The Fresh Prince Reunion Review.
One of the few pure joys of 2020 is this reunion special. A horribly long wait for this momentous occasion to come together but well worth the wait. As a sitcom fan, a 90’s fan and just a fan of this iconic sitcom this was over an hour of pure bliss for me and I’m sure most of you that’s already seen it.
The special is a detailed retrospective of the series from how it was developed to the casting of the characters,, the birth of the Carlton dance and the impact the show has had and still has today. Also plenty of fun clips of classic scenes like Carlton’s freakout running all over the set and the audience bleachers, and the iconic final scene between Will and Uncle Phil in Papa’s Got a Brand New Excuse. Plenty of great behind the scenes footage never seen by the public is also unveiled like little moments at a table reading, Entertainment Tonight footage of the shooting of the series finale etc. A real treat for die hard Fresh Prince fans.
So many beautiful moments in this reunion but for me the two segments that absolutely stole the show for me were the remembrance and celebration of James Avery who played Uncle Phil who we unfortunately lost in 2013:
and the long awaited reconciliation of Will Smith and Janet Hubert Whitten as well as with Janet and the rest of the cast members, including Aunt Viv number 2. Daphne Maxwell Reid, the two finally meet after 27 years. The conversation between Will and Janet is heartbreaking, touching, warm and even funny at moments. Watching it unfold was like having a huge weight lifted off my chest.
Do yourself a favor and watch this wonderfully nostalgic reunion on HBO Max celebrating one of the all time great black sitcoms, one of the funniest sitcoms in general and just one of television’s brightest accomplishments. The chemistry is still there between them all and it makes watching it feel like reuniting with family you haven’t seen in ages. I will now place this reunion on the same pedestal as other great television reunions like Living Single’s Reunion Special in 2008 the Married with Children reunion special on Fox in 2003 and The Golden Girls Reunion Special on Lifetime also in 2003. It’s a must watch and make sure to have a tissue in hand, you’ll need it.