Bel-Air S2 is Doing a B99, And They’re Pulling It Off Really Well

Bel-Air S2 is Doing a B99, And They’re Pulling It Off Really Well

Although The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was a comedy series, its 2022 reboot, Bel-Air, went in the opposite direction and the creators decided to make it a drama.

This decision gave the writers more room to discuss serious social issues and Bel-Air’s season two already seems to be doing a much better job of this than its first season.

Being a show that primarily focuses on an African American family, it was almost inevitable for the topic of racism to come up.

Similarly for Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which is a police comedy series and features two African American officers in the highest positions, it was crucial for them to discuss the Black Lives Matter movement and police brutality in the final season, as it released around the time that these subjects had great significance.

SPOILERS AHEAD! This page contains spoilers from Bel-Air.

One of the major plotlines of Bel-Air this season involves one of Ashley’s (Akira Akbar) teachers. Her name is Mrs Hughes. She is an English teacher and is played by Tatyana Ali, who was the original Ashley Banks in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Bel-Air S2 is Doing a B99, And They’re Pulling It Off Really Well
Mrs Hughes | Source: Fandom

After the school rejects Mrs Hughes’ request to include more books about race, history, and sexuality in the curriculum, she decides to start distributing books on these topics to the students herself. Studying in a predominantly white school, the students of color appreciate this gesture.

However, due to the recent Critical Race Theory controversy going on in schools and the opposition to the gesture by the white teachers and students, Mrs Hughes gets fired.

This has Will (Jabari Banks) all riled up and so with help from Carlton (Olly Sholotan), they stage a walkout. They get tons of students to participate in the protest which causes it to get a lot of attention online.

Bel-Air S2 is Doing a B99, And They’re Pulling It Off Really Well
Will Smith | Source: IMDb

Will finally unfurls a huge Black Teachers banner from the rooftop. This act gets him suspended but the students applaud him for the statement he makes.

With respect to the same issue, a PTA meeting is called. But Aunt Viv (Cassandra Freeman) is not happy with what is being discussed as she doesn’t want America’s true history to be censored for the children.

On the other hand however, Carlton struggles with not knowing what the right thing to do is. He gets chosen to give a speech about the recent events but at the same time he doesn’t want to risk affecting his academic reputation. He continues to struggle with his black identity and being accepted by other black teens.

Bel-Air S2 is Doing a B99, And They’re Pulling It Off Really Well
Carlton Banks | Source: IMDb

Carlton ends up having a panic attack just before his speech. He skips doing it altogether which makes everyone think that he has betrayed the cause.

But later, in episode 4, when he reveals that he has been struggling with anxiety, the other students are able to understand his situation and more of them become comfortable with opening up about their mental health issues as well.

This season also has a segment where black girls and women discuss what they are taught about when looking for a desirable black male partner. The series expands on how young black men battle with defining themselves in today’s world.

Although the first season of Bel-Air had episodes where it addressed racism, the second season is going deeper into the issue and also portraying its intricacies. All in all, season two has been doing a great job so far of discussing the topic.

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About Bel-Air

Bel-Air is an American drama television series developed by Morgan Cooper, Malcolm Spellman, TJ Brady, and Rasheed Newson. It is a reimagined version of the 90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air . In March 2023, it was renewed for a third season.

The series stars Jabari Banks as Will Smith, with Adrian Holmes, Cassandra Freeman, Coco Jones, Olly Sholotan, Jimmy Akingbola, Akira Akbar, Jordan L Jones, and Simone Joy Jones.

The story follows Will Smith’s complicated journey from the streets of West Philadelphia to the gated mansions of Bel-Air. It dives deep into racial tension, culture shock, and black excellence.