‘Bel-Air’ EP Talks Iconic Banks Family Legacy

The new season of Bel-Air in full swing and we wanted to share our interview with one of the people responsible for making it such a huge success.

Credit: Amy Sussman/Getty

Janeé Bolden, Chief Content Officer of BOSSIP, spoke with ‘Bel Air’ Executive producer Carla Banks-Waddles ahead of season two on people’s doubts about the reimagining of the iconic Banks family, how the new season reflects current times, and why the Oscar scandal hasn’t affected the show.

First off, we all know that while we loved Morgan Cooper’s short film inspired by The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, most fans of the series were worried about whether the reboot could live up to the legacy of the original.

We asked Carla Banks-Waddles about the negative chatter that existed before the show aired and lived up to the success of the first season with season two.

“It’s a challenge because everyone was obviously talking about the Banks family as an iconic family that we all grew up in, that I grew up watching and so the challenge in that first season was figuring out how to present this family in a new way and people are already a bit wary of reboots and reimaginings, and “What are they going to do with it?” Banks-Waddles told BOSSIP. “It was such a perfect show and it ended perfectly, so it’s like, ‘Now you gonna bring them back?!’ People were understandably a little worried about what it was going to look like, so I think the first season of the challenge showed everyone that, yeah, these are characters you know, but in a different way. And to kind of let go of the expectations of that past and give you the freedom to experience the Banks family in a whole new way and I think the biggest challenge last season with all the chatter seemed to be Carlton and he was a big change that people were no doubt tweeting about it, and they weren’t really sure they liked this new Carlton, but they were finally already on this journey with us to see how it would evolve with Will.

Banks-Waddles added that Season 2 will continue to focus on Will and Carlton as their relationship grows and changes to become even closer.

“In Season 2 (we) are really looking in particular at these two and this nostalgic bromance and how can we evolve them in Season 2 so that they can come together more as cousins ​​than brothers, in as friends, but also keeping the friction, because they’re so different,” Banks-Waddles continued. “Season 2 kicks off really strong with What Will They Become? Carlton and Will this season. It went from hating Will, from getting into a fight at the start of season 1 and coming back in season 2 with Carlton thinking, “I lost my crew a bit and I’m better at a dynamic duo” Will is naturally charismatic, he moves around the world people love him and ask will ‘do you wanna be my guy, do you wanna be my wingman’ and it’s kinda be careful what you wish for because how easily will moves through the world is not easy for Carlton so it also pushes Carlton in a way that puts him a bit uncomfortable, but Will ultimately tries to have his best interests at heart.

Banks-Waddles also gave additional insight into the show’s third episode, which aired last Thursday, revealing how the episode was already written and filmed before Florida Governor Ron DeSantis began imposing restrictions. restrictions on AP African American Studies programs in the state.

“It’s so interesting because the third episode is our big protest episode and we talk about the books and the things that people are uncomfortable with when it comes to African American history in this country. and seeing recently how the AP program has come under fire with people not wanting to have certain conversations or wanting to delete certain dialogue, which came out after our episode, so I can’t let people see it because it’s is like, ‘Wow, we just told this story in a very different way,'” Banks-Waddles told BOSSIP. “It was definitely for us and our writers the validation that we get from something that feels current, so I like that we can have these conversations without hurting people with it. It feels like a natural part of who this family is and it feels like a natural part of the conversations that would be important to them as a black family in this country today. And knowing that they can tell that story through a very specific teacher that is personal to them, that means a lot because all of their kids grew up with that teacher, it was cool to tell that story.

As this year’s Oscars approach, we also had to ask Banks-Waddles if the Banks family legacy was altered by the scandal of Will Smith slapping Chris Rock on last year’s show.

“No, we’re all very excited to tell these stories and these characters and let the legacy live and evolve,” Banks-Waddles said. No way. We are still very committed to telling great stories that will hopefully resonate with audiences in a bigger and deeper way in Season 2.”

It’s a relief, isn’t it? Did you enjoy season 2 of Bel-Air? What has been your favorite part so far?

Season 2 of “Bel-Air” is currently airing on Peacock, with new episodes dropping every Thursday.


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