The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reimagined series has been turning the internet upside down. Fans have been tuning in every week to see the darker take on their favorite characters. Will and Carlton are not the fun-loving duo we used to know and share a complicated relationship as cousins forced to cohabitate in the most trying time of their lives, high school. These two are not singing and dancing like we remember and are actually beefing over a young lady. According to Bel-Air actor Jabari Banks, this new version of Will Smith owes Carlton nothing and is fully within his right to be dating his younger cousin’s ex-girlfriend.
It seems appropriate for the world to be experiencing a new version of Bel-Air since we are arguable also experiencing a darker version of the Smith family. Will and Jada have let us in on their complicated relationship and redefined what it means to be a black power couple in America. This has meant confessions of sex addiction, drug abuse, open relationships, and extensive therapy and healing.
Will Smith is an executive producer on the new Bel-Air and injected a lot of his real-life edge into the show that once made him America’s sweetheart. This Bel-Air is grittier and moodier, much more geared to a generation that has devoured shows like Euphoria. This version of the scripted Will Smith is also more complicated, and nowhere is that more obvious than in his relationship with Carlton’s ex-girlfriend Lisa.
On the original Fresh Prince, Lisa was played by Nia Long and served as Will’s primary love interest. The two almost wed twice on the series. In this version, however, she and Will meet way earlier and under more complicated circumstances. Lisa and Carlton dated, and her family is pretty close to the Banks family since Uncle Phil helped support her and her father after her mother died. She bonds with Will over feeling out of place at their prep school because she is only there on a scholarship and does not come from money like Carlton. Carlton sees the sparks flying and attempts to win her back out of jealousy, only to spot her and Will kissing by the pool at a party and shoving Will into the water out of anger.
The storyline will prove to be a major one going forward on the show and has fans wondering if Will is in the wrong for pursuing Lisa in the first place. According to actor Jabari Banks who plays Will, he feels that his on-screen counterpart owes Carlton nothing. Jabari was on The Breakfast Club and explained that Will and Lisa have an undeniable bond.
The actor goes on to explain that Will and Carlton are still getting to know each other and are not close like brothers or even cousins. Will does not feel like he needs to respect Carlton in that way because they have no bond as of yet and are at odds over Will moving in in the first place. However, Will and Lisa really like each other, and he feels Will is fully within his right to pursue her. “That’s not my brother, it’s my cousin, and I don’t know him.” Do you think Will is wrong for dating Carlton’s ex?