That’s because several celebrities have been spotted without masks despite the mask mandate for “mega events” held in Los Angeles County, the location of SoFi Stadium and Super Bowl LVI.

Certainly, of the more than 70,000 attendees at the match, few were seen wearing masks at the outdoor venue.

But for celebrities, some of whom have publicly urged people to wear masks, a heightened profile means a higher level of responsibility.

And a reminder that the internet is always listening – and ready to comment.

What did you like about today’s newsletter? What did we miss? Enter poplife@cnn.com and say hello!




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