Tuesday, February 28, 2023

What I’m Watching: Bel-Air (Season Premiere)

Bel-Air: Season 2, Episode 1 “A Fresh Start” (B+)

It’s good to see this show back for a second outing, and things are definitely in a different place than they were when the show started. Living away from home with his reluctant extended roommate Jazz, Will is flashing lots of cash and making his own way, and fortunately it didn’t take much for him to be invited back into the fold and, more importantly, the Bel-Air family home. Getting that call from Doc at the end of the episode filled him with joy, but obviously there are ulterior motives that will eventually come to light and likely prove quite crushing. Telling Lisa that he loved her but that they needed to take a break was respectful but also difficult, and things are sure to be awkward if Will ends up pursuing something with his new dog owner friend Jackie. Both Phil and Viv are experiencing their own challenges getting back into their respective workplaces, and while their work-life balance situations have improved, particularly for Phil, it’s demoralizing for them both to feel like they’re essentially starting over. I don’t think that making out with Jazz seconds after Ivy tried to kiss him will strengthen Hilary’s professional partnership, but it should at least give her less to worry about on one level since she’s no longer keeping that romantic relationship secret. I’m intrigued to see a new focus on Ashley this season and her teacher played by none other than Tatyana Ali, who portrayed Ashley in the original series. Carlton also seems to be headed in a good direction with the Black Student Union, which is a nice change for someone who wasn’t doing all that well socially last season.

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