Sunday, March 27, 2022

What I’m Watching: Bel-Air

Bel-Air: Season 1, Episode 9 “Can’t Knock the Hustle” (B+)

I like that this show travels to expected places but doesn’t go in the exact direction that it might seem. One example is Phil and Fred planning to use dirt on each other and Phil instead opting to drop out of the race both in support of his family’s privacy and Viv’s desire to put her career first rather than having to focus on her family as she has so much in the past. That was a productive development given the potential implications of staying in the race. It also meant that Lisa finding out about Will getting arrested wasn’t something that tore them apart as a couple but instead rallied her to try to protect him. Phil and Geoffrey did almost come to blows, and there’s clearly something very strong at the root of their friendship that Geoffrey was willing to walk away without making a big thing of it regardless of how angry he was with what Phil was doing. I’m sure that won’t be the last we’ll see of him, and I’d especially like to see him again given my very positive interaction with actor Jimmy Akingbola on the red carpet for another show, “WeCrashed.” It was fun to see two familiar faces in Viv’s meeting with the people who were perfectly ready to offer her the fellowship, and that would be Daphne Maxwell Reid and Vernee Watson, who played Aunt Viv and Will’s mom on the original series. I’m all for that kind of casting, since the surprise factor was meant to mirror Viv’s own shock at getting to pitch to two Black women and not distract from the rest of the plotline. I’m curious if there will be consequences to Hilary going to get her stuff back, and her budding relationship with Jazz is interesting since they’re connecting but don’t always appear to see eye to eye.

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